Published on

This module was prepared by the following lecturers at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim, Sungai Petani, Kedah. Malaysia

• Shirley Goh Seok Ai
• Corinne Vong Siu Phern
• Hjh. Noor Bebe bt Ali Mohamad
• Kway Chui Kim
Marsilah bt Mohamad Isa

Published in: Education, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 1 : NATURE AND PURPOSE OF WRITING 1.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 1 introduces you to the key concepts and issues related to the nature and purpose of writing. It also provides you with information on the different types of writing as well as the background knowledge (prerequisites) a writer needs to have before embarking on his/her own writing. 1.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 1, you will be able to: define the term writing describe the purpose of writing identify the five main types of writing genre list the prerequisites to writing 1.2 FRAMEWORK Nature and Purpose of Writing Definition of writing Purposes of writing Types of writing Prerequisites to writing 1
  2. 2. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 1.3 What is Writing? Writing is a system of letters (for example ―a, b, c, ….z‖) used in interpersonal communication. Most times, writing is done on flat surfaces such as paper, cloth or stone slabs. Writings communicate to us news and information which are vital at all levels of lives. Such communication comes in various forms such as newspapers, advertisments, bills, notices or letters. Writing is usually learned through systematic instruction, example in schools or a child is taught to write by his/her parent. 1.4 Why do we write? 1.4.1 We write for a variety of reasons, among which are the following: to get things done to inform to persuade to maintain relationships to document occurences, events, etc. to record feelings, experiences, observations, etc. 1.4.2 Britton, a University of London researcher, with Burgess, Martin, McLeod, and Rosen, in their book The Development of Writing Abilities (11-18) have listed down the following purposes in relation to writing: as a form of self-expression in which the writer expresses his/her opinion, views or personal thoughts (examples: reader‘s opinion column in the newspaper, messages or personal blogs in the internet). The style is usually informal and less strucutred. as a transaction in which the writer wishes to disseminate information which will bring about certain behaviour changes or understanding among the readers (examples: health-related brochures, tourist guide book, reports, business letters). The style is formal, structured and bound by writing conventions/formats. 2
  3. 3. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM to enhance one‘s creative and aesthetic appreciation of writing in order to derive and give pleasure and enjoyment (examples: writing poems, short stories, novels, jokes, riddles). The style is less formal and less structured. 1.5 Five main types of writing There are five main types of writing. 1.5.1 Narrative Writing This type of writing comprises of a sequence of events together with characters and setting (examples: a story, autobiography) Example :. 1.5.2 As I was observing myself in the mirror, I suddenly noticed in the reflection the door knob of my room door turning slowly. Descriptive Writing This type of writing comprises of detailed accounts of physical attributes or qualities of a person, an object or a place. These descriptions evoke the reader‘s sense of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste which enable the reader to form a vivid picture of what‘s being described. Example : My late grandfather, a tall, handsome Malay gentleman, was a most dedicated clerk who worked in the British education office in Malaya before the Japanese Occupation ... 1.5.3 Expository Writing This type of writing comprises of facts, information and explanation of concepts, issues or topics related to scientific or general knowledge. Expository pieces of writing are impartial, which means the writer does not include his/her interpretations or opinions (examples: the solar system, cooperative learning) Example : Gua Tempurung is a cave in Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia. It is popular among spelunkers, or caving enthusiasts. More than 3 km long, it is 3
  4. 4. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia. Part of it has been developed as a show cave with electric lighting and walkways and there are a range of tours of different lengths and difficulty. A fine river cave, the river passage runs about 1.6 km through the hill. There are three very large chambers and some spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gua_Tempurung 1.5.4 Persuasive Writing This type of writing comprises of the writer‘s views or statements which intend to convince the reader to agree/accept the writer‘s point of view. Such writings also include facts and information which promote or support the writer‘s stance. We can find examples of such writings in advertisments and political articles. Example : The first reason why people shouldn‘t watch too much television is because the content of many TV programmes is not educational. Nowadays, we can see movies, series, and shows that present scenes of violence, sex, and drugs . 1.5.5 Argumentative Writing This type of writing takes the style of a debate in which the writer first takes a stance and presents supporting facts/points/evidence. At the same time, the discussion also includes objections/criticisms of the opposing stance. Example: The suggestion to allow students to bring handphones to school has sparked off a heated debate between parents and administrators. Teachers oppose this suggestion as they opined that handphones can be used as an examination cheating tool apart from being a major distraction during the teaching-learning process. On the other hand, parents welcome this suggestion as they view that times have changed and bringing handphones to school is a way for them to keep in touch with their children, especially in case of emergencies. Source : http://thestar.com.my/education/ 4
  5. 5. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 1.6 Prerequisites to writing Before a writer begins to write, there are certain prior information or background knowledge he/she would need to have. Among these are : 1.6.1 Subject matter The writer needs to have relevant information about the topic or subject matter he/she wishes to write on. Such prior knowledge can be gathered from reference books, journals, discussions with experts, observations or personal experiences. 1.6.2 Purpose The writer‘s purpose will affect the way he/she writes. For example, does the writer wish to persuade the reader to purchase the latest model of a particular car or does the writer wish to inform the reader about atrial fibrillation (a heart abnormality)? 1.6.3 Interaction and a sense of audience The writer needs to establish his/her audience. The following questions serve as a guideline: Who is the target audience? Are they children, teenagers, young adults, professionals in the same field, women, hobbyists, general readers? What is the knowledge level of the targe audience? Are they beginners, intermediary or advanced level readers? How to attract the audience‘s interest? Should the layout include pictures, charts, diagrams or just printed words? Perhaps have a catchy (interesting) title. 5
  6. 6. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 1.6.4 Language It is important that a writer needs a repertoire of language skills to enable him/her to write effectively. These skills include a range of sentence patterns, words, stylistic variants , knowledge of idiomatic expressions and phrases. Overall, the writer needs a strong understanding of text as a written discourse where the those skills are inter-related to produce a coherent piece of writing. Tutorial Task Source for information related to ―What a writer needs to know‖ (prerequisites to writing). Compile your information into the following categories: • • • • • • Conventions Thinking Skills Organisational Skills Value Systems Mechanics The Writing Process References Chitravelu, N.et.al. (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti Britton, J., Burgess, A., Martin, N., McLeod A., & Rosen, R. (1975). The development of writing abilities, 11-18. London: Macmillan Education. 6
  7. 7. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 2 : DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF WRITING 2.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 2 introduces you to the developmental stages of writing which are writing readiness, early writing and developmental writing. Each stage provides you with explanations, examples and basic principles of teaching. 2.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 2, you will be able to: develop understanding of writing readiness develop understanding of early writing understand the stages of developmental writing 2.2 FRAMEWORK Developmental Stages of Writing Writing readiness Early writing Developmental writing 7
  8. 8. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 2.3 Writing Readiness Writing readiness refers to a stage in a child‘s early life where he displays signs of wanting to put his thoughts or ideas into visual forms. These visual forms may initially look like doodles,squiggles, crooked lines or even drawings of stick figures. All these are representations of a child‘s: knowledge a realisation that he can put his thoughts into words which greatly increases his growing knowledge of the world around him interest beginning to discover the interesting fact that writing is another form of communication visual readiness beginning to recognise shapes and numbers as well as distinguish letters in the alphabet visual memory beginning to recognise one or two syllable words (cat, rabbit) motor and coordination skills - beginning to display a dominat writing hand (eg: being left or righthanded) - motor coordination of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder when writing - displaying eye and hand coordination skills. 8
