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6 Techniques for Teaching Writing Skills

6 Techniques for Teaching Writing Skills

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Published by Udet Asim
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Some parts are left unfinished due to lack of examples.
Sorry for any mistakes on spelling and diction.

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Published by: Udet Asim on Oct 23, 2012
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Pictures Readings All language skills Teaching Practical Writing Controlled Writing
Prepared by: Aileen Geoffrey Maziziana Melanie Yohanieca


Controlled Writing


Techniques For Teaching Writing Skills

Teaching Practical Writing

All Language Skills


Why Pictures Can Be as Valuable Resources
• A shared experience in the classroom • A need for common language forms to use in the classroom • A variety of tasks • A focus of interest for students

pictures. Different pictures – frees you from the necessity of obtaining the class a sets of them • Promote a real communicative task. textbook. . Provide a student audience for student writers • Give half-picture and another half to students in pairs. • Students can communicate and convey real information to each other. magazine pictures.General Strategies for Using Any Pictures Whole-class Discussion • Generated by many types of pictures – posters.

predictions. .Real communicative tasks with students provide the pictures themselves • Teacher is relieved of the task of finding pictures • Students have personal meaning for answering questions and writing about it in the classroom Don’t limit classroom work with what pupils can see in the pictures only • Students can make – inferences. suppositions about the world beyond the picture – so let them IMAGINE what happen before or after of the moment in the picture shown.

Tables.One Picture – Many Different Techniques Maps TECHNIQUES IN USING PICTURES One Picture – A Sequence of Tasks Diagrams. Graphs & Charts Picture Sets .

One Picture – Many Different Techniques * This picture is based on a sketch of an American bedroom (you can. vary the sketch or change the room) . of course.

• Both students look at the two sketches & its descriptions. etc. Comparison & Contrast • Divide class into pairs of students & give a picture to Student 1 of each pair.Examples of Different Techniques • Draw the diagram (unlabeled) on the board. • Do class discussion to discuss how to label the diagram. S1 tries to draw a labelled sketch of the room & furniture. • While Student 1 is writing about the picture. S2 gives S1 the description. on the left. • Students write down words that could be used to label the items in the room drawn. Description Description.g. Together. • In small groups. E. . They make lists of similarities & differences between the two rooms. students discuss other words & phrases they need in order to describe the room. who writes a description of it. • Students exchange papers & draw diagram of the room their partner has described. they write a composition of these similarities & differences. • Teacher erases the diagram & students write description based on their memory.: next to. Students 2 tries to draw a sketch of the room described. Student 2 writes a description of a room that he knows well.

•Hand out one index card to each pair or small group of students. with the information on the cards separated so that each card contains a sentence that combines with another to make a new sentence. •The task for the whole class is to put the sentences on the cards in order so that they form a paragraph. . they students can discuss how to organise those sentences to make a paragraph. which together form a paragraph about the picture. •Each student finds a partner whose sentence will combine with the one he has. Sentence Combining •Index cards can be used. •Partners consider the options of how to combine the two ideas to make one sentence.Paragraph Assembly •Prepare index cards with one sentence on each. •With the new sentences.

” . • Students discuss how to end the paragraph. Controlled Composition • Students pretend to be an old lady (Maria) aged 60 years-old & is writing to a grandchild to describe her room in her old family house in Catskill..Paragraph Completion • Prepare a paragraph about the picture & write it on the board but omit the ending. Then they compare their versions with each other’s. • Students rewrite the paragraph using the past tense: “My bedroom was small..

imagining the colours.Guided Composition • Ask students to discus in small groups what they would write in a paragraph beginning with: • Maria’s room in her home in Catskill is very colourful. Role-play • In pairs/groups.. including details that develop the idea in the first sentence. . students imagine that the diagram shows a room at a summer sports camp. • They read their own aloud to each other & discuss which one works the best. Or. • Maria’s room in her home in Catskill is very drab..” • The students discuss what details should be included and write a paragraph. • They list all the details they would include. wall & floor coverings. ornaments. & why. • In groups. • The brochure started with “Every younger who comes to Waterside Camp has an extremely attractive private room. • They are working for the camp’s advertising agency & have to prepare a brochure to attract young people to the summer sports camp. curtains. & bed cover. students write a paragraph together.

