Arlenne M.

Fernández
DEVELOPING
WRITING
SKILLS
Arlenne M. Fernández
INDEX
Approaches to
teaching writing...
Process writing...
Writing genres...
Stages of writing...
Teaching framework
Practice!
Arlenne M. Fernández
"Writing is like prostitution...First
you do it for love, and then for a
few close friends, and then for
money.µ
(Molière, playwright)
Arlenne M. Fernández
APPROACHES TO TEACHING
WRITING
Arlenne M. Fernández
Why is writing such a
difficult skill to achieve?
Skilled writing requires mastery if the fine motors
skill to form the written shapes and orthographic
knowledge of how written symbols are combined to
represent words through spelling conventions.
Curriculum material is broad and too grammatical.
Writing process is time-consuming.
Teacher´s correction can be overwhelming if the
class is too large.
Students do not know how to do it by themselves.
Arlenne M. Fernández
The Controlled - To - Free
Approach
Audiolingual method (50s & 60s),
It is sequential
Students are first given sentence exercises; then paragraphs
to copy or manipulate grammatically (e.g by changing
questions to statements, present to past, or plural to singular)
They might also change words to clauses or combine
sentences.
With these controlled compositions, it is relatively easy for
students write and yet avoid errors, which makes error
correction easy.
Students are allowed to try some free composition after they
have reached an intermediate level of proficiency.
As such, this approach stress on grammar, syntax, and
mechanics. It emphasizes accuracy rather than fluency or
originality.
Arlenne M. Fernández
This approach stresses writing quantity rather than
quality.
Teachers who use this approach assign vast amounts
of free writing on given topics with only minimal
correction.
The emphasis in this approach is on content and
fluency rather than on accuracy and form.
Once ideas are down on the page, grammatical
accuracy and organization follow.
Students write freely on any topic without worrying
about grammar and spelling. Teachers do not correct
these pieces of free writing. They simply read them and
may comment on the ideas the writer expressed.
The Free - Writing
Approach
Arlenne M. Fernández
Instead of accuracy of grammar or fluency of
content, the Paragraph-Pattern-Approach
stresses on organization.
Students copy paragraphs and imitate model
passages. They put scrambled sentences into
paragraph order. They identify general and
specific statements and choose to invent an
appropriate topic sentence or insert or delete
sentences.
This approach is based on the principle that in
different cultures people construct and organize
communication with each other in different ways.
The Paragraph - Pattern
Approach
Arlenne M. Fernández
This approach stresses on simultaneous
work on more than one composition feature.
Teachers who follow this approach maintain
that writing can not be seen as composed of
separate skills which are learned
sequentially. Therefore, student should be
trained to pay attention to organization while
they also work on the necessary grammar
and syntax.
This approach links the purpose of writing to
the forms that are needed to convey
message.
The Grammar - Syntax -
Organisation Approach
Arlenne M. Fernández
This approach stresses the purpose of writing and
the audience for it.
Student writers are encouraged to behave like
writers in real life and ask themselves the crucial
questions about purpose and audience (e.g Why
am I writing this?, Who will read it?)
Traditionally, the teacher alone has been the
audience for student writing; howewer it´s
assumed that writers do their best when writing is
truly a communicative act, with a writer writing for
a real reader.
So the readership may be extended to classmate
and pen pals.
The Communicative
Approach
Arlenne M. Fernández
LET`S CHECK...
Content Process Audience Word
choice
Organization Mechanics Grammar/
Syntax
Controlled- to
Free
Free-Writing
Paragraph-
Pattern
Grammar-
Syntax-
Organization
Communicative
Process
.
Arlenne M. Fernández
THE PROCESS
APPROACH
"Process writing is learning how to write by writing´
(Stone, 1995)
In this approach current emphasis focuses on the
process of creating writing rather than the end
product (Tompkins, 1990).
The initial focus is on creating quality content and
learning the genres of writing.
When writing, students work through the stages of
the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising,
editing, and publishing).
Arlenne M. Fernández
Teachers who use this approach provide students
time to brainstorm ideas and give them feedback
on the content of what they write in their drafts.
Therefore, learning to write is seen as a
developmental process that helps students to write
as professional authors do, choosing their own
topics and genres.
Arlenne M. Fernández
Process Writing Product Writing
y Text as a resource for comparison
y Ideas as starting point
y More than one draft
y More global, focus on purpose,
theme, text type (reader is emphasised)
y Collaborative
y Emphasis on creative process
y Imitate model text
y Organisation of ideas more important
than ideas themselves
y One draft
y Features highlighted including
controlled practice of those features
y Individual
y Emphasis on end product
A Comparison..