  9. 9. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Many preschool activities that just seem like fun are actually building fine motor skills and eye/hand coordination. Here are 10 examples of activities: * Working with Puzzles * Buliding with blocks * Pouring water into cups *Stringing beads * Finger painting * Bouncing and catching balls * Cutting with scissors * Drawing * Matching shapes *Threading ―sewing ― cards Source : http://voices.yahoo.com/writing-readiness-getting-preschooler-ready-for5754960.html 2.3.1 Penmanship Penmanship is the technique of writing with the hand using a writing instrument (pencil, pen, crayon, brush). It is crucial that children are taught the skills of penmanship despite the fact, that computer-printed documents have greatly reduced the need for handwitten work. New technology has definitely replaced the need for as much handwritten work, so handwritting has suffered. However, there will always be a need for a certain amount of handwritten work, such as writing essays during examinations , filling in forms or taking notes. Hence, it‘s critical to develop good penship. Kim Alexander, District Education Superintendent Source : http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/dec/08/write-or-wrong-relevancy-ofpenmanship-by-todays/ 9
  10. 10. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Letter formation often is the root of students‘ handwritting problems. They start at the wrong place. For example, when you write an ‗e‘ you should start at the middle instead of at the bottom. You start at the middle then go up, around and down. If you have correct letter formation, your writing is more efficient; you‘re quicker. There‘s a reason you write your letters in a certain order. Ballard, third grade teacher Source : http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/dec/08/write-or-wrong-relevancy-ofpenmanship-by-todays/ Techniques of good handwriting include: space between letters, words, paragraphs alignment proportion, size, height of letters (upper case, lower case letters) direction of pen movements 2.4 Early Writing During this stage of writing, a child begins to develop basic understanding of the mechanics of writing. Effective writing requires a sound understanding of the mechanics of good writing. A useful analogy in thinking about the mechanics of writing is that of driving a car. Important information includes the various components of the car (parts of speech in writing) how these components function together (the rules of grammar) what is needed to keep the car moving along, stopping and starting in the right places, and pausing whenever it is necessary (punctuation) Read more at : http://writingworkshop.edtec.unsw.edu.au/mech.html 10
  11. 11. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 2.4.1 Sentence construction and paragraph writing An integral part of writing is the ability to construct sentences and paragraphs. It is important for a teacher or parent to teach a child to write using systematic methods and various activities. The main principles in teaching children to write are : • provide meaningful context for wriitng create opportunites for chidlren to write, examples birthday card to daddy, thank you card to grandma, writing shopping lists, copying food labels give children insights into writing - create an awareness and develop a deeper understanding of the various forms and functions of writing • develop children‘s curiosity and thinking skills - enourage the desire to put their thoughts into writing for example, a child writes a simple poem expressing his sadness that the local council has cut down his favourite tree in the park - create in them the curiosity to know the consequences of their writing for example the above child‘s poem gets published in the local press resulting in an explanation by the council that the tree was old and termite-infested , therefore it was cut down. Subsequently a new tree was planted to replace the old tree. • read to children - reading aloud and participatory reading of stories provide rich resources for children to develop ideas to write as well as increasing their vocabulary range. Adults (teachers, parents, grandparents) need to set aside time and take the effort to read to children. 11
  12. 12. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Teaching children to write sentences can be difficult because of the abstract concept of the two parts of a sentence – the subject and predicate. Children mistakenly use sentence fragments in their writing because that is how people commonly speak. Modeling proper sentence structure and activities that help students understand necessary parts of a sentence will teach children to write them correctly. Read more : Teaching Children to Write Sentences http://www.ehow.com/info_8299374_teaching-children-writesentences.html Sentence or not a sentence? One of the first things I try to teach my students is to recognise sentences. They learn that sentences express a complete idea. Here are some exercises that will help them recognise sentences…. Have each student make two cards (one will say SENTENCE and the other will say NOT A SENTENCE). The teacher then reads phrases aloud. If it‘s a sentence, the children must raise the correct card. If it‘s not a sentence, they must raise the other card. Read more : Sentences: Activities and Lessons http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/literacy/sentences.html 12
  13. 13. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 2.5 Developmental Writing During this stage of writing, a child progresses into a deeper understanding of the mechanics of writing which includes the following: spelling grammar text organisation and cohesion 2.5.1 Spelling When teaching spelling, the teacher should focus on : teaching the relationship between the most common phonemes (sounds) of English & graphemes (letters) teaching the most common words. developing visual memory for shapes of words. developing relevant dictionary skills. helping pupils devise ways of helping themselves to remember common but some trouble words. When it comes to teaching children to spell, there is no magical method but a practical approach is to integrate spelling in listening, speaking, reading & writing. The Do's and Don'ts of Spelling First of all, please note that very little research is available regarding the teaching and acquisition of spelling skills. However, evidence of good practice is. Many teachers have developed the tried and true strategies to help their students become better spellers. Here is what they say and do: ……. Read more http://specialed.about.com/od/literacy/a/spell.htm 13
  14. 14. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 2.5.2 Grammar It is essential that children are taught grammar rules to enable them to be better writers. Teachers can refer to a range of resources for ideas to teach grammar meaningfully and enjoyable. Teaching children English grammar can be a daunting task for two main reasons. First, there are so many nuances of the langauge for children to learn. Second, learning all these rules can be boring. However, teaching English grammar can be done in an engaging way. Here are some ideas: 1. Expose your students to the proper use of English grammar. Children will internally develop grammar rules on their own through exposure to the language. It‘s your responsibility as the teacher to provide this exposure. This means always modelling proper grammar in your speech and writing. If you don‘t want your students to make errors in subject-verb agreement, don‘t make these errors yourself. Also, get your students reading as much as possible. Good writers do a lot of reading. Read more: How To Teach English Grammar to Children http://www.ehow.com/how_4493979_teach-english-grammarchildren.html 14
  15. 15. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 2.5.3 Dictation as a Writing Exercise Dictation is a time-proven technique in writing practice. It may seem conventional or even outdated in this age of information technology but this technique is beneficial in many ways. Frodesen writes that dictation can be an ―effective way to address grammatical errors in writing that may be the result of erroneous perception of English…..Dictation can help students to diagnose and correct these kinds of errors as well as others.‖ (1991). Our students‘ inability to produce grammatically correct sentences is familiar to every teacher, and since our students hear or see little English outside the classroom,….. giving dictation exercises could be looked upon as one way of redressing this. Read more: The Many Benefits of Dictation Exercises http://whatsnewintheworld.blogspot.com/2008/06/many-benefits-ofdictation-exercises.html 2.5.4 Text structure and organisation The term ―text structure‖ refers to how information is organised in a text or passage. Information is organised according to certain patterns/format. Writers (as well as readers) need to know the various patterns/format to enable them to write accordingly. Here are seven common text structures: cause and effect choronological compare and contrast order of importance problem and solution 15
