Home > Strategies and Skill Development > Verbal Strategy Families > Verbal Expression > Literature Note - Verbal Expression

What we are terming verbal expression is, roughly, the ability to develop topics by putting ideas into words. This ability is generally associated with the development of linguistic abilities, for example, complexity and variety of sentences (Loban, 1976), and with general fluency in text production, as long as that fluency is appropriate for the specific text type (Beers & Nagy, 2009). Verbal fluency forms part of a general tradeoff between automatization and strategic processing: fluency in transcription and sentence-phrasing skills frees up cognitive resources for idea-generation and rhetorical problem solving; conversely, difficulties in verbal expression will reduce resources for idea generation, resulting in even less fluency of production than one might otherwise expect (Chenowyth & Hayes, 2001; Hayes & Berninger, 2009; McCutchen, 1988, 1996; McCutchen, Covill, Hoyne, & Mildes, 1994).

Beers, S. F., & Nagy, W. E. (2009). Syntactic complexity as a predictor of adolescent writing quality: Which measures? Which genre? Reading and Writing, 22(2), 185-200.

Chenowyth, N. A., & Hayes, J. R. (2001). Fluency in writing: Generating text in L1 and L2. Written Communication 18(1), 80-98.

Hayes, J. R., & Berninger, V. W. (2009). Relationships between idea generation and transcriptions: How the act of writing shapes what children write. In C. Bazerman, R. Krut, K. Lunsford, S. McLeod, S. Null, P. Rogers, & A. Stansell (Eds.), Traditions of writing research (pp. 166-180). New York, NY: Routledge.

Loban, W. (1976). Language development: Kindergarten through grade twelve (NCTE Committee on Research Report No. 18). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

McCutchen, D. (1988). Functional automaticity in children's writing: A problem of metacognitive control. Written Communication 5(3), 306-324.

McCutchen, D. (1996). A capacity theory of writing: Working memory in composition. Educational Psychology Review, 8(3), 299-325.

McCutchen, D., Covill, A., Hoyne, S. H., & Mildes, K. (1994). Individual differences in writing: Implications of translating fluency. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(2), 256-266.

Home | About CBAL | Acknowledgments | Contact Us

© 2012 Educational Testing Service. The Common Core State Standards © copyright 2010 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.