•In groups. •Together. •Students look at the plan of room & discuss about what other room in the house might look like. •The groups compile questions about the items on their cards. give each student in the group a card with a word on it. •Each group write a letter to Maria. these make up a description of a whole house.Questions & Answers Beyond the Picture •In groups of 4. . produce a plan and describe to a different room in the house. Tell them that they have been invited to go to United States to live with the Johnson family in their private house in Catskill & they want to know about the room they will live in. •Collect questions & redistribute to different groups.

One Picture – A Sequence of Tasks .

Teacher writes necessary vocabulary words & idioms on the board.Examples of Tasks • Task 1: In groups. They write down words & phrases that they use. students discuss the answers to such questions: – – – – – How old are the two people getting married? Do their parents want them to get married? What jobs do the two people have? Will the couple have children? When? How many? Have you ever been to a wedding? Was it like this one? The groups report the whole class the results of the discussion. students discuss the answer to the question: “What is happening in the picture?”. • Task 2: In groups. . The groups compare their results.

• Task 4: Students imagine that they are Maria.• Task 3: The class reads a paragraph describing Maria’s traditional reading. six months before the wedding. . They list the details the writer includes to show the reader why he can make that point. telling her what the wedding will be like. The students examine the paragraph & determine which sentence makes the main point. writing a letter to a friend abroad.

. students discuss and write a description of the wedding in the picture above for a local newspaper.• Task 5: In groups. after discussion. • Task 6: The students. write to a group of American students to describe a typical traditional wedding in their country.

Picture Sets .

but with the pictures out of order. In groups. the students discuss which order is correct for the pictures & why. students write a list of sentences about a picture sequence frame by frame. Then. • The whole class works with the picture sequence. they write a story. .Examples of Activities • Individually.

Give a different line diagram to each student in a pair. . Each one writes instructions on how to draw the diagram.

Students can make comparisons based on the tables given.Give each student in a pair a table. .

. Ask students to draw as much as they can of their family tree.Give students a model of a family tree.

Then. they exchange charts with a partner & use the information on the new chart to write a paragraph.Students fill out the following chart about who does the jobs in their home. . Ask the students to begin with a sentence that makes a generalisation about the details on the chart.

Both partners roleplay the dialogue they have created. One students write questions based on the map. .MAPS In pairs. The other students write the answers. given a map.


Copy React Examine Cohesive Links Speculate TECHNIQUES IN USING READINGS Examine Punctuation & Grammar Complete Examine Sentence Arrangement Summarize .

• Mastering what might be a new alphabet.COPY • Frequently used with elementary-level students. • Practice with the mechanics of: – Punctuation – Spelling – Capitalization – Paragraph indention . moving the hand on the page from left to right & developing fluency of handwriting.

we use to copy something such as an address. . recipe.• Problem with copying : Can it be a meaningful technique for writing? • In real world. quotation. • We can ask students to write out the passage for a partner. etc. • We can ask our students to copy down some information that they will then really use.

COPY: EXAMPLES • Example 1: Based on discussion in groups. . each student copies the answers – assembling variety of ideas in their notebooks. • Example 2: A good piece of writing is copied as a model – can be referred for practicing in dictation or summary writing. • Example 3: Teacher writes new vocabulary words – students copy new words.

• Students need to learn about the devices that make a text cohesive: – Personal pronouns – Adjectives – Demonstrative pronouns – Connecting words .EXAMINE COHESIVE LINKS • Discover the devices the writer has used to connect one sentence to another to make the text cohesive.

nevertheless. • Examples of connecting words: – Add an idea: Also. finally – Show result: Consequently. then. after that. next. So) – Show Contrast – but. Furthermore – Show sequence: First. however. As a result. In addition.• Problem with connecting words: Students have no familiarity with the connecting words that are so necessary in a piece of writing. on the other hand) . Therefore.

