Rx for Discovery Writing – Standard


Successful completion of this course will enable the participant to better understand student needs in written expression based on the sub-types of written language disorders and understand how to strengthen grammar, writing mechanics, semantics, syntax and composition skills while also learning how to utilize the group model for Rx for Discovery Writing to inspire reluctant and struggling writers to enjoy the writing process and the ability to communicate their own ideas in written form.

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Acquire an understanding of the characteristics of students who struggle with written language disorders
  • Articulate how the components of written language are related: handwriting, spelling, and composition of thought processes
  • Design a writing intervention plan and implement techniques that meet the specific needs of a group of struggling writers for grades 4-12
  • Communicate and implement the theories of mediated learning in a group setting

Course Description

This is a lecture and laboratory course designed to train teachers to provide written language intervention in a group setting. Rx for Discovery Writing is specifically intended for students in grades 4-12 whose basic written expression skills are below expected standards as determined by a local educational agency.

RX for Discovery Writing will build and strengthen grammar and writing mechanics, semantics, syntax, and composition writing skills with an emphasis on the writing process.

This intervention can happen within three 40-minute, weekly small group sessions or two 60-minute, weekly small group sessions. Students who need to master basic grammar and writing skills will most benefit from this programme. Though handwriting and spelling skills are utilized and applied, these skills are not explicitly taught in this intervention.

Students will be challenged to apply their growing understanding of grammar to the creation of sentences, paragraphs, and compositions. Students will be implementing grammar, spelling and usage rules when editing their own written work as well as the written work of others.

Language and higher-level thinking skills will be developed and supported in this interactive, small-group intervention that covers research-based writing content while mediation, Socratic questioning, and the strengthening of cognitive functions will serve as the core methodology.

In this dynamic intervention, students’ written expression skills will be honed while their thinking and language skills will be strengthened, all within an atmosphere where writing skills are explicitly taught so anxiety and reluctance to write are reduced and thinking is maximized.


A: Research
Neuropsychology of Written Language Disorder; the power of mediation; cognitive functioning abilities related to written expression

B. Philosophy
Hands-on, brain-based, research-based grammar and writing activities with emphasis on Socratic questioning, theories of group dynamics, and cognitive functions

C. Intervention
Balanced, mediated application of written language activities and techniques addressing 1) grammar skills, 2) sentence construction and combination skills, 3) and composition and editing strategies

D. Assessment
Identify specific difficulties with written expression; gather pre/post data using Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement and informal observations


Participants need to have a teaching degree, or relevant related degree, and have experience working with children.

Pre-course Preparation:

  • Read Chapters 1,2, & 5 from Teaching Students With Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, OWL LD, and Dyscalculia
    by Virginia Berninger & Beverly J. Wolf
  • Familiarize yourself with Easy Grammar Plus Revised 2007 (Teacher Edition)
  • Read the following articles .  These will be sent to you once accepted on the course. (no need to print, just read)
    • “How Quality of Writing Instruction Impacts High-risk Fourth Graders’ Writing” by Louisa Moats, Barbara Foorman, and Patrick Taylor
    • “Writing Next: Effective Stratgies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middel and High Schools” by Steve Graham and Dolores Perin
    • “Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading” by S. Graham and D. Perin
    • “Handwriting is Boeing 747 Technology” by Kristin Barbour, NILD Executive Director
    • “Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter” by William R. Klemm


Required Materials:

  • Easy Grammar Plus Revised 2007 (Teacher Edition) by Wanda Phillips
  • Teaching Students With Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, OWL LD, and Dyscalculia
  • by Virginia Berninger & Beverly J. Wolf
  • NILD Grammar Notebook

Optional Materials:

  1. Getting A Grip by Kathleen R. Hopkins
  2. Craft Lessons Second Edition: Teaching Writing K-8 by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi
  3. Nonfiction Craft Lessons: Teaching Information Writing K-8 by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi

NILD's Philosophy:

Believing that all students can learn and that the brain is open to modification at all stages of development, we provide direct and focused educational treatment for cognitive systems that are weak and vulnerable


R 4 000,00 

Deposit: R2 000,00

(due with application form)