Why We Struggle with Writing….and.. What to do About It

Why do we and our students struggle with writing?


Supposedly,  writing involves these processes->->->

It’s not that easy though.

Read this paragraph to yourself:

I love fried chicken. It crunches when I eat it. Each bite reveals a burst of slightly salty flavor. I could eat fried chicken every day.

Did you hear a voice? 

This is called ‘inner Speech,’ aka inner voice. In 2014, Perrone-Bertolotti, et. al, found that the  parts of the brain that are activated for listening are also activated during reading, writing, and thinking: all mental processes performed when we write an essay. In other words, we experience inner speech when we participate in any one of these activities.

What happens when ……………………………
our thinking inner voice overlaps our writing inner voice which then overlaps our reading inner voice when we intermittently read what we’ve written? 

Skilled Writers:

Think the words at the same time they write them.

  Think ->->->  write.

They hear the ‘inner voice’ and the words they hear are immediately transcribed, aka written down.

Overloaded, Struggling, &  New Writers:

Have inner voice confusion: The thinking inner voice overlaps the writing inner voice and the reading inner voice.

–This is what you may see:

 I love so crispy.. crunches…I eat.   Each burst eat fried every  day.

After working on an essay a while, many of us mix up the words we ‘hear’ when we think with the words we hear when we read our written words.

That’s when most of us stop writing, put our writing away, and come back to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’

When we return, we read our words and hear these as they would be heard by other readers.

So, what can we do to help our struggling writers (and sometimes ourselves? 🙂

 We teach them to talk out their ideas and then write them down. What was ‘talking’ is, by the time students finish the Talk to Write program, a controlled inner voice that translates immediately into written sentences and a whole essay.  This is where students independently learn how to create that controlled speech to text effect. They are not just talking aloud to an adult who transcribes. These students are independent, fluent, and coherent writers of text. Learn to make your students independent writers too by attending our two day hands on workshop!

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