Literature Review: Working Memory and Genre Instruction


  • Miriam Ramzy University of Calgary


Writing Instruction, Working Memory, Systemic Functional Linguistics


Teaching children to write is a complex and sophisticated task that teachers undertake in all subject areas.  For students to be successful writers, teachers benefit from developing a strong understanding of the writing process and the components necessary in a successful writing program.  This literature review, relevant for teachers of young children, focuses on two aspects of writing. It first looks at current writing practices in North American schools, and the role working memory plays in learning to write. Secondly, it focuses on the effectiveness of teaching genre through the lens of Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) theory.  Although limited research has been conducted on SFL in an English Language Arts context, and all the research included on SLF is from an Australian context, the results show positive effects on students’ writing.  Future research focusing on the impact of SFL in a writing classroom is highly recommended, especially for a North American classroom context. This literature review posits that when children receive explicit, research-driven writing instruction, writing performance improves. 

Author Biography

Miriam Ramzy, University of Calgary

Miriam Ramzy is a PhD student at the University of Calgary.  She is in the Language and Literacy program, researching how to improve the writing abilities of young children.  Miriam taught for six years in grades k-3.  During that time, she completed her Master’s degree at NYU focusing on early literacy practices to help struggling readers and writers.  She is passionate about teaching writing, and is striving to improve the writing abilities of young children.    




How to Cite

Ramzy, M. (2018). Literature Review: Working Memory and Genre Instruction. Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology, 2(1), 1–14. Retrieved from