Why Accessing ‘Talk’ to Write Works for the Struggling Writer

Tapping “Talk” To Write: An Adolescent Confidence Builder; Effective & Proven = Tapping Existing Neuro-linguistic Networks.

Obstacles struggling writers experience include: limited motivation due to failure experiences (Berninger, 1994); a lack of well learned instructional strategies which, when learned, typically result in feelings of ability (Zimmerman, et. al, 1992); cognitive overload due to the overwhelming number of tasks that the writer must perform without losing track of their original plan (Green, 2009); as well as difficulty controlling attention and something called ‘inner voice confusion’ suggested in studies of ‘subvocalizations’ created when individuals read, think, and write (Perrone-Bertolotti, et. al, 2014).

Many students are unaware of the neuro-linguistic skills they possess and can tap to ease the writing process. The Interaction Theory of neuro-linguistic functioning suggests that multiple neuro pathways are activated when words or sentences are said or are heard (Shaywitz, 2020).. These pathways allow a listener to hear a sentence and judge whether that sentence makes ‘sense.’ The listener’s ‘brain’ compares the words heard with the words and sentence structures that have been previously encoded via a pattern of neuro-linguistic networks Therefore, saying sentences aloud allows the struggling writer to judge whether those sentences make sense. In addition, using phrases such as ‘I think’ allows the struggling writer to retrieve, from stored networks, a thesis sentence/idea that more firmly expresses a belief than a fact. In addition, verbal practice of ‘saying the steps’ to performing any one writing task, before completing that step, increases retention of the procedure and capitalizes on ‘procedural memory,’ a type of memory that students who struggle retain despite language and learning difficulties (Martha Burns CSHA, 2017). ‘Saying sentences (and essays) aloud’ is a technique that also reduces the inner voice confusion that occurs when the writer confuses the ‘thinking’ inner voice with the reading and writing inner voices. 

VISIT US on 1/28/2022 at the Learning Disability Association Conference for our presentation:

Tapping “Talk” To Write: An Adolescent Confidence Builder; Effective & Proven

10:30  on 1/28/2022 

A described sequenced, research-based, and piloted program will allow attendees to understand how their students can tap oral language skills such as these to ease the writing process, and build student confidence in their ability to write as well as to produce organized and well developed essays, Pilot study students improved scores an average of 5 points on a scale ranging from one to ten with ‘ten’ being the highest achievable score in a blind assessment. 

Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction

  2. Proof

  3. Problems & Factors

    • Confidence

    • Process & Load

    • Voices

    • Effect

  4. Solutions?

    • Lessen the Load

    • Tapping Strengths

    • Technology

    • Teach Evaluation

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