Differences in Children’s Writing Develepment in The US and Turkey

D. Neslihan Bay, Ozlem Simsek Cetin, Douglas K. Hartman

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to examine children’s writing development in preschool classrooms in the US and Turkey. Three preschool teachers working in Turkey and one teacher working in the US were interviewed, and writing samples were collected from students in four classes. İn this study, four categories were identified: (1) teachers’ literacy beliefs, (2) writing activity descriptions, (3) writing materials, and (4) writing samples. Each teacher was interviewed for approximately 25 minutes in a quiet setting at the preschool. Interview questions were originated from studies by Lynch (2011) and Ure and Raban (2001), which were aboutpreschool literacy beliefs. All teachers’ interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Writing samples were collected from the children in the class. The classroom focus was on using writing materials, which were identified  with a materials checklist. The writing activities were examined for one month in terms of the writing skills implemented. The preschool teacher in the US had a more structured approach about early writing development than the one in Turkey, and the children in the US, especially 3-year-old children, showed better writing skills than the children in Turkey. The results showed that there are more writing materials and activities in the US classes than the ones in Turkey’s classes. Such differences may be attributed to differences in beliefs and knowledge about early literacy development, curricula, writing materials, and literacy perspectives, in two countries. The results of this study offer insights for the importance of early literacy development in preschool classrooms.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v5i2.7160

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