  16. 16. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM sequence/process writing spatial/descriptive writing Teachers should focus on a variety of activities/exercises to build sentences and form paragraphs of the different text structures. 1. Cause and Effect : The resuls of something are explained. Example : The dodo bird used to roam in large flocks across America. Interestingly, the dod wasn‘t startled by gun shots. Because of this, fronriersmen would kill entire flocks in one sitting. Unable to sustain these attacks, the dodo was hunted to extinction. 2. Chronological : information in the passage is organised in order of time Example : Jack and Jill ran up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Read more at: http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/text-structure/ TUTORIAL 1. Collect a sample of a child‘s handwritten work. Study the handwriting and identify the problems. Discuss appropriate techniques to help overcome those problems. 2. Identify suitable activities to develop sentence construction and paragraph writing skills among primary-level pupils. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti. 16
  17. 17. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 3 (Part I) : APPROACHES TO TEACHING WRITING 3.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 3 introduces you to several techniques of teaching writing. Be aware that there are no ―correct‖ or ―best‖ way of teaching writing. Your choice of technique depends on a combination of factors such as learners‘ cognitive/proficiency levels, classroom environment or learning outcomes. We encourage you to try out the techniques suggested in this topic and of course, adapt if the need arises. 3.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 3, you will be able to: select appropriate teaching techniques design suitable writing activities 3.2 FRAMEWORK Approaches to Teaching Writing Product Approach Process Approach Genre Approach 17
  18. 18. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.3 Product Approach to Teaching Writing This is a traditional, behaviorist approach in which learners imitates or copies the writing models supplied by the teacher. A model for such an approach is given below: Stage 1 Model texts are read, and then features of the genre are highlighted. For example, if studying a formal letter, students' attention may be drawn to the importance of paragraphing and the language used to make formal requests. If studying a story, the focus may be on the techniques used to make the story interesting, and students focus on where and how the writer employs these techniques. Stage 2 This consists of controlled practice of the highlighted features, usually in isolation. So if students are studying a formal letter, they may be asked to practise the language used to make formal requests, practising the 'I would be grateful if you would…' structure. Stage 3 Organisation of ideas. This stage is very important. Those who favour this approach believe that the organisation of ideas is more important than the ideas themselves and as important as the control of language. Stage 4 The end result of the learning process. Students choose from a choice of comparable writing tasks. Individually, they use the skills, structures and vocabulary they have been taught to produce the product; to show what they can do as fluent and competent users of the language. Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/product-process-writing-a-comparison 18
  19. 19. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.4 Process Approach to Teaching Writing This approach looks at writing as a process ―in which students are given time to think about and discuss their ideas on a specific topic, write a draft or framework of what they want to say, discuss this again and then to write a detailed account.” (Kilfoil and der Walt, 1997:252) The four common stages to this approach are: Prewriting: selecting a topic and planning what to say Writing: putting a draft version on paper Revising: making changes to improve the writing Evaluation: assessing the written work Stage 1 (Pre writing) Stage 2 (Writing) Generating ideas by brainstorming and discussion. Students could be discussing qualities needed to do a certain job, or giving reasons as to why people take drugs or gamble. Students write the first draft. This is done in class in pairs (buddy support approach) or in groups The teacher remains in the background during this phase, only providing language support if required, so as not to inhibit students in the production of ideas. Students organise ideas into a mind map, spidergram, or linear form. This stage helps to make the (hierarchical) relationship of ideas more immediately obvious, which helps students with the structure of their texts. Stage 3 (Revising) Drafts are returned and improvements are made based upon peer feedback Drafts are exchanged, so that students become the readers of each other's work. By responding as readers, students develop an awareness of the fact that a writer is producing something to be read by someone else, and thus can improve their own drafts. Stage 4 (Evaluaton) Final version of the work is ready. Students once again exchange and read each other's work and perhaps even write a response or reply. Teacher evaluates students‘ work. Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/product-process-writing-a-comparison 19
  20. 20. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.5 Differences between Product Approach and Process Approach Product Approach Process Approach imitate model text text as a resource for comparison organisation of ideas more important than ideas ideas as starting point one draft more than one draft controlled practice of focus language structures / features more global; focus on purpose, theme, text type individual collaborative emphasis on end product emphasis on creative process Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/product-process-writing-a-comparison 3.6 Genre Approach to Teaching Writing In a genre approach to writing, learners study texts in the genre they are going to be writing. For example if the focus genre is a formal letter, then learners are given samples of formal letters to look at and analyse the key features. When this is done, they begin their own writing. Badger and White (2000:155) have noted that there are strong similarities between the product approach and the genre approach, in which the genre approach is seen as an extension of the former. The difference, however, between the two approaches is the emphasis on social context in genre approach. 20
  21. 21. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Like product approaches, genre approaches regard writing as predominantly linguistic but, unlike product approaches, they emphasize that writing varies with the social context in which it is produced. So, we have a range of kinds of writing—such as sales letters, research articles, letters of apology, recipes, and reports—linked with different situations. Read more: A process genre approach to teaching writing http://newresearch.wikispaces.com/file/view/genre+process+a pproach.pdf 3.7 Strengths and Weaknesses Let us examine the strengths and weakness of each approach. 3.7.1 Strengths Product Approach Process Approach Genre Approach the need for learners to be given linguistic knowledge about texts (grammar, sentence structures, punctuation) emphasis on the skills in writing (brainstorming, drafting, review, editing) writing takes place in a social situation, and is a reflection of a particular purpose imitation is one way in which people learn. learners background knowledge and experiences contribute to the development of writing ability learning can happen consciously through imitation and analysis active participation of learners in the process Source : http://newresearch.wikispaces.com/file/view/genre+process+approach.pdf 21
  22. 22. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.7.2 Weaknesses Product Approach Process Approach Genre Approach process skills of writing, such as planning a text are less emphasized does not provide learners with adequate linguistic knowledge to write successfully does not provide learners with adequate linguistic knowledge to write successfully learners‘ knowledge and experiences are undervalued; passive learners focus on writing as mere process with the same set of steps to follow through, insufficient importance to the kind of texts writer‘s produce and why such texts are produced. learners are largely passive Source : http://newresearch.wikispaces.com/file/view/genre+process+approach.pdf 3.8 Which approach to use? The approach that you decide to use will depend on you, the teacher, and on the students, and the genre of the text. Certain genres lend themselves more favourably to one approach than the other. Formal letters, for example, or postcards, in which the features are very fixed, would be perhaps more suited to a product-driven approach, in which focus on the layout, style, organisation and grammar could greatly help students in dealing with this type of writing task. Other genres, such as discursive essays and narrative, may lend themselves to process-driven approaches, which focus on students' ideas. Discursive activities are suited to brainstorming and discussing ideas in groups, and the collaborative writing and exchanging of texts help the students to direct their writing to their reader, therefore making a more successful text. Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/product-process-writing-a-comparison 22
