Process Variables in Writing Instruction Using Word Processing, Word Processing with Voice Synthesis, and No Word Processing in Second Grade
A study at a small southwestern suburban school examined specific process variables which occurred as children were taught composition skills using word processing, word processing with voice synthesis, and no word processing. Subjects were 45 second grade students, who were divided into three groups on the basis of scores on a reading comprehension test; each group was made up of equal numbers of average, below average, and above average readers. One group was taught writing using beginning word processors and printers; the second group used word processors which utilized speech and printers; and the third group was taught without using word processing equipment. The curriculum emphasized composition strategies designed for young children, and all groups were given the same assignments. Completed compositions were linguistically analyzed for holistic quality, and the behavior of target subjects in each group was monitored. Data were analyzed in several areas: composition length; composition quality; invented spellings; peer interaction during writing; writing and editing; development of collaborative skills; influence of peer writers; developing a sense of audience; persistence when writing; and function of the voice synthesizer. Results indicated that children can benefit from careful instruction in composition in any of these settings, that they can master the rudiments of word processing with little training, and that word processing can free them from the difficulty of manuscript writing. (43 references) (MES)
Kurth, R.J. Process Variables in Writing Instruction Using Word Processing, Word Processing with Voice Synthesis, and No Word Processing in Second Grade.