Talk for writing is designed to teach students how to write through intensive interaction with the teacher and text, and the oral learning of language patterns (i.e., syntax). The program is designed for students in Prep to Grade 6 and focuses specifically on non-fiction writing. The three stages of learning: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application are designed for whole-class delivery and require intensive student-teacher interaction. Each stage is engaging and includes a number of activities for the students to investigate text and learn the key language patterns in non-fiction writing.
- Research suggests that this interaction-based approach to learning to write is effective. It has been found to promote skills in planning, drafting, editing and revising as well as self-motivation.
- From a psychologist’s perspective, Danielle says: Talk for Writing is a great program for students with dyslexia and specific learning disorder with impairment in reading as they learn to demonstrate and communicate their knowledge orally in a formal and organised way. It’s a helpful way to teach students how to dictate if they are using speech-to-text software for assessment and it promotes consistency in approach to each style of non-fiction writing. It’s great for self-esteem and confidence in writing, however it is not as comprehensive as some other programs as it doesn’t teach other important components of writing, such as spelling, capitalisation and punctuation.
- From a teacher’s perspective, Jay says: Implementation of the Talk for Writing program would require an overhaul of the way curriculum is taught in the classroom; a barrier that the program discusses in the book. Although there are some helpful strategies provided, I believe that the best application would be for small groups of students that would benefit from learning to write without reliance on their limited reading and decoding skills. On the plus side, my experience indicates that review in the home environment of content learned in class, assists students to consolidate their learning; a great feature of this program is that it’s parent friendly.