  23. 23. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM According to Badger and White (2000), adapting the three approaches will give the teacher an electic approach to teaching writing. An effective methodology for writing needs to incorporate the insights of product, process, and genre approaches. One way of doing this is to start with one approach and adapt it. For example, one problem in the process approach is the lack of input. White and Arndt (1991) suggest techniques such as group work, where input is provided by other learners, and conferencing, where input is provided on a one-to-one basis by the teacher. Also, some process writing material makes use of sample texts, usually after the learners have produced a first draft (see for example White 1987). Adapting an approach has led to important developments in the writing classroom. Read more: A process genre approach to teaching writing http://newresearch.wikispaces.com/file/view/genre+process+approac h.pdf 3.9 Other considerations Apart from selecting or adapting from the three approaches, there are other issues to consider. 3.9.1 The importance of feedback Teachers should provide quick respond to learners‘ writings as such feedback will sustain the learners‘ motivation and interest to continue to write. Writing is a complex process and learners could become easily frustrated if feedback is delayed or not provided. Furthermore, if learners are required to rework on their drafts without adequate feedback, they could react negatively to such endeavours. 23
  24. 24. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM It takes a lot of time and effort to write, and so it is only fair that student writing is responded to suitably. Positive comments can help build student confidence and create good feeling for the next writing class. Source : http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/approaches-process-writing 3.9.2 Writing as communication Learners must be made to understand that writing is not merely to test their language skills but it is a form of communicating their thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences. Writing tasks should be designed to provide learners the real-life experiences of communicating with an audience. Activities such as producing a class magazine/bulletin, exchaging emails/letters with friends, blog writings should be made a part of the classroom writing experience. Tutorial Task 1. Discuss with your coursemates the approaches you use to teach writing in your ESL primary classroom. 2. Design a writing project which incorporates the three approaches. References Badger, R. & G. White. 2000. A process genre approach to teaching writing. ELT Journal, 54(2): 153-160. Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti Kilfoil & der Walt (1997) Outcomes-based education in the English Second Language classroom in South Africa. Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1172525569.html 24
  25. 25. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 3 (Part II) : TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHING WRITING SKILLS 3.10 SYNOPSIS Topic 3 introduces you to several techniques of teaching writing. We encourage you to try out these techniques in your own classrooms. 3.11 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 3, you will be able to: select appropriate teaching techniques design suitable writing activities 3.12 FRAMEWORK Techniques in Teaching WritingSkills Techniques using : - pictures - readings - language skills - controlled writing Techniques in teaching: - practical writing - organisation 25
  26. 26. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.13 Four Common Techniques ESL learners should be taught to write for a variety of reasons, which includes recording personal experiences, expressing ideas without the pressure of faceto-face communication and exploring a particular subject matter. Here are five common techniques to teach learners to write: Techniques in using pictures Techniques in using readings Techniques in using all language skills Techniques in using controlled writing 3.14 Techniques in Using Pictures Generating whole class discussion that leads to writing, based on a varieties of pictures such as posters, textbook pictures, magazine pictures, brochures, advertisement, simple pictures drawn on board , duplicated pictures etc Divide the class into two groups and supply each group with different pictures. Set some communicative tasks so that learners are able to convey information to others. Provide a picture to each group of learners so that only one member has the picture. This learner needs to convey what is in the picture with the help of questions posed by other members in the group Learners bring their own pictures – favourite advertisement, family photograph, own drawing etc. Bringing such items help learners develop personal attachment to their pictures and they will find the writing tasks more meaningful, especially when answering questions from their peers. Real communication can be developed Go beyond the picture to enable learners to make inferences, predictions and suppositions about the world beyond the pictures.For example they could be asked to visualise what happened before and after, what caused the situation to occur and what the result will be. 26
  27. 27. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM One picture many techniques fancyhomedesign.com 3.14.1 Description Get the class to provide words to label the picture. Then they write down other words and phrases on strips of paper to describe the room, e,g, next to, on the right, in front of etc., and paste them on the board. Next, teacher takes away the picture and the strips. Learners write descriptions of the picture based on memory and exchange with their friends 3.14.2 Description, comparison and contrast Each group of learners is given a different picture of room layout. Members of each group then discuss and write a description of the room. Then each group takes turn to read their description while other groups( who are given picture of empty room, draw (or paste) furniture in their room. Then this is followed by discussion of the diferent positions of furniture. 3.14.3 Paragraph assembly Learners are given strips of sentences containing a description of the room. In groups, pupils discuss the possible arrangement of the sentences to form a complete and coherent paragraph. 27
  28. 28. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.14.4 Sentence combining Each learner is given a strip of paper containing a sentence which can be combined using sentence connectors. Learners go around finding their ‗other half‘. At higher level, learners can be asked to write a simple sentence and combine it with their partner. Ali’s room is small. Ali’s room is tidy. Ali’s room is small but tidy. Learners can then proceed to paragraph writing by combining the sentences written by group members. 3.14.5 Paragraph completion Prepare a paragraph describing about the picture and paste it on the board but omit the ending. In groups, learners discuss how to end the paragraph. They write their endings on a strip of paper. Then all the groups paste their strips and teacher compares the sentences. 3.14.6 Controlled composition Ask learners to pretend to be Ali. Learners rewrite the paragraph using the past tense: My bedroom was small but tidy. 3.14.7 Guided composition Learners discuss in groups what they would write in a paragraph beginning with: Ali’s bedroom is bright and colourful. or Ali’s bedroom is dull and drab. 28
  29. 29. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.14.8 Role play Teacher prepares role play cards of two persons talking about Ali‘s room. Learners ,in groups will note down important details from the cards. Then based on the information, learners discuss and write a paragraph. 3.14.9 Beyond the room Learners are given a picture of an empty room and pictures of furniture. Learners create their own arrangement of the furniture . They discuss and write a paragraph describing the new room. Each group displays their plan of the room with a brief written description. Each group‘s picture when pieced together will form a complete house plan. 3.15 Techniques in Using Readings 3.15.1 Copying - Copying answers on b/board after a discussion Copy a good piece of writing Copy down one sentence they like best in a story read Copy new words and sentences into their notebook 3.15.2 Examine cohesive links - Learners read passage and underline adjectives/ connectors etc Learners replace the words in the text with synonyms Learners copy a passage but leave some blanks and pass to their friends to be completed Teacher provides a short passage with some blanks 3.15.3 Examine punctuation and grammar - Learners read passage and underline the purposes of punctuation Learners underline specific structures or grammatical item 29
  30. 30. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.15.4 Examine sentence arrangement - Learners are given 3 sentences and they arrange them in order of sense, and provide reasons Provide learners with 2 sentences but there is a gap between the sentences. Learners try to write a sentence that connects the two sentences 3.15.5 Completion - learners are to complete the ending of a paragraph/story learners are given a passage where all the verbs have been deleted. Learners complete the passage with appropriate verbs. 3.16 Techniques in Using All Language Skills Brainstorming Guided discussion Interviews Skits / hot seat Dictation Note taking Story telling 3.17 Techniques in Using Controlled Writing Controlled composition Questions and answers Guided composition Sentence combining Parallel writing 30
  31. 31. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 3.18 Techniques in Teaching Practical Writing Fill in forms Letters Emails Lists Daily notes/ memo/messages Instructions 3.19 Techniques in Teaching Organisation Draw outlines Analysis Model Tutorial Task 1. Select a picture and design a series of writing activities using the ‗one picture many techniques‘ approach. 2. Design an appropriate controlled writing activity for a mixed-ability Year 5 class. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing. (2003). Retrieved December 13, 2012, from http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/922 31
