Source Newsroom: Universite de Montreal
For generations, most Québec students learn to print in the first grade and write cursive in the second. "This was decided at a time when the cognitive aspects of the writing process and the important role of graphic-motor skills in learning how to write were unknown,” says the researcher, who conducted a study on the subject: Which is better, print or cursive? What form of writing instruction is more beneficial for students?
"Whether they learn print or cursive, children are better off when one type of writing is taught," she says. "Teaching both types does not promote the acquisition of automatic motor movements, which play an important role in spelling and text construction."
Learning to write in cursive also has the advantage of encouraging students to respect linguistic constraints from the outset. “Children who learn to print tend to treat letters like pictures and often write them backwards." This approach slows down the integration of what specialists call "stroke grammar,” i.e., the sequencing of gestures to produce optimal letters.
This text was translated from a document originally published in French by Dominique Nancy. Professor Montésinos-Gelet is available for interview from noon to 4 pm Monday September 16 and Thursday September 19. She is not in a position to participate in radio or television broadcasts in English.
- Locate each stroke relative to other strokes.
- Learn and remember appropriate size, slant of global form, and feature detail characteristic of each letter.
- Develop categorization skills.