Bridging discourses in a writing classroom

Lundgren, Berit
June 2013
Education Inquiry;Jun2013, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p315
Academic Journal
The aim of this study is to describe and analyse the writing discourse in one classroom and how students learn through studying a topic, i.e. the teaching and learning of written argument. The study takes its stance from a sociocultural perspective and is influenced by discourse analyses, new literacy studies and critical literacy (Fairclough 1989; Barton 2007; Janks 2010; Ivanic 2004). Data from year 6 in Sweden consist of observations, informal conversations, teachers' planning and students' written texts, i.e. letters to the editor. The results are presented in terms of four themes that became apparent during the reading of the data, viz.: (1) teaching for learning - deconstruction; (2) dialogue and scaffolding for learning - enabling access; (3) feedback and students' reflections for learning; and (4) writing to learn - reconstruction. The data are analysed and discussed on the basis of four concepts for developing critical literacy, viz. access, deconstruction, reconstruction and domination (cf. Janks 2010:21 - 32). The study indicates that explicit teaching of a written argument provides students with access to the dominating structure of the genre if they are given the time and tools to reflect and are given feedback from the teacher.


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