RELATIONS BETWEEN READING AND WRITING SKILLS IN AN ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY CAPSTONE CLASS
Reading and writing are vitally important skills for academic, social, and career success. However, despite their importance in life success, employers continue to complain about the poor writing, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills of recent college graduates, and surveys routinely find that literacy and critical thinking skills are among the top skills that employers need from new employees (Berr, 2016; Thier, 2023). The need to improve literacy is especially urgent given thatACT English and Reading scores are currently the lowest they have been since 1990 (ACT, 2023).
Muchresearch has viewed the two skills as separate domains of communicating that primarily evolve separately andeven sequentially (Bok, 2006), but theories of reading and writing acquisition have increasinglyviewedwriting and readingas interconnected skills (Nelson, 2008) that develop interactively, not separately (Shanahan, 2006).
Graham (2020) provides a thorough review of theoretical and empirical support for connections between reading and writing and concludes that the traditional view of reading and writing, as separate fields of research, should be replaced by an integrated approach. The conclusion posits that reading improves writing and writing improves reading,so educators and researchers should pay more attention to the reciprocal relationships between reading and writing.
Schoonen (2017) took the integrated perspective a step further by proposing that reading and writing share the same subskills, and these subskills can explain the relationship between the two.The results found that four linguistic measures (verbal, spelling, metacognition, and grammar) explained much of the covariance between reading and writing in early grades. The implication of this research is that improving a subset of subskills, especially linguistic knowledge, will in turn improve both reading and writing simultaneously among elementary and grade school students. However, linguistic measures did not explain the covariance between reading and writing in grades 9 and 10. Other studies have found developmental differences when they investigated the relations between reading and writing, as well as the shared subskills hypothesis (Kang, et. al., 2015).
Studies of college students tend to ignore the factors shown to be important early in life, which is likely driven by the assumption that students have already obtained those skills during their K-12 years, and theyoften focus on factors such as mindsets, delay of gratification, and stress (e.g.Cheng & Catling, 2015).