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Kroll's 4 Stages of Writing Development

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Daniel Aboudy

on 17 March 2015

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Transcript of Kroll's 4 Stages of Writing Development

Kroll's 4 Stages of Writing Development
In 1981, Barry M. Kroll theorised 4 stages of children's writing development to understand the relationship between oral and written language change. He believed that by understanding all of this, we, the adults, are in a better position to understand and promote students' writing growth.
Stage 3: Differentiation (up to age 9)
In this stage, the child will:
Understand the difference between speaking and writing
Recognise different writing styles, e.g. letter/essay
Make mistakes
Write guides/frameworks to structure work
Write to reflect thoughts/feelings
Stage 2: Consolidation (up to age 6)
In this stage, the child will:
Write in the same way they speak
Use short declarative sentences
Use conjunctions:
Use incomplete sentences
Stage 4: Integration (up to age 12+)
In this stage, the child will:
Develop a personal style
Comprehend that they can change their style according to audience/purpose
Stage 1: Preparation
Kroll believed that this stage would help the child learn those skills that will enable them to engage in the first stages of independent writing. He believed that there's a need for the child to develop the ability to compose.

"Having a child dictate whilst a teacher writes out the child's sentences is important for preparation as it provides practice in composing original texts and it translates the connection between spoken and written language into concrete form"
"Consolidation of a child's oral competence with their resources for writing generally accomplished by teacher's providing activities in which writing forms and functions are made similar to those of speaking."
"Children should engage in 'personal writing', 'sense exploration' or 'expressive writing' - which remains close to child's experience and addresses an intimate audience.

Consolidation can also involve such oral language activities as oral monologue, writing in a way which the communicator assumes discourse control."
In this stage, the child will:
Master the basic motor skills needed to write
Learn the basic principles of the spelling system
"The child must learn that written texts are free of conversational language features and are explicit in meaning.

Compositions of inexperienced writers feature 'stylistic' oral language features, e.g. stock phrases or an all-purpose usage of 'and'.

Inexperienced writers tend to write as if they are conversing with a reader who shares their context - as if it were speech, rather than an autonomous text production.

This leads them to represent meaning in non-sufficiently explicit ways, often using ambiguous references, failing to define terms and omit transitional devices."
"Although attention to oral language resources is vital during their early writing phases, we must curb children's reliance on it during later phases as it might limit their abilities to develop more specialised writing skills.

This is known as a 'consolidation --> differentiation shift' which requires children to use the increasingly explicit and autonomous discourse of literate texts, but this does not mean that they should abandon oral language resources because their product will be far removed from their experience and competence.

During this shift, children can continue to consolidate oral and writing resources even if they begin to differentiate."
"Preparation, Consolidation and Differentiation come together systematically to produce Integration of complex relationships between writing and speaking. Mature writers both consolidate and differentiate.

Aspects of oral language continue to influence children's writing, expressive qualities most typical of speech ('voice', 'tone' and 'expressiveness') distinguish characters of advanced writers' texts."
Strength of the model:

Defines sequential relationships between speaking and writing, pedagogically useful to teachers.

Limitation of the model:

Makes writing development appear more linear and uni-dimensional.
Oversimplifies difficulties that students can encounter in phase shifting, particularly in the important 'consolidation --> differentiation shift'.
Writing Stage Guessing Game
Here are some images of children's writing... If you can guess the age, you can guess the stage!

12 years old
Integration stage

6 years old
Consolidation stage

9 years old
Differentiation stage

12 years old
Integration stage
Full transcript