Becoming a writer: Language use and 'scaffolding' writing in the first six months of formal schooling

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The challenges for young children learning to write are many, as they try to respond to their teachers' expectations, 'school language' and the complex, abstract notion of writing. Scaffolding the learning of young children is challenging for teachers, as they attempt to respond to the diverse needs of students, curriculum requirements and the expectations of employers and the community. Through conversation teachers and students work at understanding the expectations and needs of the other. The research study discussed in this article examined teacher/student conversations that focused on writing in three Australian Kindergarten classrooms in 2007. In some of the conversations analysed, the teachers and children appear to 'connect' and the children move forward with their learning as a result. This was not,however, always the case. The language of school literacy appears to be a particular barrier for some students. The author identifies the need for a 'shared language' if teachers' efforts to scaffold children's early attempts at writing are to be fruitful.Teachers must also know their children well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-63
Number of pages18
JournalThe Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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