Developing Written Speech Competences through Education in Elementary School



Our three year-long interventional experiment in elementary school was built around the farsighted idea of Daniil Elkonin that written speech is much more powerful tool of the mind than oral speech. To verify this idea, some of educational activities in grades second to fourth were carried out in the form of a written exchange of opin- ions between teacher and students. The written tasks were based upon the concepts already familiar to the students from previous oral discussions at the math, science and language lessons. The content of new concepts was depict- ed through schemes and all sorts of graphical models characteristic to the Elkonin - Davydov educational system. The essential feature of the written tasks as an integral part of the learning process was translating the statements made in the language of models into the language of verbal definitions and vice versa. The final assessment of the fourth-graders showed that introducing written forms of learning communication to the elementary school signif- icantly enhanced the development of metacognitive skills in schoolchildren. Particularly promoted was the ability to deal with contradictions in verbal and graphic texts or with insufficiently or redundantly defined tasks.

General Information

Keywords: written speech, learning activity, learning communication, elementary school children, metacogni- tive skills.

Journal rubric: Memorable Dates

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Zuckerman G.A., Obukhova O.L. Developing Written Speech Competences through Education in Elementary School. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2014. Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 34–43. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Galina A. Zuckerman, Doctor of Psychology, professor, Leading Research Fellow, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga L. Obukhova, Research Fellow, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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