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Articles on writing

How do you approach writing in the classroom? Read our writers' ideas and add your own comments.

Class journals

Students often write in their English classes, following a specific genre in order to do so: the informal email; a job application letter, etc. Of course, it is important that they learn this kind of writing (which is usually essential for exam success), but it doesn’t always encourage them to write for the sake of writing, and to get used to writing in a more relaxed and creative way.

Fairy tales; not just for kids

What do you remember about Snow White or The Three Little Pigs? In this lesson, students talk about well-known stories. They revise story telling vocabulary and then plan and write a fairy tale.

My Wikipedia

This is an activity 'about' the internet, but it doesn't start online. In fact it has to start offline: the idea is that students try and predict the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for their town, region or country.

Planning a writing lesson

Writing, unlike speaking, is not an ability we acquire naturally, even in our first language - it has to be taught. Unless L2 learners are explicitly taught how to write in the new language, their writing skills are likely to get left behind as their speaking progresses.

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

Supporting city openness

This is a listening activity aimed at intermediate level adult and young adult students.

Creative writing for language learners (and teachers) - writing article - guest writers

Creative writing for language learners (and teachers)

Creative writing normally refers to the production of texts which have an aesthetic rather than a purely informative, instrumental or pragmatic purpose.

Making writing communicative - writing article

Making writing communicative

Writing, like all other aspects of language, is communicative. Think about what we write in real life. We write e-mails, lists, notes, covering letters, reports, curriculums, assignments, essays perhaps if we study.

Register and degrees of formality - methodology article

Register and degrees of formality

There seems to be a widely held belief that English, in common with the British who speak it, is a very formal language. In my experience, English does not seem any more or less formal than other languages.

Encouraging peer response - writing article

Encouraging peer response

Some time ago, I wrote an article about different ways of responding to your students' written work. This present article builds on those ideas and gives suggestions for how students can respond to each other's writings.

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How to approach discursive writing - writing article

How to approach discursive writing

Since writing is primarily about organising information and communicating meaning, generating ideas is clearly going to be a crucial part of the writing process.

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

Supporting city openness

This is a listening activity aimed at intermediate level adult and young adult students.

Students writing

Improving paragraph writing

This activity can be used with students of English and also trainee teachers. It is a way to make your opinion or discursive essay writing lessons more interesting and learner-centred.

Register and degrees of formality - methodology article

Register and degrees of formality

There seems to be a widely held belief that English, in common with the British who speak it, is a very formal language. In my experience, English does not seem any more or less formal than other languages.

Making writing communicative - writing article

Making writing communicative

Writing, like all other aspects of language, is communicative. Think about what we write in real life. We write e-mails, lists, notes, covering letters, reports, curriculums, assignments, essays perhaps if we study.

Encouraging peer response - writing article

Encouraging peer response

Some time ago, I wrote an article about different ways of responding to your students' written work. This present article builds on those ideas and gives suggestions for how students can respond to each other's writings.

Using mind maps to develop writing - writing article

Using mind maps to develop writing

Mind maps can be used for a multitude of purposes. This article outlines how they can effectively be used to help support and develop students' writing skills.

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An introduction to using visualisation - methodology article

An introduction to using visualisation

Visualisation has been widely used in sports psychology over the last 30 years to enhance all aspects of performance. In this article I will be looking at some of the ways that it can be applied to language learning.

Approaches to process writing - writing article

Approaches to process writing

What makes an effective piece of writing? Good writers plan and revise, rearrange and delete text, re-reading and producing multiple drafts before they produce their finished document. This is what a process writing approach is about.

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

Christmas Games

Here are some games which we associate with parties and Christmas celebrations in UK schools. These games can be adapted for language learners of all ages and levels.

Class journals

Students often write in their English classes, following a specific genre in order to do so: the informal email; a job application letter, etc. Of course, it is important that they learn this kind of writing (which is usually essential for exam success), but it doesn’t always encourage them to write for the sake of writing, and to get used to writing in a more relaxed and creative way.

Creating a class play - literature article

Creating a class play

In this article a teacher reflects on his experiences of creating plays and using them to help motivate students to develop their English.

Creative writing for language learners (and teachers) - writing article - guest writers

Creative writing for language learners (and teachers)

Creative writing normally refers to the production of texts which have an aesthetic rather than a purely informative, instrumental or pragmatic purpose.

Encouraging peer response - writing article

Encouraging peer response

Some time ago, I wrote an article about different ways of responding to your students' written work. This present article builds on those ideas and gives suggestions for how students can respond to each other's writings.

Pages