A study of the influence of sense of audience on the writing processes of eight adolescent boys
This innovative Case-Study/Participant-Observer research was undertaken to explore the relationships between Sense of Audience and the writing processes of adolescents. Further to that, its intention was to develop and explore an approach to research of school writing that would best unite the intentions of researchers with the perspective of the classroom teacher. The Study Specifically, an 'Interventionist' approach was conceived and adopted whereby the researcher served as a genuine classroom teacher for 8 adolescent boys for one of their regular English courses over a period of approximately q years. Through the routine use of personal journals, and a system of dialogue-in-writing, he established himself as the boys' principal audience for their writing. Further, through frequent casual interaction and the development of a major group project, the researcher was able to gain access to a wide range of the boys' written language as well as an intimate understanding of and contact with their school and home lives. Main Conclusion The study yielded several conclusions which may be summarized as follows: Sense of Audience influences a wide spectrum of the writing processes of adolescents, particularly insomuch as it facilitates the interrelationship of those features of the writing system that teachers and researchers artificially separate, viz. surface features, language functions, and content. Principal Implications Many of the efforts teachers direct to single features of their students' writing problems may be more properly directed to the matter of developing or enhancing an Enabling Sense of Audience within their individual students. Teacher-based research appears to reveal considerably more about learning and writing than do decontextualized research procedures.