The Indispensable Means to Competence in Writing:
Students must learn ownership and command of sentence structureas achieved by structural immersion.
The Means to Achieve Structural Immersion:
- Students need guided experiencing of how a sentence’s parts interact, especially as sentences begin.
- Students need practice in rearranging sentencesbased on students’ spoken knowledge of Englishwhereby they experience and therefore internalize the roles of the key components of the sentence (the groups of words rather than the single words).
The Benefits of Structural Immersion: Structural immersion assures the ability to write (and read, speak, and listen) with ease, self-assurance, and competence. Because of its empowering, students now understand the reasons for the rules of usage and style and can therefore apply them while they write, revise, and edit … and retain them.
Flaws in Current Strategies to Teach Writing: Students do not acquire ownership and command of sentence structure by means of voluminous writing, motivated writing, nor by correcting faults in their own writing. Neither do they acquire such ownership by learning to identify the parts of speech and of a sentence nor by learning the rules of usage.
A Companion to Structural Immersion:
- Structural immersion must be accompanied by plentiful practice, ideally with guided writing.
- The Hunter Writing System’s sequenced, comprehensive, and innovative treatment of paragraph and essay writing (as found in the supplement to each of the chapters in the Skills Practice Book) supplies such guided writing practice.
Incompetence as the Fruit of Much Current Instruction in Writing:
Wherever this ownership-of-structure-based foundation for writing is not being taught, too many children, youths, and adults find themselves approaching the task of writing with distrust in their own ability and with feelings of reluctance, frustration, and even embarrassment due to their incompetence as writers.
See the Rationale section for illustration and corroboration of some of the points made here.