Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stressing the Outline for ESL Writing

Several of my adult ESL students want to improve their writing skills for college courses. Most are very advanced English language learners, although some have only intermediate writing skills. Working with intermediate students to improve their writing skills can take quite a while because of all the potential English grammar errors (and word choice, syntax, etc.).

When working with these students, not only do all of the above components of English have to be addressed, but also how to structure a paper. I've mentioned before that much of what I teach about how to structure a college paper, I learned in high school. It's solid advice.

As I work with one particular student who is very advanced (she started studying in the U.S. at the beginning of high school), I'm finding that I have to stress the outline part of the writing process to help her to become a better writer. It's tempting to rush this process, but it's really essential.


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