.EXAMINE COHESIVE LINKS : EXAMPLES • 1)Students read a passage. • 2) Ask your students to find a reading passage in their textbook & copy it out but leave blanks for any connecting words Papers with blanks are passed on to other students who fill in the connecting words. circle all pronouns & possessive adjectives. Draw a line to connect the circled words.

EXAMINE PUNCTUATION & GRAMMAR • Discover the rules of punctuation & grammar that the writer employs. • Helpful for students to examine where & how writers use commas. colons. • Can gain benefit form reading a text & identifying & describing the grammatical rules used. . & exclamation marks & to derive rules. semicolons.

• 2) Ask students to examine a piece of writing for any grammatical feature that they are having difficulty with. .EXAMINE PUNCTUATION & GRAMMAR: EXAMPLES • 1) Give students a passage with all the punctuation marks omitted.

. • Need to practice in making choices within a text between sentences that convey the same meaning as individual sentences. but are arranged differently.EXAMINE SENTENCE ARRANGEMENT • Need to examine a text carefully to find out if the sentences hang together.

explaining the reason for the choice. followed by two sentences – both with the same meaning – that could follow it.EXAMINE SENTENCE ARRANGEMENT: EXAMPLES • Give students a sentence. The students discuss the alternatives & make a choice. .

• Give students two sentences with a gap between them & a choice of sentences to fill in the gap.

• Provide valuable practice in searching for meaning & communicating that meaning. • Express the ideas in their own words. • Ability of the language learner to understand concepts, process them, & restate them in his own words.

• 1) In groups, give each group different reading passage – each group writes a summary of their passage for another group. The students within group, discuss their summaries & choose the best one to give to another group. • 2) Students read a short newspaper article, & asked to express the main idea since they had little space in the paper for only a few sentences.

• Discern the original writer’s purpose, audience, & personal style & pay attention to those in the completed version. • Put themselves in the position of the writer & ten tone, style, & organisation.

and so.COMPLETE : EXAMPLES • 1) Give article with first @ last sentence missing or both. • 2) Give a passage to read which stops at words like however. . or and then: students discuss what might come next. Students write sentences which might be appropriate to complete the paragraph.

• Giving tasks to encourage students to speculate about the text itself. organisation. • Speculative questions open up opportunities for both discussion & writing. about its content.SPECULATE • Involves thinking beyond the given text. & the writer’s choices of words & syntax. context. .

They write a letter as response to the character(s). Teacher gives them a choice of three sentences that might begin the second paragraph. logic. • 2) Students read only the first paragraph of a reading passage.SPECULATE : EXAMPLES • 1) Students read an article. . organisation. Students discuss which sentence would fit the content. & grammar of the passage & what the paragraph might contain. They make list of the characters’ reactions.

REACT • Bring up the subject matter. connect stories with personal experiences. • Get students interested in controversial issues. & explore the worlds of interest. . • We can ask students to read their opinions based on what they have read.

make a poster for the school warning about fire. and write on the first three objects they would save and state the reasons. Students discuss a fire they have seen. . etc.REACT : EXAMPLES • 1) Students read an article about fire. • 2) React to a piece of writing by actually doing something – reads instructions of how to produce diagram. make a list of things that could start a fire.


Brainstorming Guided Discussion Story-telling Note-taking TECHNIQUES IN USING ALL LANGUAGE SKILLS Interviews Dictation Skits .

• Teacher does not have to monitor grammar @ pronunciation. • After orally brainstorming.BRAINSTORMING • Lets students to work together. except when the speaker cannot be understood. students can write down their ideas. .

Compare ideas & develop them into a list.g. E. The students write down their ideas as quickly as they can.: Journal on students’ activities during leisure times. e.BRAINSTORMING : EXAMPLES • 1) Brainstorm session addressing a specific question.: “Why did the Razki decide to become a teacher?”. . • 2) Use brainstorming technique to help find a topic or direction.g.

