Does proficiency in spelling, grammar and punctuation predict success in writing?

Tessa Daffern, Noella Mackenzie

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Being literate in the twenty-first century demands individuals to create and interpret patterns of meaning that may be visual, audio, gestural, tactile and spatial (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012). While writing is one central part of being literate as it provides a means for personal reflection, creativity and intellectual inquiry, how important is it to learn basic written language skills at school, such as spelling, grammar and punctuation? This paper draws on data from 819 Australian primary school students to explore the relationship between three language convention variables (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and written composition, as measured by the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Language Conventions Test and the Writing Test. Findings for the study indicate that spelling, grammar and punctuation jointly influence written composition, and that spelling is the main predictor of written composition. Implications for the educational practice of writing in the contemporary context are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction: 16th Biennial Conference - Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 25 Aug 201529 Aug 2015 (Archived conference website) (Conference evidence)


Conference16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction
Abbreviated titleTowards a reflective society: Synergies between Learning, Teaching, and Research
OtherCARE researchers presented at the 16th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, which took place in Limassol, Cyprus from the 25th to the 29th of August, 2015. The theme of the conference was ‘Towards a Reflective Society: Synergies Between Learning, Teaching and Research’.
The conference included the SIG 5 Invited Symposium on the topic “Self-regulation in early childhood: conceptualization, assessment, and contextual classroom predictors”. The symposium was organized by CARE researchers Pauline Slot (Utrecht University) and Joana Cadima (University of Porto), and the discussant was Fred Morrison (University of Michigan).
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