  32. 32. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 4 : SELECTION AND ADAPTATION OF MATERIALS AND ACTIVITIES 4.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 4 provides you with information on selection and adaptation of materials for the ESL learners. 4.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 4, you will be able to: define the term ‗material adaptation‘ explain the need for material adaptation elaborate on the criteria for selection and adaptation 4.2 FRAMEWORK Criteria for Selection and Adaptation Age and Maturity Learning Styles Proficiency Levels Exploitabilty 32
  33. 33. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 4.3 The Role of Materials in the ESL Classroom In many ESL classrooms, textbooks function as the main teaching-learning resource. Using textbooks is an efficient way of implementing the syllabus in terms of time and cost-effectiveness. Much of the teaching-learning process is determined in the textbooks and teachers deliver the content as designed whilst pupils learn what is presented in the textbooks. Towards the late 1970s, a paradgim shift towards student-centered learning resulted in educators exploring the use of other materials in the ESL classrooms. While textbooks remain the primary resource, other forms of materials emerged as supplementary resources. Teachers have access to a wide selection of materials ranging from: authentic printed materials – eg. brochures, newspapers, magazines audio/video recordings – eg. audio books, poetry/songs, movies video clips – eg. the art of origami downloaded from YouTube computer software – eg.SpellBuzz, Word Treasure Chest In other words, learners should be the center of instruction and learning. The curriculum is a statement of the goals of learning, the methods of learning, etc. The role of teachers is to help learners to learn. Teachers have to follow the curriculum and provide, make, or choose materials. They may adapt, supplement, and elaborate on those materials and also monitor the progress and needs of the students and finally evaluate students. Read more : Selecting & Developing Teaching-Learning Materials http://iteslj.org/Articles/Kitao-Materials.html 33
  34. 34. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 4.4 The Need to Adapt Materials Material adaptation is the process of modifying an existing material/resource into one that serves a different purpose or for a different group of learners. Materials are usually adapted for their: format (eg: from a newspaper article to a picture series) language level (eg: from advanced learners to less proficient learners) focus skill (eg: from a reading text to a listening text) Material adaptation can save time and money if changes needed are not extensive. For example, the technical content may require a few changes, and the adaptation may be able to take advantage of creative concepts and formats proved successful elsewhere. There may still be a need, however, to adjust the material or product for a different culture or context, including messages, visuals, and language Read more : http://www.c-changeproject.org/sites/default/files/C-Bulletin10.pdf 4.5 Criteria for Selection and Adaptation of Materials The criteria comprises of four main aspects : learners‘ age and maturity level learning styles proficiency levels exploitability 34
  35. 35. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 4.5.1 Learners’ Age and Maturity Level Age refers to the number of years a person has lived while a person‘s behaviour and cognition are reflected through his maturity level. It is a common belief that a person‘s age is proportional to his maturity level, which is the older you are, the wiser you become. However, this is not always the case. In the classroom for example, a teacher is faced with a group of 10 year olds. The cognition or learning abilities of these pupils range from what is commonly termed as smart, average and weak. Taking this scenario of a mixed-ability class, it is crucial that the teacher designs teaching-learning activities to suit her pupils. This calls for a need to adapt materials suited for each group. I think giving weaker students in the class a written task that is too difficult can do a great deal of damage. They become discouraged. They feel that English is too difficult for them. They lose motivation. They lose confidence. Giving stronger students a task that is too easy is not so damaging I believe but still doesn't really benefit the student a great deal and may do damage to their motivation. Read more: Writing Tasks for Mixed Ability Classes http://www.eltnews.com/columns/young_learners/2009/03/writing _tasks_for_mixed_abilit.html 35
  36. 36. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 4.5.2 Learning Styles It is acknowledged that individuals have different learning styles. Some learn better by reading printed materials while others prefer to listen to audio texts. Generally, people have a mixed range of styles; some may find they have a dominant style while for others the style changes depending on the learning circumstances. The Seven Learning Styles Visual (spatial) Verbal (linguistic) Aural (auditory-musical) Physical (kinesthetic) Logical (mathematical) Social (interpersonal) Solitary (intrapersonal) You prefer using pictures, visuals, images and prints You prefer using words, both in speech and writing You prefer sound and music You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch You prefer using logic, reasoning and systematic approaches You prefer to learn in groups or with other people You prefer to work alone and use self-study Source : http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm Applying multiple learning styles strategies in the classrooms could result in more conducive learning environments. Student learning styles may be an important factor in the success of teaching and may not necessarily reflect those that teachers recommend" says Jack C. Richards, noted Linguistics professional and an author of the INTERCHANGE EFL / ESL series course books. Knowledge of our students may tell us that certain learning styles should preferably be addressed. Read more : Creating Materials for the ESL Classroom http://www.eslbase.com/articles/creating-materials 36
  37. 37. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Adapting materials to suit our pupils‘ learning styles is one way of ensuring learner‘s success in the ESL classrooms. Below are a few ideas: pictures or illustrations are added to a reading text pupils perform a series of actions as instructed in an audio recording reading texts are adapted to appear as cause and effect charts. 4.5.3 Proficiency Levels Proficiency levels among ESL learners vary from high to less proficient or from Level 1 – 5. Here‘s an example: English Language Proficiency Levels Level 1 Preproduction The learner does not understand or speak English with the exception of a few isolated words or expressions. Level 2 Beginning/Production The learner speaks and understands conversational English with hesitancy and difficulty. The learner is at the pre-emergent or emergent level of reading and writing skills. Level 3 Intermediate The learner speaks and understands conversational and academic English with some amount of effort. The learner is post-emergent, developing both reading and writing skills. Level 4 Advanced intermediate The learner speaks and understands conversational English without difficulty but displays some hesitancy in academic English. The leaner is able to read fluently and comprehend texts; needs assistance in writing tasks. Level 5 Advanced The learner speaks and understands converstational and academic English well. The learner is proficient in reading and writing skills, requiring only occasional support. Source : http://ell.dpi.wi.gov/files/ell/pdf/elp-levels.pdf 37
  38. 38. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Materials have to be adapted to suit these range of learners. For example, the teacher simplifies the vocabulary of a reading passage to make it more comprehensible to her less proficient pupils. Writing tasks are also designed to suit the pupils‘ proficiency levels. Below is an example of a task designed for pupils of different proficiency levels. Level 2 Pupils are a given picture series of a road accident. Teacher provides sentence strips and pupils match the strips to the correct pictures. Pupils copy the sentences in their worksheet. Level 3 Pupils are given a picture series of a road accident. Word cues are provided. Pupils select appropriate words for each picure. Using the selected words, pupils construcat sentences describing each picture. Level 4 Pupils are given a picture series of a road accident. In groups, pupils brainstorm for appropriate words or phrases to describe each picture. Pupils write about the accident in the form of a narrative essay Level 5 Pupils are given a composite picture of a road accident. Pupils take on various roles as depicted in the picture and write an eyewitness account of the accident. 4.5.4 Exploitability Exploitability refers to how a selected material can be used to develop the learners‘ language skills. When an ESL teacher selects a material, there are various ways to adapt the material to teach different skills – in other words, the original material is exploited in many ways. Below is an example: The teacher selects the story ―The Ant and The Dove‖ 38
  39. 39. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM The Ant and the Dove An Ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a birdcatcher came and stood under the tree, and laid a trap for the Dove, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the birdcatcher threw down the trap and the noise made the Dove take wing. Source : http://www.aesopfables.com The teacher begins by adapting the story to suit the proficiency level of her pupils. Some parts in the story may have to be simplified, for example: ―An Ant was thirsty. It went to the river bank to drink some water‖ The teacher then exploits the story in a number of ways. Here are some suggestions: (i) Listen and complete the story (ii) Retell the story in your own words (iii) Rewrite the story into a dialogue (iv) Write a poem based on this story . 39