• Students’ ideas within the established guidelines are.GUIDED DISCUSSION • Provide guidelines for groups or whole-class discussion. entirely their own. • Teacher provides guidelines – advantage of letting him to help the students beforehand with the vocabulary & sentence forms they might need in their discussion. . however.

g. – – – – – Greetings Request to play Acceptance with Questions about An invitation to football pleasure skills begin the game • Make review on the forms of greetings.GUIDED DISCUSSION: EXAMPLES • 1) Give specific directions that will guide the groups in preparation for writing. E. • 2) Classroom group work – controlled writing exercise. invitations & questions. . requests. of guidelines: Discuss & write down conversation between Razki & Teo.

INTERVIEWS • For students & teacher to get to know each other. • Convey genuine information when students write the record of an interview. .

INTERVIEWS : EXAMPLES • 1) In pairs. • 2) Students write their own questions. Later. students conduct an interview with each other. . they arrange their sentences in a paragraph. Write a report based on their findings. They write their answers in complete sentences.

.SKITS • Students are assigned with roles. • Writing comes as outside reports or summary of what was said & done.

then carry out a simple skit. The groups. Each role needs to write out their outcomes based on their characters. • S2: Car driver – Write a letter to insurance company claiming for money for the damage • S3: Cyclist . – E.g.SKITS : EXAMPLES • 1) In groups. write a dialog between a brother and a sister who plan to celebrate their mother’s birthday.Write a letter to insurance company claiming for money for the damage .: An accident happened between a car & bicycle: • S1: Policeman – write report on the account of the accident. • 2) Students engaged in a skit developed from an event reported in the local paper.

DICTATION • Teacher reads a passage through once. . broke into short. • Give practice in listening & paying full attention. reads slowly. meaningful segments – STUDENTS WRITE IT DOWN – teacher reads it through once more. • Teacher reinforces the vocabulary & grammar.

. Teacher does not give punctuation or capitals. The students write based on what they have listened to and compare their results. • 3) Teacher dictates a poem that he wants the students to learn. • 2) The teacher asks a student to read out a corrected piece of his own writing for dictation.DICTATION: EXAMPLES • 1) Teacher pretends to be telephoning & giving directions to get from one place to another.

NOTE-TAKING • Impossible to write down every word we hear. radio. • Teaching aids that can be used : Tape recorder. . • We write only the information needed.

. They take notes of what they observe.NOTE-TAKING : EXAMPLES • 1) Read aloud a passage relates to school subject or event. • 2) Students go out on the street or watch an event together. Students take notes. compare their answers. They write an account of what they saw from their notes. In groups. Read their accounts aloud.

STORY-TELLING • Young learners like stories. • When we hear or read a good story. . we can’t wait to know what will happen next • The natural curiosity to find out what happens in a story can be a good use in a language classroom.

All the students write down what they can remember of the story they have made together.STORY-TELLING : EXAMPLES • 1) Read aloud a story (dictation can be used). • 2) Play a game which a student begins to tell a story and another continue the story. The students continue the storywriting. .


Forms Instructions Letters TECHNIQUES IN USING PRACTICAL WRITING Daily Notes Lists .

• Opportunity to transfer information from one format to another. • Varying the form – allows for practice in forming & re-forming concepts in the new language. .FORMS • Useful to be able to fill out a form in another language.

– In small groups. students discuss & draw up a questionnaire that aims at discovering attitudes other students might have towards controversial issues.FORMS : EXAMPLES • 1) Forms & Interviews – In pairs. . they interview each other & then transfer the information they receive onto a form. students extract the necessary information to fill out a form. • 2) Forms & readings • 3) Survey forms – Based on a reading passage.

• A chance to deal with a variety of forms & functions that are an essential part of language mastery. • Purposes of writing letters: – – – – – – – – – – – To To To To To To To To To To To invite explain apologize commiserate congratulate complain inquire order apply acknowledge thank .LETTERS • Letters are one of the most widespread forms of written communication.

