Writing Helps Children Learn A Second Language

iStock_000014223132XSmallLanguage instruction in classes for students with limited English proficiency is often presented in a liniear fashion: first listening, then speaking, then reading and finally writing. However, according to Blanche Perrotta, doctoral candidate, University of Arizona/Tucson, recent research indicates that second-language learners can make faster progress by learning language in an integrated fashion, just as monolingual children do. Frequent writing experiences integrated into reading and oral language activities can facilitate second-language development.
Perrotta finds that bilingual students do not tend to confuse the two languages when writing; in fact, writing facilitates their transition to English. These students appear to be motivated particularly by authentic writing experiences such as making signs, labels and lists and by writing letters and keeping journals.

“Writing Development and Second Language Acquisition in Young Children, Childhood Education, Volume 70, Number 4, Summer 1994, pp. 237-241.

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