Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Nikki Chamblee

Second Advisor

Rebecca Louick


Writing is the highest developmental skill in the acquisition of literacy skills and a skill that is not easy to teach in the classroom. If students are unable to verbally express an idea, they are even less likely to be able to express it in writing. The pattern of students lacking ability in writing is one that has been tracked through the National Assessment of Education Progress in 2011 with 72% of fourth graders performing below the level of proficient (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). This study was designed to look at the daily use of an oral language routine in the classroom that contained a focus on naming, describing, and listening to a story and answering simple and complex questions and practicing the retelling of the story and its direct impact on students’ writing ability. The researcher tracked 42 English-speaking third-grade students in two different elementary schools in a large urban district in Texas. In this quasi-experimental study, the researcher administered the Test of Written Language-4th edition (TOWL-4) to the students, followed by the training and implementation of an oral language routine for the treatment classroom. At the end of a 3-month period, the researcher again administered the TOWL-4 to all students participating in the study and analyzed the results of the pre- and posttests using descriptive statistics and paired samples t tests to check for measured growth within the control group and the treatment group. The results support that the use of structured oral language in the classroom on a daily basis yielded higher results for writing ability, with the biggest student gains in spelling, writing logical sentences, and story composition. The implications for this study include increasing teachers’ awareness of the need to engage students in structured oral language practice through organized and planned lessons and how this exposure can expand students’ vocabulary and background knowledge to increase their literacy abilities in writing.

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