A student’s writing is viewed as a voicing and also a re-voicing of earlier utterances encountered in different contexts (Bakhtin 1986), i.e. it is seen as an outcome of the encounter between the student (who) and the topic offered (what) in a specific teaching situation (how) (Liberg et al., 2002). The question raised is how identified differences and similarities between different students’ voices within the same teaching situation, and between one and the same student’s writings in different teaching situations could be accounted for, in order to highlight aspects of importance when constructing writing instructions adapted to the teaching purpose and different students’ needs. Data consists of 232 informational texts in Science written in grade 2 and 3 by students (8-9 year old) in two classrooms, student-background information (including the teachers’ assessments of the students’ writing ability), and observations of the writing events. The teaching situations have many features in common: the modelling of the content by reading and discussing texts and illustrations together, the instruction “to write facts” about the topic, and scaffolds in the writing situation such as mind-maps or key words.
The analysis of students’ texts is based on a social semiotic perspective as developed in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL; e.g. Halliday & Matthiessen 2004). Four main types of students’ voices have thereby been identified: an encyclopedic voice, a humanized encyclopedic voice, a humanized encyclopedic voice with perspectives, and a humanized encyclopedic voice with perspectives, and design of the future. These are furthermore divided into subgroups depending on how the thematic structure is developed.
Bakhtin, M.M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3.th ed.). London: Arnold.
Liberg, C., Folkeryd, J. W., af Geijerstam, Å. & Edling, A. (2002). Students’ encounter with different texts in school. In Kerstin Nauclér (Ed.) Papers from the Third Conference on Reading and Writing (pp. 46–61). Working Papers no 50, Lund University. Department of Linguistics.