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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.

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.

Lateral thinking

I like to use this activity to promote recognition and then practise the past continuous. It utilises a well known lateral thinking puzzle.

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, 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.

Group secretary

To motivate everyone to take part in a group discussion and listen to each other, I sometimes ask them all to be secretaries and take notes on what they discuss and any opinions people in the groups have or decisions they make.

Walking through the Jungle

Walking through the Jungle takes children on a whirlwind tour around the habitats of the world, through the jungle to the ocean, up the mountains to the river and the Arctic.

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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Group secretary

To motivate everyone to take part in a group discussion and listen to each other, I sometimes ask them all to be secretaries and take notes on what they discuss and any opinions people in the groups have or decisions they make.

Lateral thinking

I like to use this activity to promote recognition and then practise the past continuous. It utilises a well known lateral thinking puzzle.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Write on! - Creative writing as language practice

This article looks at creative writing and answers a number of questions about the benefits of incorporating a focus on creative writing in the classroom and how to set up activities successfully.

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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.

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.

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

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.

Group secretary

To motivate everyone to take part in a group discussion and listen to each other, I sometimes ask them all to be secretaries and take notes on what they discuss and any opinions people in the groups have or decisions they make.

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.

Lateral thinking

I like to use this activity to promote recognition and then practise the past continuous. It utilises a well known lateral thinking puzzle.

Learner diaries

When teaching large classes of students year after year it can become very difficult to see each student as an individual with individual needs and abilities.

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