Is it possible to ensure that elementary students don’t simply recopy their first draft as their final text? Are there ways to get students more involved in every step in the writing process? How can we better support teachers in their professional development in the teaching of writing?
Writing circles emerge as a promising approach to integrated French-language teaching and better academic success in writing for students.
To answer these questions, we led an action-research program in which teachers were invited to take up their pens and experiment an innovative approach to teach and learn writing: writing circles.
For two years, project participants (teachers, researchers, educational consultants, resources teachers and school administrators) took part in writing circles. They met to plan writing exercises, share first drafts and then edit and rewrite them together. As time went on, the teachers developed the posture of a writer and gained writing skills they then carried over to create writing circles in their own classrooms.
Focused on student collaboration and the appreciation of the entire writing process, the writing circles cultivated students’ enjoyment and engagement, encouraged participants to develop their own postures as writers and helped broaden their text editing skills while also mobilizing their spoken language proficiency. In a social and educational context in which verbal and written language skills constitute key aptitudes in the 21st century, writing circles emerge as a promising approach to integrated French-language teaching and better academic success in writing for students.
Main researcher: Ophélie Tremblay, Université du Québec à Montréal
Original title: Une communauté d’apprentissage d’enseignants-auteurs : pour une démarche engagée d’enseignement de l’écriture au 3e cycle du primaire