Teaching Writing | TESOL

You know from experience the importance of teaching academic as well as academic writing if you are an English language teacher in today’s language classroom.  According to research, academic English is a necessity for English language learners at any level and it has become a part of the curriculum.

Language proficiency is not easy and it is a long process. It takes three to five years to become proficient in English orally and four to seven years to become proficient in academic English.

Although language proficiency takes time to attain perfection, it is not surprising that having good writing and good skills can predict academic success. These are essential skills that motivate learners to stay in the classroom and not drop out. Take note that not all English learners reach higher education. Nonetheless, if an English learner is equipped with these two skills, he/she will be able to participate effectively in society.

Other great reasons to teach writing to TESOL students include:

  • Writing strengthens the learner’s understanding of the English language and keeps it in memory.
  • The actual writing method is a mental activity that helps learners learn in a better way.
  • The task of writing attracts some learners who need to see the written language and review it.
  • Writing is an important linguistic skill like reading, speaking, and listening. English language learners must be able to communicate effectively both in language and content classrooms. A leaner think critically analyzes information and expresses his/her opinions or thoughts if they want to succeed.

Five Elements of Good Writing

Below is a brief overview of the five features that are the foundation of effective writing skills.

1. Focus on your subject matter

A writer needs to initiate a focus. A good essay, whether it is expository, descriptive, or narrative, should be:

  • Has the vivid original main idea
  • Focused and specific
  • Has a clear purpose
  • Shows logical development of the main idea that fits the purpose
  • Have conclusions suited to reasoning

2. Categorize your Ideas

The essay needs to have an effective beginning, middle, and end. Just like your bedroom, you need it to be well-organized to make a great haven for you; a good essay needs to be well-structured to communicate ideas effectively.

  • Be organized
  • Manifest a rational sequence of ideas suited to your assignment.
  • Have well-developed paragraphs.
  • There must be one idea per paragraph to support smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Progress clearly from beginning to end.
  • Create a good introduction and conclusion.

3. Support the main idea with examples

Artists and craftsmen need quality tools to produce satisfactory work. The same with students, they need to support the main idea by:

  • Use reliable evidence
  • Define main points and support them with evidence.
  • Must have clear and relevant supporting details.
  • It is valid to have sure support.
  • Critically assess the sources.
  • Include counter-arguments.
  • Create connections between sources and your own writing
  • Refrain overusing quotes.

4. Use a suitable style

A princess costume is pretty at a party but it is not suitable to wear to your English class. It is also the same for good writing, you need to use a suitable writing style.

Effective writing needs to:

  • Be rational.
  • Good word choice and a purposeful vocabulary are better.
  • Have clear and concise sentences.
  • Construct each sentence carefully.
  • Use a wide array of sentence styles and lengths.
  • Convey your meaning as proficiently as you can.

5. Correct Usage of Language

Good writing needs to be impeccable. Grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes lessens the quality of any essay.

Learners need to:

  • Eradicate punctuation errors.
  • Refrain from making spelling mistakes.
  • Use proper format and presentation.
  • Avoid grammar mistakes.
  • For academic writing−show standard referencing and a reference list.

I hope my article on teaching writing has given you ideas to teach writing to TESOL students. It’s time to have fun, infuse your content with your personality, and dazzle your readers with your words.

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Leana Jan Candoleta

Leana was an administrative officer in a dialysis center. She has extensive experiences with all administrative tasks, including scheduling, information and billing. Having held positions in the medical and business field, leana is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of various patients and clients. she has increased her efficiency in her skills and roles and became an effective employee in her company. As a senior Administrative Officer, she has helped the company earn millions when it comes to medical transactions. Leana graduated from West Visayas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. After she graduated, she worked as an English Tutor in a Foreign School as her first job. She also served the community for a year and three months wherein she gained more experiences in her career record. She was also a holder of Civil Service License. During her college years, Leana was a member of Gawad Kalinga and Philippine League of Development Communication. After 5 years of working, she decided to shift to another career which is teaching. She took up the course Teacher Certificate Program in Phinma-University of Iloilo. She balanced work, school, social life and a mother. She did this to create a bigger future for herself and for her family. Leana is also a member of a non-government association in Iloilo City wherein her passions and hobbies can be shown off to other group members. Leana is a very passionate and goal-achiever person. She will do anything to be on top and be the best among the rest to reach for her better future. She is now waiting for the Licensure Examination for Teachers and hoping that she will pass it.