Friday, September 25, 2009

Got Grammar?

Writing, spelling, and grammar are interrelated components of the language arts. Writing, spelling, and reading are highly related, especially in the beginning stage of learning to read. First, writing is the process of composing and expressing ideas. Second, writing is a support process of reading, word recognition, and spelling.

In the beginning stages of reading, writing plays an important role in developing concepts of print, phonemic awareness, and letter-sound associations. Writing is also related to teaching children to spell and use the grammar of the English language. Given the strength of the relationships between reading, writing, and spelling, spelling should be taught as an integrated part of the literacy program. Most children need systematic, direct spelling instruction. The more closely connected this instruction is to the teaching of letter- sound associations that are used in reading, the better it is likely to be for the learner. At the beginning stages of learning to deal with letter-sound associations, children use a process known as invented spelling; this is the process of trying to spell a word using the letter-sound knowledge an individual has
when the correct spelling is not known. Use of invented spelling is a normal and productive stage for a beginning reader and writer to go through. In fact, use of invented spelling is very effective in helping children refine and extend phonemic awareness and letter-sound associations. However, as children develop in reading and writing, they must also be taught to spell words correctly.

Research reports strongly discourage the teaching of grammar as an isolated subject. Grammar, however, should be taught. This instruction should be provided in close connection with students’ writing.

Links can be found at Interactives.

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