APPROACHES TO WRITING
Brainstorm the following or, preferably, discuss them with a couple of colleagues:
1. WHY TEACH WRITING?
Write five reasons why you teach writing.
Compare them with the reasons given by your colleagues.
Now have a look at the main reasons we have come up with.
How did these compare to your lists?
What were the differences?
What do you think are the reasons for those differences?
2. WRITING SKILLS
Look at the following list of writing skills.
They are listed in a possible order to take zero beginner students to an intermediate level.
Development of hand - eye coordination using fluency patterns
Basic or kernel sentence construction ( SVO)
Linking basic sentences with and / but
Extending basic sentence construction with vocabulary
Linking content from sentence to sentence
Awareness of layout conventions (e.g. letters)
Use of word combinations and collocations
Developing a theme from paragraph to paragraph
Complex sentence construction (e.g. conditionals)
Development of register awareness
Use of complex sentence constructions with connectives
This shows the order in which each skill could be presented.
Naturally, once the skill has been presented, we would continue to practise the skill during other writing activities.
In other words we might well still be working on some letter formation skills whilst dealing with complex sentence construction.
Decide which of the above skills you need to work on with your intermediate
This exercise works particularly well if you are sharing a class with a colleague.
Did you come up with the same skills for that same class?
3. APPROACHES TO WRITING
List all the activities you use with your students to work on their writing skills.
Try and give three activities for each of the skills listed above.
Share these with your colleagues.
How many new ideas have you come with from this exchange of ideas?
4. A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY
but a highly recommended one.
Byrne, D - Teaching Writing Skills (Longman) 1988
Hedge, T - Writing (OUP) 1988
Raimes, A - Techniques in Teaching Writing (OUP)1985
Reid, J - Teaching ESL Writing (Pearson ESL) 1993
White, R and Arndt, V - Process Writing (Longman) 1991