. – Show sample of advertisement for a job.LETTERS : EXAMPLES • 1) Letters & forms – Present a situation to the class – looking for a job through an agency.

– Write a letter of application for the job. .

– One student writes his/her own letter of application as the other fills out a registration form. give each pair an advertisement for a job. .– In pairs.

• 2) Informal letters • 3) Business letters – Students are to invite another student to a party. – Once students know the form of a business. • 4) Pen pals . they can be given communicative writing task that lead them to practice this useful form. – Students are encouraged to make real requests & ask real questions. – Let students to correspond with a class in another country. – Students write informal notes to each other.

• Examples of lists: – Shopping lists – Lists of invited people – Lists of things to do tomorrow .LISTS • People write lists to help them remember what to do.

. • 2) Ask students what they have to buy in the next day for a camping.LISTS : EXAMPLES • 1) Students brainstorm & write down what they would take for hiking in the mountains.

• Increase their fluency. • Students write record of the events of the day @ ideas about those events.DAILY NOTES • Many people keep daily notebooks @ journals. .

Begins with an emphasis on writing for communication of ideas. • 2) Ask students to write a summary of what happened in the class in their notebooks. Ask students to choose one of their personal writing to develop into a composition. • 3) In 10 minutes. . Encourage them to read aloud. let students write on any topic. Check periodically to see that the students are doing it.DAILY NOTES : EXAMPLES • 1) Ask students to keep special notebook & write in English.

INSTRUCTIONS • We write instructions to: – Tell friends how to find our house – How to water our plants – Feed our goldfish – A recipe for a friend – How to avoid being homesick .

The other person writes the steps/procedures then write the instructions in full sentences. • 2) Students write instructions for each other as how to get form the school to their home.INSTRUCTIONS : EXAMPLES • 1) Interview each other to find out what the other person knows how to do. .


CONTROLLED WRITING • Provide pupils practice in writing error-free sentences @ paragraphs • Can be almost controlled @ completely controlled writing tasks • Maximal T(teacher)-input & minimal S(students)-input .

ADVANTAGES OF CONTROLLED WRITING • First step towards writing composition • Encouraging writing among beginners/pupils with relatively little knowledge of English & vocabulary • Help pupils to gain mastery of sentence patterns .

dull  creates boredom • How to overcome: – Use relevant & interesting subject matter – Appropriate teaching aids: • • • • Pictures Brochures Audio Video recordings .DISADVANTAGE OF CONTROLLED WRITING • Outdated.

Substitution tables Dictation TECHNIQUES IN USING CONTROLLED WRITING Parallel Writing Sentence Combining Questions & Answers .

Using substitution tables Ahmad Razki Teo Hock Bing is a teacher watchman clerk in a car He goes to work by bus by bicycle on foot .

• At more advance level.Parallel Writing • At the simplest level. pupils need only replace selected word (e. students study a model and then write on a similar theme using the sentence structure of the model text as a guide. .g nouns and adjectives) • At the advance level. making one change may necessitate other changes to make the text coherent.

Question & Answer Technique • This writing activity can range from very controlled to almost free writing. • Pupils are given notes or a text to read. and then they are asked to write amswers to a series of questions. .

• This can be tweaked by picking certain types of sentences to be combined or having them combine a certain number of sentences.Sentence Combining • Sentence combining gets the students involved in just what the name implies. • Thus even in something seemingly straightforward there are still possibilities for diversity. sentence combining. • This is often a way of converting the simpler even incomplete forms of speaking into the more complex forms of writing .

• Allows pupils to practice spelling and pronunciation as well.Dictation • A useful techniques to provide models of sentence structures and text organization that are commonly used in writing. • A suitable activity for pupils at various levels so song as the text for dictation is carefully selected. .

Length 2. The text. if possible. . Types of text 4.• Factors to consider when selecting texts for dictation: 1. should have a thematic relationship to something already read or discussed. Level of difficulty 3.


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