New Report Finds That Writing Can Be Powerful Driver for Improving Reading Skills

Some will say this is so obvious that it goes without saying … and I would tend to agree, but I think it’s one of those studies that allows us something to point at with authority to those that don’t get it.

From the National Writing Project web site:

New Report Finds That Writing Can Be Powerful Driver for Improving Reading Skills

From the NWP web site:

“The majority of American students still do not read or write well enough to meet grade-level demands, and poor literacy skills play a role in why many students do not complete high school.

To help reverse that trend, the authors of Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading (PDF) call for writing to complement reading instruction because each type of practice supports and strengthens the other.

The report provides practitioners with research-supported information about how writing improves reading while making the case for researchers and policymakers to place greater emphasis on writing instruction as an integral part of school curriculum.”

(Link to the PDF of the report) Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading, a new report from Carnegie Corporation of New York published by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

From the report:

“Writing practices cannot take the place of effective reading practices. Instead, writing practices complement reading practices and should always be used in conjunction, with each type of practice supporting and strengthening the other.

This study shows that students’ reading abilities are improved by writing about texts they have read; by receiving explicit instruction in spelling, in writing sentences, in writing paragraphs, in text structure, and in the basic processes of composition; and by increasing how much and how frequently they write. Our evidence shows that these writing activities improved students’ comprehension of text over and above the improvements gained from traditional reading activities such as reading text, reading and rereading text, reading and discussing text, and receiving explicit reading instruction.”

Learning is messy!

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2 thoughts on “New Report Finds That Writing Can Be Powerful Driver for Improving Reading Skills

  1. I teach kindergarten children. It is absolutely amazing to me how much the children get out of Writers Workshop and creating text for science reports and the like. I have plenty of children who, when all the work board jobs are finished will say, “Can I do some Writers Workshop?” I start that block in January and don’t begin actual guided reading small group instruction until later in March. By the time the children get to the reading, they have established a stronger idea about writing for a purpose and can take the encoding skills into the text for decoding. I know my class enjoys reading and as much help as I can give I do but every day the vast majority are working independently. The top readers/writers are still in early reading texts but I have shown them how they can rewrite (we call it editing some more) their finished pieces to make them even better. The stakes are low and the rewards are high. I invariably find that the writing builds a stronger bridge for the reader and this can play back and forth.