Research suggests that student development as writers requires a supportive environment in which they receive sustained opportunities to write. However, writing researchers in general know relatively little about the actual writing opportunities embedded in students’ language arts lessons and how students’ production of texts in class is framed. The present study analyzes 178 video-recorded language arts lessons across 46 secondary classrooms in Norway based on the Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observation. Specifically, we assess how often and in what situations students get an opportunity to engage in writing or are explicitly encouraged to write. We found that some writing assignments are short and fragmented, especially when students are merely recopying information from teachers’ materials. However, our analysis also provides detailed insight into how some teachers facilitate sustained, genre-focused, and process-oriented writing opportunities. These are powerful examples of successful writing instruction, and they suggest that when Norwegian language arts teachers prioritize writing, the opportunities to write are both sustained and scaffolded, the purpose of writing is explicit, and genre-specific assessment criteria are often used.
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