Schrijvers in spe? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



In this article, the use of stylistic elements in children’s writings is investigated, and how this use develops in the course of elementary school. We looked at stories written by 200 children from grades 3 to 6 (ages 9 to 12) of elementary school. We focused on two categories of stylistic elements: at the level of the of the story (e.g., the use of narrative framing, narrators’ perspective, reported speech, word repetition, and moral) and at the level of to enliven the story (e.g., the use of detailed wordings, intensifiers, and ‘surprising phrases’). We related these to the children’s scores on vocabulary, reading and writing cohesion tasks. The results showed that as the stories became longer and exhibited more lexical variance, there was a significant growth from grade 3 to grade 6 in the number of children used. No differences between girls and boys were found, but Dutch L1 outperformed Dutch L2 children in almost all these stylistic elements. However, with respect to , there were no differences between the grades, and neither differences between the sexes, nor between DL1- and DL2-children. There was an enormous variation between the children for all stylistic elements; the differences within groups (grades, sexes, and L1/L2) were greater than between groups.


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