Young-Suk Grace Kim, Ed.D., is a professor and Senior Associate Dean at University of California, Irvine. She received her Ed.D. at Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology with a concentration on Language and Literacy, and a minor concentration on Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education. She holds Master’s degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) as well as in Human Development and Culture. She was a classroom teacher in San Francisco, California. Professor Kim’s primary research areas include language, cognition, and literacy acquisition and instruction across languages and writing systems for English-speaking children, dual language learners including English learners, and children learning to read other languages (e.g., Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Kiswahili). Her research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U. S. Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Kim received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama in 2012; and the Developing Scholar Award and University Teaching Award at the Florida State University. She serves the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal, Scientific Studies of Reading.
We present a theory- and evidence-based multi-component writing intervention, called Self-Regulated Strategy Development Plus (SRSD+). SRSD+ integrates evidence-based writing instruction, SRSD (Graham, Harris, & McKeown, 2013; Harris & Graham, 2017), with explicit and structured instruction on oral language and transcription skills (thus called plus). SRSD instruction includes explicit, interactive learning of strategies for genre-general and genre-specific writing (including discourse knowledge and academic language), strategies for self-regulating strategy use and writing behavior throughout the writing process (e.g., goal setting, self-assessment, self-instructions, and self-reinforcement), and development of engagement and self-efficacy for writing. SRSD+ expands SRSD in novel and important ways by incorporating key component skills of writing, transcription (spelling and handwriting) and oral language skills (e.g., vocabulary and sentence proficiency). We present SRSD+ instruction, and evidence from a small-scale randomized controlled trial with students in Grades 1 and 2.
Purpose: Written composition is a multi-dimensional construct and is evaluated in various dimensions such as overall quality, length of composition (productivity), language use, and writing conventions. In this study, we investigated the relation of reading comprehension to different dimensions of written composition—writing quality, writing productivity, and correctness in writing—after accounting for oral language and transcription skills.
Method: Data from a total of 350 English-speaking second graders (53% boys; mean age = 7.54 years; 53% Whites, 34% African Americans, and 6% Hispanics) were used. The students were assessed on the following: written composition using two expository tasks, which was evaluated in terms of writing quality, writing productivity, and correctness (CBM correct minus incorrect word sequences); reading comprehension by two normed tasks (the Passage Comprehension of Woodcock Johnson-III and the Reading Comprehension of WIAT-III); Discourse oral language by comprehension and retell of the Narrative Comprehension subtest of the Test of Narrative Language, and an experimental informational task; Spelling by an experimental task; and handwriting by sentence copying tasks.
Results: Reading comprehension was related to all three dimensions of written composition, writing quality, productivity, and correctness. However, after controlling for discourse oral language and transcription skills, reading comprehension was related only to writing quality, but not to writing productivity or correctness in writing Furthermore, reading comprehension completely mediated the relation of spelling to reading comprehension, but partially mediated the relation of discourse oral language to writing quality.
Conclusion: The study confirmed the relation of reading comprehension to written composition. Importantly the study shows a nuance that the nature of relation varies depending on the dimension of written composition.