The Reading-Writing ConnectionWhy we need to encourage our ESL students to read more in order to be better writers TESO 1128 Teaching Writing (online mode) / Instructor: Sara Yuen
„Good readers make good writers‟ Reading helps Ss develop their schemata/background knowledge (McKay, 1994) Reading exposes Ss to models of writing across the genres. Ss can explicitly analyse reading texts for form, syntax, vocabulary, register, etc.“the ability to compose in any language cannot develop without knowledge of the forms, patterns and purposes of written language” (Ferris &Hedgcock, 2005, p. 34).
So, in the writing classroom… Provide time for learners to read, analyse, and discuss different texts Explicitly teach grammar and vocabulary; these elements “must be included for L2 writers to communicate meaningfully and appropriately” (Hinkel, 2004, p.124)Example (from Harmer, 2004) of an Intermediate level writing lesson plan:Objective: Ss will be able to write informal letters How would you structure the lesson activities to incorporate reading and text analysis as part of the pre-writing tasks?
Harmer’s Lesson Progression: Ss read a text (a letter) and answer Qs. Discuss features of an informal, friendly letter (e.g where the sender‟s address is and how date is written) Ss examine range of phrases and decide if each one is informal, formal or neutral Ss try writing an informal letters in response to a wedding invitation Ss look at a new letter with gaps in it, and complete the text Ss check answers and discuss this letter (more formal) with the previous ones Homework: write a letter in response to an advertisement. T collects, makes suggestions for re- drafting and rewriting. Ss produce a final version.
ReferencesFerris, D. and Hedgcock, J. (2005). Teaching ESL composition: Purpose, process and practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY, USA: Routledge.Harmer, J. (2004). How to teach writing. England: Pearson Education Limited.Hinkel, E. (2006). Current perspectives on teaching the four skills. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 109-131.McKay, S. (1994). Developing ESL writing materials. System, (22)2, 195-203.