  40. 40. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Tutorial Task 1. Select a short story and adapt it for an average Year 4 class of ESL learners. Suggest suitable writing activities based on the story you have adapted. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti 40
  41. 41. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 5 : ASSESSING WRITING SKILLS 5.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 5 discusses assessment strategies and feedback which includes aspects to consider when implementing these strategies. 5.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 5, you will be able to: design assessment strategies for writing provide effective feedback 5.2 FRAMEWORK Assessing Writing Skills Assessment Strategies Provide Feedback 41
  42. 42. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 5.3 Assessment Strategies Assessment on writing is imperative in order to gather information for the purpose of guiding instruction. It is meant to be specific on the pattern to be observed/addressed. Writing samples should be assessed across a variety of purposes for writing to give a complete picture of a student's writing performance across different text structures and genres. It is invaluable to both students, who can learn from their errors, and teachers, who can check the students' progress and identify specific problems. These simple classroom measures can fulfil various functions of assessment including: identifying strengths and weaknesses, planning instruction, evaluating instructional activities, giving feedback, monitoring performance, and reporting progress. Assessment strategies may depend on the information required by the assessor. Each strategy offers unique methods and instruments. The key is to understand their different writing purposes, how they can be structured and categorised, and finally, what to do with the results. It is not necessary to use all methods possible within a category, but all categories should be included in an assessment plan. 5.3.1 What to consider when designing an assessment: aspects of writing taken into account (example: content, organization, grammar, vocabulary, spelling) type of descriptors to be used (example : numbers, letters, words such as ―excellent‖, ―good‖, ―fair‖) criteria to be established to understand what each descriptor represents. These criteria could be arranged in holistic scales (general descriptions of writing ability) or analytic scales, which separate the aspects of writing into different units. 42
  43. 43. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 5.4 Feedback Feedback, like assessment, compares standards and expectations with actual student performance to evaluate the quality of work. However, the purpose of feedback differs from that of assessment in that the purpose of feedback is to highlight those areas of performance which satisfied standards and expectations, rather than to grade the performance. It is important that teachers clarify standards and expectations before students engage in the writing task. By doing so, students will learn how to assess their own performance in the future. The feedback process provides an opportunity for teachers and students to engage in meaningful dialogue about what differentiates successful performance from unsuccessful as they together review expectations and standards (Fink, 2003) 5.4.1 Effective feedback is: provided as quickly as possible once the written task is carried out; a deliberate teaching tool, which notes the quality of the performance and how it can be improved; individualised and focused on the student‘s performance not on her or him as a person; able to clarify the criteria against which the student‘s performance is being judged and the standards for different levels of performance; strategic - not too little, not too much; shaping student development, step-by-step over time. Students can be challenged without being overwhelmed. an opportunity to point beyond particular assessment tasks to assist performance of later tasks. 43
  44. 44. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Written feedback is an essential aspect of any English language writing course. This is especially true now with the predominance of the process approach to writing that requires some kind of second party feedback, usually the instructor, on student drafts. So dependant is current writing instruction on instructor feedback that Kroll (2001) describes it as one of the two components most central to any writing course with the other being the assignments the students are given. The goal of feedback is to teach skills that help students improve their writing proficiency to the point where they are cognizant of what is expected of them as writers and are able to produce it with minimal errors and maximum clarity…. Read more Providing Feedback on ESL Students‘ Written Assignments http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Williams-Feedback.html Tutorial Task 1. Obtain a sample of a pupil‘s written work and study it. Discuss ways to provide feedback and justify the feedback given. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti Fink (2003). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning Retrieved from http://trc.virginia.edu/Workshops/2004/Fink_Designing_Courses_2004.pdf Raimes, A. Techniques in Teaching Writing.(1983). Cambridge University Press (p139) 44
  45. 45. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 6 (Part I) : PLANNING FOR TEACHING WRITING 6.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 6 introduces you how to interpret the writing skills in the syllabus. It also discusses how to select and prepare activities for teaching different levels of writing skills. 6.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 6, you will be able to: plan lessons to develop writing skills design appropriate writing activities to suit different levels of learners. 6.2 FRAMEWORK Planning for Teaching Writing Interpreting the writing skills in the syllabus Selecting and preparing activities for teaching different levels of writing skills Grading and sequencing the writing lessons according to level of difficulty 45
  46. 46. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.3 Interpreting the Writing Skills in the Syllabus – KBSR English Syllabus The focus is on developing learners‘ writing ability beginning at the word and phrase levels and progressing to the sentence and paragraph levels. For learners who are able and capable, they must be encouraged to write simple compositions comprising several paragraphs. Attention is also paid to penmanship so that even from a young age, learners are taught to write clearly and legibly both in print and cursive writing. In writing simple compositions, learners are taught the various steps involved in writing such as planning, drafting, revising, and editing. In the process, they are also taught to use appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar to get their meaning across clearly. Although much of the writing at the primary level is guided, the amount of control is relaxed for learners who are able and proficient in the language. All learners are encouraged to write for different purposes and for different audiences. Spelling and dictation are also given emphasis. By the end of their primary schooling, learners should be able to write lists, messages, letters, instructions, directions, simple poems and stories, descriptions, simple recounts and simple reports for various purposes. 6.4 Interpreting the Writing Skills in the Syllabus – KSSR English Syllabus The approach adopted in the Standard-based curriculum is underpinned by the following principles: • • Back to basics - It is essential for teachers to begin with basic literacy skills in order to build a strong foundation of language skills. The strategy of phonics is introduced in order to help learners begin to read and a good foundation in penmanship will help pupils acquire good handwriting. Learning is fun, meaningful and purposeful. Lessons, which emphasise meaningful contexts and the integration of language skills, allow learners to learn by doing fun-filled activities. Contextualised as well as purposeful activities will promote the fun element in language learning. 46
  47. 47. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.5 Selecting and Preparing Activities for Teaching Different Levels of Writing Skills Activities in a lesson plan should show connectedness and progress from easy to difficult - from modelled writing to independent writing. This is reflected in the way the curriculum specification is organised. For example with reference to Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran Year 4 KBSR (page 30) : 4.3 Match words to linear and non-linear representations • Level 1 – 4.3.1 Match phrases to pictures • Level 2 – 4.3.2 Match words to signs • Level 3 – 4.3.3 Match words to other words When planning for writing lesson, the flow of the lesson plan should begin with Level 1 before progressing into Level 2 and 3 for this particular matching exercise. This is to ensure learners are able to grasp proper understanding of the lesson and to successfully achieve intended objectives. 6.6 Grading and sequencing the writing lessons according to level of difficulty. Teachers need to sequence their writing lessons in some logical order. Basically, at the earliest levels, a lesson may involve providing multiple and varied context for practising handwriting and/or spelling, teaching and creating occasions for meaningful practice in punctuation, as well as providing occasions for using what language they have for real communication. At later phases the writing lessons could focus on the process involved in producing a written document such as a letter or a story. For samples, refer Nesamalar Chitravelu‘s ―ELT Methodology: Principles and Practice” (pg.180) 47
