Dr. Kaye Lowe has been a senior literacy academic at universities in Australia and the United States for more than twenty years. She has published seven books and numerous articles on reading and writing. She has been the recipient of funding for projects of national significance that involved diverse literacy communities. She is currently Director of Read4success and works as a literacy consultant around Australia.
The Role of Writing in Literacy Development
This paper shares current research about writing as well as many practical ideas to assist those who work aspire to support the literacy learning of all students. It draws on the work of BoysRead and Teachers as Writers; two literacy initiatives where writing is central to students’ literacy success.
This paper examines the role of writing as a critical aspect of literacy development. It focuses on three distinct aspects of writing. The first establishes the connection between reading and writing and why writing for some learners is the key to their reading success. Writing is often overlooked as a critical skill to support reading development and ongoing progress. It is key for promoting the skills essential for success in the 21st Century. The second explores ways to use writing to support reading, for example using writing to create texts that are context-specific, relevant and meaningful to diverse readers and their audiences; creating texts that are valued and celebrated. The third is an investigation of the role teachers play in supporting the literacy development of their students, specifically as it relates to creating communities of writers. Teachers are the catalyst for change and as such, it is essential that teachers of writing are writers themselves.