Teaching writing in grades 4–6 in urban schools in Chile: a national survey

Gerardo Bañales, Silza Ahumada, Steve Graham, Anibal Puente, Marcela Guajardo, Ignacio Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this mainly descriptive study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions about how they teach writing as well as their beliefs about preparation and efficacy to teach this skill. It also examined if preparation and efficacy beliefs along with teaching experience (years teaching the language arts) predicted teachers’ reported writing practices. The participants were 254 grade four to six language arts teachers in urban schools in Chile. Twenty-five percent of the teachers surveyed reported they taught writing for five or more hours a week. Most teachers, however, reported devoting much less time to the teaching of writing, with 42% of teachers indicating they spent two hours or less a week teaching this skill. Another 33% of teachers reported teaching writing three to four hours a week. Teachers indicated they applied many different evidence-based practices when teaching writing, with a majority of them reporting they used 60% of the identified practices at least once a week. They also reported that they asked students to complete 19 of the 20 identified writing activities at least once a month. Teachers expressed positive beliefs about their preparation to teach writing and their efficacy to do so. Collectively, years teaching the language arts and beliefs about preparation and efficacy significantly and statistically predicted teachers’ perceptions of their writing instruction. Additionally, beliefs about preparation and efficacy consistently made a unique and statistically significant positive contribution to predicting teachers’ reported writing practices, whereas teaching experience made a unique and statistically negative contribution to predicting one writing practice: the reported assignment of narrative writing tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2661-2696
Number of pages36
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Instruction
  • Teacher preparation
  • Teacher-efficacy
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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