Friday, December 28, 2007

Teaching English Writing Skills

Some of my adult ESL students are university students. Often, the number one priority for these students is improving their writing skills. They are no longer taking ESL courses, but are taking non-ESL courses and are expected to perform/write as native English speakers.

I find that I use the information I learned in high school (a long time ago!) about writing a paper. The same info I learned in my English courses is still the classic way to write a paper (Introduction, Body, Conclusion, topic sentences, etc.).

For ESL students who are working on their writing, I have them write something between classes and send it to me before class. It often takes quite a while to review the paper on my own time. I'm not only looking for structure, but also for grammar tenses, prepositions, etc.

Working with the student during our regular lessons to review the writing assignment often runs over our scheduled time. I try to keep this in mind when I give the writing assignment. I find that two pages are about the maximum I can cover with my ESL students in an hour-and-a-half lesson. And that's assuming there aren't too many student questions!


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