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Effective Ways of Teaching Complex Expression in Writing

Would you like to participate in “small-group” discussion on “Effective Ways of Teaching Complex Expression in Writing: A Literature Review of Evidence from the Secondary School Phase?” 

In July 2007 the Department for Children, Schools and Families commissioned a review of the research literature on effective ways of teaching complex expression in writing at secondary school. This review, which is readily accessible in our LINCS Resource Collection, includes slightly over 100 pages of fascinating findings that are worth exploring in our determination to accelerate the pace at which our adult learners develop effective writing strategies to support them through the increasing demands of our educational and workplace environments. NOTE: The structure of this last sentence is an example of the type of complexity that is discussed in this resource! :)

Following are just a few of the findings listed:

  • Evidence from empirical studies and theoretical papers suggest that complex expression is not synonymous with syntactic complexity.
  • Empirical evidence identified by the review indicates the benefits of collaborative writing in supporting general improvement in writing, and especially the talk that accompanies collaborative writing.
  • Empirical evidence indicates that some teachers’ limited confidence with grammatical terms and applied linguistics may be a barrier to teaching complex expression effectively.

“This is an excellent resource for those who wish to understand the research underpinning why and how to teach complex written expression (specifically grammatical complexity and associated punctuation, which sets this resource apart) …Although the focus is on secondary students, …a broad range of writing abilities is represented, which should prove useful to educators in adult education settings.”

In fact, many of the recommendations apply to both native and non-native speakers.

INVITATION: If you would like to participate in a discussion that addresses several topics, each covered on a weekly basis, please respond to the poll that is being posted today: “Effective Ways of Teaching Complex Expression in Writing.” If ten or more members here show an interest, we will propose the creation of a micro group dedicated to this resource.

Other discussions will continue as usual. I look forward to hearing more from each of you regarding other topics that you would like to cover. I am posting daily polls this week to gather your input in our lifelong learning community! Please take a few minutes to respond to poll questions and to add comments in that polling environment!

Leecy Wise, Moderator
Reading and Writing Community of Practice (CoP)


Susan Finn Miller's picture

Hello colleagues, If you would like to be part of a group that reads and discusses the research review on teaching writing, Effective Ways of Teaching Complex Expression in Writing, please respond to the poll posted in the Reading and Writing community. This will make for a great discussion!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP