-- A summary of Steve Graham’s article “The Science of Writing is the science of Reading and Vice Versa”
by Jiali Wang
In this article, Steve Graham examines both theoretical and empirical evidence to support that the science of writing is the science of reading and vice versa. Let’s first look at what do theories tell us about why reading and writing should be integrated:
Knowledge and skills needed for reading and writing overlap to a large extent. Fitzgerald and Shanahan (2000) illustrate the knowledge required in detail:
(1) Knowledge about the functions and purposes of texts. For example, readers should be aware that different components in texts are embedded with different purposes.
(2) Pragmatic knowledge of text features, mainly including language use knowledge.
(3) Procedural knowledge. Although reading and writing are different processes, they all require students to be able to set goals, access information needed, ask questions, make predictions, summarize key information, and so on.
Also, as many teachers may have already noticed, reading and writing have the same purpose to communicate. Thus, due to the overlap of knowledge and skills needed for reading and writing, reading instruction should improve students’ writing and vice versa.
Does evidence tell the same story?
The simple answer is yes. Steve Graham synthesizes discoveries from several meta-analysis:
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