Growth in Grammar: A multi-dimensional analysis of student writing between 5 and 16

This project will focus on how school students’ use of grammar develops through the course of their academic careers, from age five to sixteen. We will establish a representative collection of authentic student writing from schools across the country and semi-automatically annotate these texts for grammatical features. This will be used to determine sets of features which are characteristic of writing at different stages of development and at different levels of attainment, how students at different stages and levels adapt their use of grammar to different communicative contexts, and how students’ use of grammar compares to that of mature writers. It is hoped that this will enable us to provide a more thorough understanding of grammatical development in writing and to inform national and international curriculum policies on the teaching of English. It will also generate an updatable corpus of grammatically-annotated, educationally authentic student writing which will be made accessible to both researchers and teachers.