English Language Methodology I Name: Eduardo Mansilla/ Cecilia Molina.

(Other group: Angela Sepúlveda/ Emilia Cid) Date: 6/06/08 Writing Skill. Every language has four primary skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Listening and reading are receptive skills because we receive language more than we produce it. In contrast, speaking and writing are productive skills because we produce language rather than we receive it. In the case of writing ability, as with the other abilities of English language, many theorists and teachers have researched about how to teach this skill. For example: Jeremy Harmer and H. Douglas Brown. For that reason, the purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two different views of how to teach writing based on the books “Teaching by principles. An interactive approach to language pedagogy” (H. Douglas Brown) and “How to teach writing” (Jeremy Harmer). Jeremy Harmer v/s H. Douglas Brown Similarities Differences 1. - Human beings learn to talk naturally, 1. - J. Harmer states that the writing but we learn to write if someone teaches process is framed in four stages: planning, us. drafting, editing and the final version. However, H. D. Brown signals that the writing process is divided among three stages: prewriting, drafting and revising. 2. - Both authors agree that the teaching of 2. - Harmer claims in his book that the writing focused on the writing process for differences between writing and speaking many years. But teachers also need to are marked, but there are situations where consider the process that leads to the final both skills look and are done in the same written product. way. Nevertheless, Brown establishes that no one holds this view today because the process of writing is different from speaking. Writing needs specialized skills that not all speakers develop naturally. 3. - Harmer and Brown consider that we 3. – Brown considers important the do not have enough time for the writing differences between L1 and L2, but Harmer process in some educational contexts. does not mention this issue in the book. 4. - They signal that students learn to write 4. – Harmer considers important that the by reading the written word. Students writer has to focus on the purpose of their need to read examples before teachers ask writing because it will affect what language them to write. he chooses. But Brown does not mention something about different purposes or different writings. 5. - The teacher is a judge and a guide at 5. – Brown mentions formality as a the same time. convention for each type of writing depending on the situation. On the contrary, Harmer refers to register to signal the conventional language that students use in a particular situation. 6. – Both think that writing is not learned 6. – Harmer focuses on the mechanical

in isolation. Students need to learn in a components of writing such as handwriting, community and group activities in order to spelling, punctuation and the construction learn from each other. of sentences, paragraphs and texts. However, Brown takes into account the rhetorical, formal conventions of writing to explain, propose solutions, debate and argue. 7. – Both mention these categories: real writing or real purpose (they are the tasks which students need for some communicative situations) and display writing or invented purpose (they are tasks that students do not need for future situations. 8. They agree that the writer has to anticipate their audience’s general knowledge and how he will be interpreted. On the one hand, both authors think that writing has to be taught and it is a process. This process not always has enough time but also the teachers can train the students to use their time for writing as much as possible. Furthermore there must be a balance between the process and the final written product. We cannot go from one extreme to the other because both are essential in writing. We go trough the process in order to achieve the product and the process extremely important and necessary to construct a well-written essay, report, story, etc. On the contrary, H. Douglas Brown gives more emphasis to the rhetorical, formal conventions of every form of writing, but J. Harmer points out the mechanics of writing. Moreover, they differ in how much teachers motivate writers because Brown does not give too much importance as Harmer because he signals that teachers have to persuade learners what fun it can be writing, and to be available to overcome students’ difficulties. Besides, Brown refers to how to teach writing as a second language but Harmer focus on how to teach writing as a foreign language and as a second language. In conclusion, according to both authors a well-written work is a process that needs certain stages in which the writer generates ideas, does the first version, reads it to see where it works and where it does not and the final version. Moreover, as students develop their ideas, the teacher has to guide and evaluate them in order to be sure that they have learned the rhetorical conventions and components of a written piece. Finally, both authors have a similar view of writing.

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