  48. 48. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Tutorial Task 1. Refer to the KSSR English syllabus and compile a list of writing skills as stated in the syllabus. 2. Collect a range of writing lesson plans from your colleagues. Identify the level of these lessons based on the pupils‘ proficiency levels. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran. Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. 48
  49. 49. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 6 (Part II) : LESSON PLANNING 6.7 SYNOPSIS Topic 6 introduces you to lesson planning. It also provides you with information on the pedagogical principles for a writing lesson using the Product Approach, as well as the stages of a writing lesson using the Process Approach. 6.8 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 6, you will be able to: state the pedagogical principles for a writing lesson using the product approach describe the stages of a writing lesson using the process apporach 6.9 FRAMEWORK Lesson Planning Pedagogical principles for a writing lesson using the Product Approach: 1. Controlled Writing 2. Guided Writing Stages of a writing lesson using the Process Approach: 1. Three broad stages 2. Based on genre 49
  50. 50. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.10 Pedagogical Principals for a Writing Lesson Using the Product Approach: Controlled Writing 6.10.1 Controlled Writing: are tasks that provide practice in writing error- free sentences or paragraphs on a given topic is the first step towards writing composition is useful for learners with relatively little knowledge of English, to gain mastery of sentence patterns is characterised by maximal teacher input and minimal learner input (learners neither contribute ideas nor organise the writing) 6.10.2 Techniques for controlled writing through: Substitution tables This is a completely controlled activity which enables learners to construct structurally and grammatically correct sentences. Parallel writing At the simplest level, learners need only replace selected words (e.g. nouns and adjectives); at a more advanced level,learners study a model, then write on a similar theme using the sentence structures of the model text as a guide. Question and answer technique Learners are given notes or a text to read in order to answer a series of questions. Example 1: What do you do first? (First, I ……) What do you do next? (Next, I ….) etc. 50
  51. 51. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM In this example, learners learn to write a paragraph using sequence connectors. Example 2: Last Friday, my friends and I went to Kellie‘s Castle. I brought a bottle of water and a camera with me. I carried a haversack as well. 1. 2. 3. Where did you go last Friday? What did you bring with you? What did you carry? In this example the cue questions will enable learners to be aware of the chronological organisation and narrative writing style. Filling in blanks The teacher predetermines the writing skill (eg: selecting appropriate details) or language feature (eg: noun, verb, adverb etc.). Learners complete the writing task by filling in the blanks. Dictation This activity provides learners with models of sentence structures and models of text organisation commonly used in writing. It also allows learners to practise spelling and punctuation Teacher needs to provide immediate feedback by displaying the original text, whereby learners correct their own work or do peer correction 51
  52. 52. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.11 Pedagogical Principals for a Writing Lesson Using the Product Approach: Guided Writing 6.11.1 Guided Writing: It acts as a bridge between controlled and free writing there‘s more learner input in guided writing than in controlled writing the context and form of the sentences is not imposed upon by the teacher, but can be generated by the class together as a pre-writing activity (i.e. short notes, list of questions, arguments for/against an issue on the board) 6.11.2 Guided Writing Activities Writing from class generated guidelines – from a discussion, a class may come up with notes and questions which provide a guideline for the organisation of ideas on a 100-word composition entitled ‗My Best Friend‘. Picture composition with skeleton outline - based on a picture series, the teacher asks learners to create a story based on the pictures - the teacher writes key words on the board based on learners‘ responses - learners use the words/phrases they have contributed in order to complete the picture composition Writing from short notes - based on given short notes, learners write a composition. Example: One hot day – walking home - sports practice – strange box - ground – took - opened – found – police – owner – grateful 52
  53. 53. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Dicto-comp (combines dictation and composition) - 6.12 learners reconstruct a text dictated to them encourages learners to use specific sentence patterns and produce specific types of writing – narrative, descriptive, argumentative or expository Stages of a Writing Lesson Using the Process Approach: Three broad stages 6.12.1 Stage 1: Prewriting The teacher/the class collectively selects a topic Learners generate ideas through discussion (whole class initiated by teacher/pair/small group), brainstorming, listing, quickwriting and mind- mapping Learners organise ideas generated to be placed at the beginning, the middle or the end of their writing. 6.12.2 Stage 2: Writing Learners write the first draft, and make changes as they progress into the writing stage Learners need to be reminded of their writing purpose (e.g. to persuade, to invite etc.) and the audience they are targetting (their parents, their friends etc.) so that they can select the most suitable words, style and sentence construction 53
  54. 54. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Feedback is where pupils receive most guidance on how to improve their writing skills, through questions posed by teachers and peers - What is the essay about? Why are you writing about it? Who is your audience? What is your favourite part? Feedback also includes comments raised by teachers or peers, in which the learners discover, clarify and refine what they have written. Learners rewrite/revise their compositions incorporating insights from the feedback session. This rewriting allows the pupils to :  make their meaning clearer through more precise words and apt relationship of ideas, substitute a poor example for a better example resulting in a more interesting piece of writing  add ideas,facts, details or explanations and remove anything unrelated or irrelevant  improve their introduction and conclusion where necessary  reorder the sequence of ideas or the sentences/words in a paragraph The teacher ideally gives individual oral feedback to learners in order for them to edit their revised compositions. Learners proof read the revised version of their writing. The teacher collects the work and edits them, focussing on their content, organisation, grammar and sentence structure. 54
  55. 55. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.12.3 Stage 3: Publication Publishing involves sharing learners‘ writing with an audience. It is pertinent for learners to proof-read their final piece of writing to ensure they are error-free Learners final writing products are best displayed on the bulletin board, or published in the class newsletter. 6.13 What is genre? Anything from a menu to a wedding invitation, from a newspaper article to an estate agent's description of a house Pieces of writing of the same genre share some features, in terms of layout, level of formality, and language These features are more fixed in formal genre, for example letters of complaint and essays, than in more ‗'creative' writing, such as poems or descriptions The more formal genre often feature in examinations, and may also be relevant to learners' present or future 'real-world' needs, such as university study or business. 6.14 Stages of a Writing Lesson Using the Process Approach: Based on genre Generating ideas Focusing ideas Focus on a model text Organising ideas Writing Peer evaluation Reviewing 55
  56. 56. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.14.1 Generating ideas Often the first stage of a process approach to writing Even when producing a piece of writing of a highly conventional genre, such as a letter of complaint, using learners' own ideas can make the writing more memorable and meaningful Before writing a letter of complaint, learners think about a situation when they have complained about faulty goods or bad service (or have felt like complaining). They tell a partner about it. 6.14.2 Focussing ideas Another stage taken from a process approach Involves thinking about which of the many ideas generated are the most important or relevant, and perhaps taking a particular point of view As part of the essay-writing process, learners, in groups , put the ideas generated in the previous stage onto a 'mind map' The teacher then draws a mind-map on the board, using ideas from the different groups. At this stage the teacher can also introduce some useful collocations (word combinations i.e. ―crying shame‖ or ―great success‖) which gives the learners the tools to better express their own ideas Sample of a generating-ideas activity: Teacher gives a theme or situation. Teacher tells learners to individually write their ideas for about 10 minutes, without stopping and without worrying about grammar or punctuation. If they do not know a particular word in English, they can write it in their L1. Learners then compare what they have written. They are encouraged to use a dictionary to locate the English words / phrases which they have written in their L1. 56
