Evaluating the Dimensionality of First-Grade Written Composition PurposeThis study examined dimensions of written composition by using multiple evaluative approaches such as an adapted 6 + 1 trait scoring, syntactic complexity measures, and productivity measures. It further examined unique relations of oral language and literacy skills to the identified dimensions of written composition.MethodA large sample of 1st-grade students ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Evaluating the Dimensionality of First-Grade Written Composition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Young-Suk Kim
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
    Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee
  • Stephanie Al Otaiba
    Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
  • Jessica S. Folsom
    Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee
  • Luana Greulich
    Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
  • Cynthia Puranik
    University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Young-Suk Kim: ykim@fcrr.org
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Dockrell
    Associate Editor: Julie Dockrell×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Evaluating the Dimensionality of First-Grade Written Composition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 199-211. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0152)
History: Received May 8, 2012 , Revised October 8, 2012 , Accepted May 24, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 199-211. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0152)
History: Received May 8, 2012; Revised October 8, 2012; Accepted May 24, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

PurposeThis study examined dimensions of written composition by using multiple evaluative approaches such as an adapted 6 + 1 trait scoring, syntactic complexity measures, and productivity measures. It further examined unique relations of oral language and literacy skills to the identified dimensions of written composition.

MethodA large sample of 1st-grade students (N = 527) was assessed on their language, reading, spelling, letter writing automaticity, and writing in the spring. Data were analyzed using a latent variable approach, including confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

ResultsThe seven traits in the 6 + 1 trait system were best described as two constructs: substantive quality and spelling and writing conventions. When the other evaluation procedures such as productivity and syntactic complexity indicators were included, four dimensions emerged: substantive quality, productivity, syntactic complexity, and spelling and writing conventions. Language and literacy predictors were differentially related to each dimension in written composition.

ConclusionThese four dimensions may be a useful guideline for evaluating developing beginning writers' compositions.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grant P50 HD052120 from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the funding agency. The authors wish to thank all the participating schools, students, and their parents.
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