Dimensionality of early writing in English and Spanish

  • Publication type: Article
  • EDS:
  • Journal: Journal of Literacy Research
  • Publishing house:
  • Year: 2019
  • DOI: DOI
  • authors: Naymé Salas,
  • elbec members involved: Naymé Salas

Writing development is understood to be a multidimensional task, heavily constrained by spelling in its early stages. However, most available evidence comes from studies with learners of the inconsistent English orthography, so our understanding of the nature of early writing could be highly biased. We explored writing dimensions in each language by assessing a series of text-based features in children’s texts between mid-Grade 1 to mid-Grade 2. Results revealed that two constructs, writing conventions and productivity, emerged in both languages, but the influence of orthographic consistency started to be evident in the later time points. Other constructs of text generation seemed to emerge later and were less stable over time. The article thus highlights the language-general underpinnings of early text-writing development and the impact of orthographic consistency; furthermore, it strengthens the view that some writing components develop before others. We discuss implications for the assessment of early written products.