Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Learning Disabled Writers

Annotated Research

Question: What are the characteristics of writing by learning-disabled students?

Answer: “Learning disabled students’ writing was shorter, contained fewer sentences with more words per sentence, included fewer long words, and had more spelling and capitalization errors.” CK Houck and BS Billingsley. 1989. P. 244.

Comment: My experience with learning-disabled writers was that sentences were disordered as was the entire composition. Of course they would have fewer longer words because they are most conscious of spelling and long words would defeat them. However, it was the lack of sensible organization at the sentence and whole composition levels that stood out for me.

What did I do about it? I had them write for ten minutes a day. I reordered their sentences and connected them into a whole composition that made sense, I also corrected spelling and grammar. The next day, the students re-wrote their corrected sentence structure, composition , spelling and grammar and then wrote another ten-minute essay. I had modest success with this method. By the time they finished the semester, they were able, on their own, to write a comprehensible piece of writing. RayS.

Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” JD Marshall and RK Durst. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1991), 236.

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