Talk: Intervene to improve written composition in secondary school: designing a psycholinguistic intervention program
In this talk, I will present the key points of my current doctoral project, which has a double interest, both psycholinguistic and educational. The main objective is to design, put into practice and assess the effects of a psycholinguistic intervention program aimed to improve secondary school students’ abilities to plan and write texts. Reading to understand and writing to compose texts with communicative intentions are skills that all educational systems aspire to. However, written composition has received much less attention than decoding and reading comprehension in Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Psychology fields. In Argentina, concerns about students’ performance are growing and continuous. For example, the results of “Aprender 2017” national evaluation program showed that about 40% of the students, who attended the final year of secondary school throughout the country, did not reach a satisfactory level in reading comprehension tests. Although written composition was not assessed, it is possible to note that the problems often affect written production, a more ‘expensive’ and demanding activity in terms of the cognitive processes involved. Writing a text is a complex multidimensional activity which involves multiple cognitive and linguistic skills. According to cognitive models of writing, written composition is considered to be the result of general factors (such as working memory, language, knowledge and metacognition) and involves both low-level skills (lexical and motor processes involved in spelling) and high-level processes (planning, transposition and revision). Considering this framework, I will discuss the fundamentals involved in the methodological design of my project.