Exploring the use of writing frames to teach and assess writing in English Additional Language learning in schools

  • Marina Burger University Of South Africa


The learning of writing is complex because it requires the development of cognitive and linguistic abilities. Effective teaching and learning of writing demand guided practice. The South African National Curriculum Statement Grades R–12 includes the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for First Additional Language (FAL) teaching and learning. It introduces the use of question-prompt writing frames to learn writing in grade 4. In the second part of the grade 5 year, process writing is introduced as a writing frame that should be used when needed. From grade 7 to grade 12 process writing is implemented as part of the writing lessons. The education department adopted assessment for learning as a teaching and learning approach where feedback provides scaffolded learning. This theoretical paper argues that the writing frames used in the South African curriculum are inadequate to scaffold the learning of writing; furthermore, that the assessment of the writing skills of learners tends to focus on closed skills. The implementation of assessment for learning as an approach to teaching and learning is yet to develop fully to ensure successful scaffolded learning. Additionally, the writing frames introduced limit the teaching of a variety of writing genres and restrict the teaching of writing to western narrative and writing styles. The paper intends to demonstrate that the use of targeted frames appropriate to the writing task and outcome would improve writing learning and assessment.


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