Arlenne M. Fernández
WRITING GENRES
Arlenne M. Fernández
Expository Writing
It seeks to inform,
explain, clarify, define
or instruct (writing that
explains or shares
information)
It includes thesis
statement and
controlling ideas.
Six basic steps to
write an expository
essay.
1) Select a topic.
2) Write a thesis statement
with controlling idea (s).
3) Organize it into
paragraphs.
4) Write topic sentences for
the body paragraphs.
5) Furnish a paragraph of
introduction (state the
thesis, introduce divisions
of paragraphs and gain
reader´s interest)
6) Write a pragraph of
conclusion.
Arlenne M. Fernández
It tells a story.
Its purpose is to
entertain.
Common sequence
includes:
-Beginning (characters
set)
-Problem
- Minor resolution.
- New problem.
- Resolution.
- Moral.
Use of past tenses.
These are the elements
of a narrative style:
- Setting.
- Character.
- Plot.
- Conflict.
- Climax.
- Resolution.
Narrative Writing
Arlenne M. Fernández
It´s like painting a picture with words.
It describes places, people, feelings, events.
Uses vivid language (adjectives) and figurative
language.
Descriptive Writing
Arlenne M. Fernández
Writer tries to convince others to agree with our
facts, share our values; adopt our way of thinking.
General characteristics of an argumentative essay:
- state position or belief,
- factual supports,
- persuasive technique,
- logical argument,
- call to action.
Argumentative Writing
Arlenne M. Fernández
Academic writing is formal in style and there are
a number of conventions to follow such as avoid
abbreviations or contracted words, use passive
tenses or third person, use model verbs, avoid
long sentences and avoid multi-part verbs,
instead use formal language.
Its basic layout is introduction, (and abstract)
body, conclusion, and bibliography.
Academic Writing
Arlenne M. Fernández
Today being fat is
totally bad for your
health. About 30,000
fat people die every
year in the UK and
loads more fat people
die in the USA. By
2005 more people will
die of being fat than
smoking and it doesn·t
have to be this way,
this could easily be
prevented, couldn't it?
The number of
deaths per year
attributable to obesity
is roughly 30,000 in
the UK and ten times
that in the USA, where
obesity is set to
overtake smoking in
2005 as the main
preventable cause of
illness and premature
death.
Let`s compare...
Which one is academic
writing?
Arlenne M. Fernández
Technical / Lab / Book report.
Literature review.
Term paper.
Research paper (short, argumentative)
Opinion paper.
Essay (expository, descriptive, argumentative).
Senior thesis.
Formal letters (application, complaint, etc)
Email.
Powerpoint presentation.
Case study.
Types of Academic Writing
Arlenne M. Fernández
STAGES OF
WRITING
Arlenne M. Fernández
If tasks are far beyond the immediate capacity of
learners, they will either lead to frustration and/or
resorting to L1-based experience and knowledge
(Qi, 1998). Therefore,
tasks should be progressive (Myles, 2002).
Teacher should introduce one concept at a time,
model it extensively and give numerous examples
before requiring independence.
Costas Gabrielatos suggests two types of activities
before the pre-writing: Focused global procedures
and Global practice procedures
TEACHING FRAMEWORK
Arlenne M. Fernández
Focused Practice
Procedures
Ordering jumbled
sentences to create a
paragraph/text.
Dividing a text into
sections/paragraphs.
Ordering jumbled
paragraphs to create a
text.
Inserting additional or
missing information into a
text (linking & signposting
expressions, sentences,
paragraphs).
Global Practice
procedure
Creating a text from
prompts (title, task,
text, first/last sentence,
key
words/expressions,
visuals, outline, tables
etc.)
Re-writing a text
following specific
guidelines
(corrections, code,
comments etc.)
Arlenne M. Fernández
Strategies to encourage writing
Create a literate
environment
Stick posters or positive
messages and labels on the
walls to familiarize students
with written codes.
Have a bulletin board with
weird news, news from
famous people, horoscope,
beauty tips, fashion styles,
etc.
Have a mailbox.
Make ³word snakes´ for
new vocabulary (HFW).
Make collages with
visual representations
of specific vocabulary.
Sequence an
experiment.
Copy songs, rhymes
or poems.
Paste labels with
idioms.
Arlenne M. Fernández
Strategies to encourage writing
Encourage creative
pieces of work:
Have a graffitti wall
as a sort of
³complaint wall´.
Make Sts fill in
soundless filmstrips.
Complete cartoon
strips.
Make them write
postcards for a
special person.
Make them keep a
journal with new
vocabulary.
Make them re-write a
fairy story.
Make them write
weather reports with
pictures.
Make them design
new covers for
books.
Copy shopping lists
or restaurant
menus....
Arlenne M. Fernández
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References
Arlenne M. Fernández
Let`s Exercise!!!