  57. 57. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 6.14.3 Focus on a model text The use of model texts is often prominent in product or genre approaches to writing. Model texts will help raise learners' awareness of the conventions of typical texts of different genres in English. Sample activity The teacher gives each group several pieces of writing comprising of a similar genre. Each group is given a genre analysis form in which pupils identify the features and language those writing have in common. This raises their awareness of the features of the genre and gives them some language 'chunks' they can use in their own writing later on. Example Learners identify the function of different paragraphs in a piece of writing. For example, in a job application letter, the functions of the paragraphs might be something like i) ii) iii) iv) 6.14.4 reason for writing how I found out about the job relevant experience, skills and abilities closing paragraph requesting for an interview Organising ideas • Using model texts as earlier examples, learners can then progress to organising their own ideas in a similar way • Based on a given topic / situation, learners come up with a draft framework of their writing. The framework comprises of main points and paragraphing. These framework, done either individually or in groups, can then be pinned up around the room for comments and comparison. 57
  58. 58. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM • 6.14.5 When preparing to write an essay, learners could combine some of the ideas from their peers‘ framework into main and supporting statements. Writing In a pure process approach, the writer goes through several drafts before producing a final version. In practical terms, this is not always possible as the teacher is faced with time constraint and large classes. Nevertheless, a teacher can work out a drafting session based on a rotation basis among groups of learners. The writing itself can be done alone, at home or in class, or collaboratively in pairs or groups. Those with access to a word processor can then use it to facilitate the redrafting process. 6.14.6 Peer evaluation Peer evaluation of writing helps learners to become aware of an audience other than the teacher. If learners are to write a second draft, the teacher will ask other learners to comment on what they liked or did not like about the earlier piece of work, or what they found unclear. Their comments can then be incorporated into the second draft. The teacher can also respond by commenting on the content and the organisation of ideas. At this stage, there is no final grade evaluation yet nor correcting of details such as grammar or spelling. 6.14.7 Reviewing When writing a final draft, learners should be encouraged to check the details of grammar and spelling, which may have taken a back seat to ideas and organisation in the earlier stages. 58
  59. 59. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Instead of correcting learners‘ writing, the teacher uses codes to help learners correct their own writing and learn from their mistakes. Here is an example of a writing correction code Code Use Example WW Wrong word WT Wrong time WF Wrong form WO Wrong order SP Spelling P Punctuation X Extra word M Missing word RW Re-write As our plane flew on the mountains, we saw snow. As our plane flew over the mountain, we see snow. As our plane flew over the mountains, we were seeing snow. As our plane over the mountains flew, we saw snow. As our plane flue over the moutains, we saw snow. As our plane flew over the mountains; we saw snow. As our plane flew over to the mountains we saw snow. As our plane flew over the mountains, __saw snow. Plane flew mountains, snow saw. Source : http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/code.pdf 59
  60. 60. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Writing correction code This is a common tool to optimise learning opportunites from mistakes leaners make in written homework and to encourage the editing stages of process writing. You show the learners where the mistakes are and then they try to correct them as a second stage to the initial writing task. Procedure 1. Set your writing task. Ask learners to double-space or leave a clear margin. 2. Collect the work and correct it using the correction code. Underline the mistakes you want learners to notice and add the codes, either underneath or in the margin. Read more : Writing correction code http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/activities/writing-correctioncode Tutorial Task 1. Select a genre and plan an outline of a writing lesson using the process approach. Share the outline with your peers and get feedback from them. 2. Obtain a sample of a pupil‘s written work. Correct the work using your own set of correction code. Show your corrections to your peers for comments. Reference Chitravelu, N.et.al. (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti 60
  61. 61. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TOPIC 7 : REMEDIAL AND ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPING WRITING SKILLS 7.0 SYNOPSIS Topic 7 deals with designing remedial and enrichment activities for developing writing skills. 7.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Topic 7, you will be able to: design remedial activities for developing writing skills. design enrichment activities for developing writing skills. 7.2 FRAMEWORK Activities for Developing Writing Skills Remedial Activities Enrichment Activities 61
  62. 62. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 7.3 Remedial Activities Remedial activities are meant to help struggling young learners overcome their writing difficulties. The instruction for struggling students needs to begin as soon as difficulties emerge. It is much harder to help learners if problems are detected later. Learners‘ needs are different at various stages in their learning and teachers must develop tasks to accommodate these needs. At the lower proficiency level, frequent, short writing activities can help to build familiarity and develop a useful, productive vocabulary. The variety and length of tasks can be extended for intermediate level learners, developing more complex themes and building a repertoire of strategies for effective writing. Studies have shown that remedial activities when conducted effectively will produce the desired results of improving learners‘ writing skills. Here is an example of such a study: Remedial Writing Programme for Elementary Students The purpose of this study programme is to determine if students from the elementary level of Hin Hua High School, Klang, Malaysia (Chinese Independent School) improved in their ability to write in English after having studied specifically developed curriculum. The 7-hour remedial programme is to be conducted once the academic department releases the final assessment grades. Fifteen students with the lowest score were selected using the criterion method to undergo the remedial programme. the importance of all six major aspects of writing measured in the English Test which comprises mainly punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and style. Read more: http://www.ukessays.com/essays/education/remedial-writingprogramme-for-elementary-students-educationessay.php#ixzz2FKISEuQL 62
  63. 63. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM 7.4 Enrichment Activities Advanced level learners need to develop a greater understanding of genres and the place of writing in particular discourse communities. They also need to develop their strategies and establish their own voice in the second language. Enrichment activities (or extension activities) are meant to inspire the advanced level learners to further develop their creative inspiration. Here‘s a sample of an enrichment activity The Shaped Book This interdisciplinary activity will allow students to write a book and relate its shape to almost any theme or subject being studied. The Teacher Page gives preparation instructions and illustrations, as well as adaptations that can be made for younger students. The Student Page has a detailed list of materials and procedures. Make copies of the Student Page. Distribute them to all students. Go over the directions with the students. Read more at : http://www.teachervision.fen.com/childrens-artactivities/book-arts/5622.html#ixzz2FKKfjrE4 For procedures on how to carry out this activity, go to : http://www.teachervision.fen.com/tv/printables/087628456X_164.pdf 63
  64. 64. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM Tutorial Task 1. Identify a common writing problem among our Malayisan lower primary ESL learners. Design a remedial activity for these learners. 2. Design an enrichment activity for a Year 6 class. References Chitravelu, N.et.at (2005). ELT Methodolology: Principles and Practice. Selangor: Fajar Bakti Bartram, M & Walton, R. (1991). Correction: Mistake Management, A Positive Approach, Language Teaching Publications.(p94). 64
  65. 65. TSL 3107 TEACHING WRITING SKILLS IN THE PRIMARY ESL CLASSROOM TSL 3107 Teaching Writing Skills In The Primary ESL Classroom This module was prepared by the following lecturers at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim, Sungai Petani, Kedah. Malaysia Shirley Goh Seok Ai Corinne Vong Siu Phern Hjh. Noor Bebe bt Ali Mohamad Kway Chui Kim Marsilah bt Mohamad Isa We welcome comments from users. Your feedback will help us to improve on this module. Thank you. Send your comments to : sgohai@yahoo.com December 2012 65