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Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Уровень: для всех | Доступ: платный
Лекция 7:

Speaking and Writing

PART 2 WRITING

PREPARING THE WAY

Because of the range of writing tasks students may wish to complete, some basic questions need answering before the student knows how to tackle a particular piece of writing.

  1. What is the purpose of this piece of writing? (ie to inform, request, apologise, instruct, etc)
  2. Who will the reader be? (a potential employer, a child, the general public, a loved one, etc)
  3. What is the appropriate style and register? (ie very formal and polite, semi-formal and respectful, friendly and informal)
  4. What is the correct layout or format? (ie positioning of addresses, complementary close, paragraphing etc)

As you can see, writing well is a very complicated process and you cannot teach all the skills at once, but need to concentrate on different aspects of writing in different lessons. And remember, every piece of writing needs to have a clear form. Students should be writing ‘a letter’, ‘a leaflet’, ‘a description’, not a collection of sentences.

SELF-CHECK 3:3 4

What is wrong with each of these application letters?

Dear Sir,

I am writting to inquir about the vacansie for a salesperson that was advertised in the Beachtown Expres last Wensday, June 4th.

I am an experensed shop assistant and have been working in the clothing indostry for 5 years……………………………….

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sir,

I am writing about that job that was in the paper last week for a shop guy. I think I would be perfect for the job and know all about it.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sir

I write you for finding out about the vacancy of salesperson have been advertised in newspaper last Wednesday.

I am shop assistant now for 5 years and for most of that time I have been worked in a boutique………….

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are so many things that students need to get right.

TEACHING WRITING SKILLS

Here are three teachers (A, B and C) responding to prompts about writing with ESOL students:

1. Doing writing during class time is:

A: A waste of time - it should be done as homework.

B: Difficult to organise and a bit boring, but necessary.

C: Part of my weekly teaching plan.

Can you remember a fun writing task you did with your students?

A: No, they write individually.

B: Writing isn’t fun like speaking and listening.

C: Yes, several.

3. Do you do almost all the writing activities in your course book?

A: No, I don’t have time.

B: Yes, I try to.

C: Yes, but I often adapt them.

You probably guessed - there are three types of teacher here:

Mr A is not teaching writing. Students need help and support to write well and he is not giving it to them. Things need to change.

Mrs B is trying to teach her students to write but doesn’t know how to make writing interesting. The students are probably not learning a lot about writing. She needs to think about writing as a really important skill, not something that ‘has to be done.’.

Mr C seems to be teaching writing and enjoying it. Keep up the good work, Mr C!

…………………………..

Not teaching writing effectively is a common problem for teachers so as a trainee you should start honing your skills now.

Through exposure to a range of selected texts and by studying techniques and devices used to achieve particular results, language learners begin to understand how meaning is given.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE WRITING ACTIVITIES

Make sure everyone knows how to organise the writing.

Make sure everyone knows how to organise the writing.

If they have to do a leaflet about how to play their favourite sport, then bring in an example that you have found or made, but about a different sport.

If you want them to describe their family, describe your family! Organise your description carefully into paragraphs and make it interesting. Then they can try to do the same.

Higher levels will still need similar support

Make sure they know how much to write. Give word length and this can help with organisation. It also prevents you from getting 14 pages or 5 lines for the same task.

Make sure they have enough vocabulary and grammar to do the task. Check the tenses that they will need. Biographies need the past tense if someone is dead and the present perfect if they are still alive.

If you expect a poster about their home town, then give time to researching the subject. Tasks often fail because the learners don’t know enough to write.

THINGS TO DO DURING WRITING ACTIVITIES

Let students support each other in a pair or group when they are preparing. Encourage them to read each other’s work.

Go round the class helping and supporting the students all the time.

Write little notes and ideas on their draft copies that they can use when they are writing up.

Help with vocabulary.

If they are going to write at home you should still give some class time to get ready to write.

