Thursday, April 15, 2010

No surprise: writing can improve reading

The title of this blog post might convey what some deem obvious: writing is a tool that can help students read. But how and why? And what does this mean for education?

While writing and reading skills are closely connected, writing is an often overlooked tool for improving reading skills and content learning, according to Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading, a new report from Carnegie Corporation of New York published by the Alliance for Excellent Education. (from the National Writing Project website)

The summarized findings of this report are no surprise. Rather, they confirm what many of us have thought and tried to do in our classrooms. Still, in this day, when the term "research-based" seems to trump all, this report is an important resource for teachers.

"Ensuring that adolescents become skilled readers and writers is not merely an option for America—it is an absolute necessity," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia. "As Writing to Read demonstrates, instruction in writing not only improves how well students write, but also enhances students' ability to read a text accurately, fluently, and comprehensively." (from the NWP website)

Click here to learn more about the report and download it.