Mechanical barriers to communication

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Mechanical barriers to communication

Depends on how well students are prepared to work with each other Self-checking strategy Not intended for first draft Yes Editing must be separated from drafting Computer-assisted writing Partially Improves appearance but not necessarily quality of writing; strong motivational appeal In this article, we examine eight methods that teachers commonly use to help students overcome the spelling obstacle to writing see Table 1.

Not all are equally effective. Some methods are quite beneficial; others not. In addition, some have research support, and others do not. The purpose of this evaluation is to provide classroom teachers with enough information to allow them to choose methods most suitable for their students.

Addressing the secretary concerns helps the author, too The lack of secretary skills affects how successfully the author can manage the writing process in two ways.

First, lack of automaticity in the mechanical aspects of writing prevents students from focusing on the author role while writing a first draft.


If students worry about how to spell Mechanical barriers to communication word or how to make a capital G, they may be distracted from and possibly forget their topic ideas, interfering with the rich expression of ideas and clear meaning. Therefore, the first evaluative question to ask about the soundness of any method of assistance is: Does the method enable the student to focus attention on ideas while composing the first draft?

Second, mechanical concerns affect the legibility of the message final draft. Readers will not appreciate the author' s point of view, careful organization of ideas, and use of humor if they cannot make out the words.

Writing fails in its communicative purpose if the receiver cannot decipher the message. Therefore, a second evaluative question is: Does it improve the readability of the message? Each of the eight methods discussed are evaluated in terms of how they assist both the author and the secretary at different stages of the writing process.

Have the student dictate One way that the teacher can help students overcome the mechanical barriers of writing is to have students dictate while the teacher transcribes.

Mechanical barriers to communication

The student, in the author's role, generates ideas and composes sentences as the teacher, in the secretary's role, takes responsibility for the production. Dictation fulfills the first evaluative criterion by helping students focus attention on ideas during the first draft.

When the teacher takes responsibility for the mechanical aspects of the process, the student is free to concentrate on topic ideas. MacArthur and Graham demonstrated in their research that dictation by student to teacher can significantly increase the length and quality of compositions by students with learning disabilities LD.

Initially, some children may view dictation as a request to speak i. However, skill in dictation improves over time, and dictated texts increasingly take on the characteristics of written text.

In regard to the second evaluative criterion, dictation also improves the readability of the message. Because the teacher writes the dictated story or assists the student with spelling and punctuation as the student writes, the product is more readable.

Dictation's major limitation is the student's dependence on the teacher in the writing process. Dictation shelters the student from those parts of the process that will continue to be an obstacle to independent writing.

Flower and Hayes described writing as a complicated juggling act. The writer must keep in mind knowledge of the topic, use the linguistic conventions unique to writing which are much different than those for speakingand consider what will be understood and not understood by the audience, while managing the mechanical aspects of putting it all on paper or computer screen.

Because the teacher takes responsibility for a significant part of the task, the student does not learn the metacognitive "juggling" necessary for mastery of the process. However, dictation is a good place to begin with students who cannot translate their thoughts into written form.

It can be an effective bridge in early writing development-an intermediate step between speaking and writing text independently. De La Paz and Graham pointed out the potential influence the scribe teacher has in modeling how to break the text into sentences and segment text with punctuation.12 - 14 September - Dublin (Ireland) International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury.

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