THINGS TO DO AFTER WRITING ACTIVITIES

Mark according to criteria. Make a clear difference between CONTENT (what they wrote about) FORM (the style) and ACCURACY (how they wrote it).

Then you can make clear the difference between an accurate but rather rude letter and a very polite and sensible letter that has a lot of mistakes. Always make the writing something to share and show to others. Make a list of good phrases that students use and go over them in class together. Read little bits from good work. Stick up your posters or put them in a folder. Whatever you do, make the students proud of their writing so that they want to make it look beautiful next time.

Writing in class is a useful exercise as it shows the teacher what the student can produce without the support of textbooks etc, and can be monitored with the most common mistakes dealt with on the board during the lesson. But if the writing task is set up badly and the students have no clear idea of what the end product is supposed to look like then their work will not be what you expect.

SELF-CHECK 3:3 5

Look at these writing tasks. Which ones are useful and which ones are a waste of time?

  1. Read this letter and change some words to make it more polite.
  2. Make a list of will sentences about next weekend.
  3. Write a letter to a pen friend describing your town.
  4. Write a letter to a pen friend describing your town.
  5. Write a letter to a pen friend describing your town.
  6. Design a brochure about a holiday destination you have visited.
  7. Make a set of rules for the classroom about good behaviour.
  8. Make notes on the lecture and then write them up into a short summary.

COMMENT

I am sure you identified 2, 4 and 5 as pretty useless tasks. They do not help students to write better. In fact, the ‘will’ exercise is dangerous as we do not often use the ‘will’ future to talk about plans. The other 5 tasks deal with ‘real’ writing and the concept of style.

Let’s look again at our three letters:

1. Dear Sir,

I am writting to inquir about the vacansie for a salesperson that was advertised in the Beachtown Expres last Wensday, June 4th.

I am an experensed shop assistant and have been working in the clothing indostry for 5 years……………………………….

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Dear Sir,

I am writing about that job that was in the paper last week for a shop guy. I think I would be perfect for the job and know all about it.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Dear Sir

I write you for finding out about the vacancy of salesperson have been advertised in newspaper last Wednesday.

I am shop assistant now for 5 years and for most of that time I have been worked in a boutique………….

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Letters 1 and 3 both use the right register or tone - the writers have a clear idea of how an application letter should start.

Writer 2 has no problems with spelling and grammar but has got the tone completely wrong!

Letter writer 1 can’t spell at all and writer 3 seems to have no control over the tense system.

Judging a piece of writing can be quite difficult for a teacher. The best way to mark a long piece of work is using criteria. Look carefully at the types of errors your students are making. Give credit for what has been got right and highlight points to work on. These can be in any area of writing, for example:

GRAMMAR Don’t forget your -ed endings on verbs in your story

WORD CHOICE Try not to use the word ‘nice’ so much.

ORGANIZATION Look again at where the paragraphs should go

CONTENT How did the boy get to the castle?

MECHANICS I can’t read this sentence.

Another useful way of dealing with errors made which students seem to enjoy is for a sheet to be handed out with the students’ mistakes. Uncorrected (ie 20 sentences taken from their writing) working in pairs, it's amazing how many mistakes students themselves are able to correct. In fact students should be encouraged to read every piece they write and learn to spot their mistakes.

SELF-ASSESSMENT TIP

If a number of your learners do not do well on an extended piece of writing then it may be that you are at fault for not setting up the task properly. You may decide to give them another chance and try explaining the task in a different way and with more support. It is worth taking time out like this from time to time to go over things that have not worked as well as you hoped. It is good for the teacher and the students.

Вадим Бондарь
Вадим Бондарь
Как найти и выбрать тьютора?
Ирина Суханова
Ирина Суханова
здравствуйте! я прохожу курс учитель англ. языка. я отправила тест №1, как долго его будут проверять.
Павел Плахотник
Павел Плахотник
Украина, Днепропетровск
Анатолий Федоров
Анатолий Федоров
Россия, Москва, Московский государственный университет им. М. В. Ломоносова, 1989