Verba Volant, Scripta Manent: Writing Habits of Pre-Service Elementary Teachers

Anadolu University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.90.9


Purpose:  Writing is the most challenging language skill that is acquired the last. Previous studies demonstrated that problems had been experienced in the acquisition of writing skills and habit at the all educational levels. Thus, elementary teachers and pre-service elementary teachers have significant responsibility in the acquisition of writing skills and transformation of these skills into a habit. The present study aims to examine what pre-service elementary teachers’ writing habits are like.

Research Methods: This research featured 374 pre-service elementary teachers and was based around an explanatory-sequential mixed-method design. About the qualitative portion of this study, seven students are currently doing their practicums in a fourth-grade setting. The data were collected using a “writing habit scale” and a semi-structured interview form. A combination of descriptive and predictive statistics was used, alongside content analysis to analyze all of the quantitative and qualitative data, respectively.

Findings: The findings revealed that the pre-service elementary teachers frequently applied spelling and punctuation rules and consider themselves decent writers. They also occasionally used writing as a means of communication and employ writing strategies; however, very few write for creative purposes. The qualitative findings, on the other hand, showed that the pre-service elementary teachers faced certain obstacles and difficulties regarding the actual process of writing.

Implications for Research and Practice: The findings obtained in this study suggest that pre-service elementary teachers mostly write within the context of learning and social communication and that they face setbacks when it comes to being able to write in more formal communicative and creative contexts. What can, thus, be concluded is that pre-service elementary teachers ought to receive formal training in writing as well as be encouraged to write.

Keywords: Writing strategies, writing skills, language skills, writing proficiency, writing habit.