TESOL and Applied Language Studies Research Seminar

School of Language , Culture and Communication

Institute of Education , University of London

in collaboration with

The Committee for Linguistics in Education


Linguistic Development in Writing

Professor Debra Myhill

University of Exeter


Wednesday 15 February 2006


Room 691

Institute of Education , University of London

20 Bedford Way , London WC1H 0AL


The presentation will consider the findings of an ESRC project investigating the linguistic features of secondary-aged writers of differing ability. The writers were in year 8 or year 10 and were stratified by gender and writing achievement. The research involved detailed quantitative linguistic analysis at sentence and text level of a sample of 720 pieces of writing, and was paralleled by a qualitative analysis of each text. The writing sample comprised two writing tasks: a personal narrative drawn from personal experience, and a persuasive argument. Finally, the presentation will offer a model of linguistic development in writing at the secondary level.