An Early Introduction to Writing

It is explicitly clear how writing is linked to listening, reading and talking – the 4 main aspects of language – and Pie Corbett has highlighted this in his idea of ‘Talk for Writing’. This is an effective way to introduce children to writing as children start by orally familiarising themselves with a story and then build the skills to be able to add their own twists to it – change the ending, explore characters further, create their own versions of the same storyline. This manipulation process is good as it develops children’s higher-order thinking and creativity, providing an easy stimulus that will aid children who cannot tap into their own imagination as easily as others can. Corbett explains how this is enjoyable to both girls and boys, important as the latter are usually lacking in language skills as they lack motivation. Talk for Writing is an interesting method to encourage children to write creatively without it seeming so daunting.

Writing is often a subject that children struggle with because it seems so arbitrary, but it is important to see it as just the next stage from reading, listening and talking. Teachers must support children in the early stages of writing by ensuring all children understand that they can do it – it is not just for the avid readers or the children who always seem to have thoughts they can put to paper. Writing cannot exist independently of reading, listening or talking so by linking all 4 elements together in a process like ‘Talk for Writing’, children will grow in confidence to write to entertain, to inform, to pursuade and eventually, to encourage others to write a response.


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