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Writing: the Future

Module titleWriting: the Future
Module codeEFPM318
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Anthony Wilson (Lecturer)

Dr Ruth Newman (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Learning to write is about learning to be powerful. Students who can write confidently can make things happen. They can campaign for things that matter to them; present themselves and their personality in writing for job or university applications; express their deepest, most personal feelings; and write stories and poems that make others laugh or weep. Yet students’ achievement in writing persistently lags behind achievement in reading. This module addresses all aspects of learning to write and teaching writing and draws on an interdisciplinary theorisation of writing, framed by research in cognitive psychology, linguistics, creativity theory and socio-cultural theory. This module is aimed principally at participants with a BA/BEd/PGCE in Primary Education, a PGCE in Secondary English, or a PGCE in any secondary subject with high literacy demands. You will also normally need to be currently in a teaching post, or have access to an appropriate classroom setting for the school-based elements of the module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aim of this module is to enable you to develop a stronger theoretical understanding of writing and the teaching of writing which will have a direct impact on your own pedagogical practices and a direct impact on your students’ outcomes in writing.

Specifically, the module aims to:

  • develop your understanding of theoretical models of the writing process;

  • support your ability to make connections between theoretical models and your own classroom practice;

  • enable you to articulate and enact an effective pedagogy for writing;

  • nurture your own writing development and sense of ‘teacher as writer’;

  • develop your subject knowledge of grammar and your pedagogical knowledge of teaching grammar; and

  • support your ability to manage effective classroom talk about writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate systematic understanding of theoretical models of writing;
  • 2. demonstrate understanding of students’ learning needs in writing and interpret these learning needs in order to plan, teach, assess and evaluate lessons and schemes of work which involve writing;
  • 3. demonstrate critical awareness of conceptualisations of creative writing and the role of teacher as writer;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. critically evaluate the relevance of writing research to classroom practice;
  • 5. synthesise relevant writing research literature in support of an argument;
  • 6. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 7. present data and findings in a form appropriate for educational contexts;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. manage your own learning and show the independence required for professional development;
  • 9. learn effectively and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 10. demonstrate effective communication by expressing ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes; and
  • 11. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Introduction:  the place of writing in the language curriculum; an overview of research in writing; learning to write; developing as a writer; articulating a pedagogy for writing.

The Writing Process:  cognitive models of the writing process; process theories of writing; students’ composing processes; the writing process in the curriculum; re-thinking  planning, drafting and revising as classroom processes.

Creative Writing:  theories of creativity; defining creativity writing; teachers’ thinking about creative writing; professional writers’ perspectives on writing;  teachers as writers; the creative writing workshop; developing students’ critical responses to writing; assessing creative writing.

The Grammar-Writing Relationship:  the historical grammar debate; prescriptive and descriptive grammar; grammar as choice; functionally-oriented grammar; metalinguistic understanding;  teaching grammar to support writing development.

Writing Conversations: the importance of talk in the teaching of writing; talk to support the writing process: generation, formulation, revision; managing effective classroom talk about writing; supporting metalinguistic conversations.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities 268 Seminars of 3 hours each (4 Study Days); + webinar/ online input 2 eqvt.
Guided Independent Study50Independent Study using online ‘Cybergrammar’ website to develop grammatical subject knowledge and undertake self-testing.
Guided Independent Study 40Database searching and reading research articles on writing and the writing process
Guided independent study9Preparation of a research proposal for the research assignment.
Guided independent study40Data collection and analysis for research assignment
Guided independent study50Preparation of a portfolio of creative writing and an accompanying critical commentary.
Guided independent study85Completion of written assignment for summative assessment. Task includes further reading in relation to focus of the project, synthesis of material and drafting/redrafting the final piece of work.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research proposal for research report500 words6, 7, 11Written feedback
Critical analysis of literature500 words1, 2, 5, 10Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of creative writing and a critical response402000 (1,000 critical response; 1000 words 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10Written feedback
Written assignment: research report604,000 words1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11Written feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of creative writing and a critical responsePortfolio of creative writing and a critical response (2000 words)3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 106 weeks
Written assignment: research reportWritten assignment: research report (4,000 words)1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 116 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Banaji, S., Burn, A., Buckingham, D (2010) The Rhetorics of Creativity: A literature review. 2nd ed. Creativity, Culture and Education.

Beard, R., Riley, J., Myhill, D., & Nystrand, M. (2010). The SAGE handbook of writing development. Sage Publications.

Bearne, E. (2003). Making progress in writing. Routledge. 

Chen, H., Myhill, D., & Lewis, H. (Eds.). (2020). Developing writers across the primary and secondary years: Growing into writing. Routledge.

Cremin, T., & Myhill, D. (2013). Writing voices: Creating communities of writers. Routledge.

Cremin, T. and Oliver, L. (2017). Teachers as writers: a systematic review. Research Papers in Education, 32(3), 269–295.

Cremin, T. and Locke, T. (2016) Writer Identity and the Teaching and Learning of Writing. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 

Cremin, T., Myhill, D., Eyres, I., Nash, T., Wilson, A., & Oliver, L. (2020). Teachers as writers: Learning together with others. Literacy, 54(2), 49-59.

Hillocks, G (2006) Research in Writing, Secondary School 1984-2003 L1 Educational Studies in Languages and Literature, 6 (2) 27-51

Lefstein, A. (2009). Rhetorical grammar and the grammar of schooling: Teaching powerful verbs in the English national literacy strategy. Linguistics and Education, 20(4), 378-400.

Love, K & Sandiford, C. (2016) Teachers’ and students’ meta-reflections on writing choices: An Australian case study. International Journal of Educational Research, 80, 204-216

Myhill, D.A & Wilson, A.C. (2013) Playing it safe: Teachers’ views of creativity in poetry writing. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 10, 101– 111

Myhill, D.A. Jones, S and Watson, A. (2013) Grammar Matters: How Teachers’ Grammatical Subject Knowledge Impacts on the Teaching of Writing. Teaching and Teacher Education, 36, 77-91

Myhill, D. Newman, R. and Watson, A. (2020) Going Meta: Dialogic Talk in the Writing Classroom. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. 43 (1) 5-16.

Myhill, D., Watson, A., Newman, R., & Dowdall, C. (2022). Understanding Literacy and Disadvantage. SAGE.

Myhill, D. (2021). Grammar re-imagined: foregrounding understanding of language choice in writing. English in Education, 55(3), 265-278.

Myhill, D., Watson, A. & Newman, R. (2020). Thinking differently about grammar and metalinguistic understanding in writing. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 13(2), e870.

Myhill, D., Cremin, T., & Oliver, L. (2021). Writing as a craft: Re-considering teacher subject content knowledge for teaching writing. Research Papers in Education, 1-23.

Sandiford, C. and Macken-Horarik, M. (2020) Changing stories: Linguistically-informed assessment of development in narrative writing. Assessing Writing

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module Dropbox for sharing resources and materials.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

writing; literacy; language; grammar; creativity

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date