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The University of Education, HCMC English Language Teaching Methodology 2

Department of English


 Writing: the important of 4 skills

 Why write in class?
For &
For long-term needs

The nature of writing in reality

Differences of writing in the classroom and in reality:

In EFL classroom, writing = as a means to consolidate language recently studied, as

“writing as ”, and thus = pseudo writing.
In reality, most writing is , i.e., to convey messages or for self-
creation, e.g. writing poems.


 In EFL classrooms, esp. in traditional pedagogy, writing often goes this way: the teacher
gives a topic or a selection of topics, a set of requirements, and a time limit.
of the final product is stressed and the process is ignored.

 In , we may have some ideas long before we put them on paper. We

often plan, draft, and rewrite.

 If writing tasks lack authenticity, they do not motivate ss.

 If writing tasks focus on the product rather than on the process, they do not help ss to
develop real writing skills.

 Therefore we should , and we should
to writing.


A. Controlled writing

a) Mechanical (copying letters, letter combinations, words, simple sent.) = boring

b) Meaningful = interesting

Both are usu. kinds of writing for learning

* Gap-filling

* Re-ordering words

* Substitutions

* Correcting the facts

* Look at pictures & write whole sent. in words

* Sentence building

Write complete sentences using these prompts:

1- John/write/letter/moment.
2- you/waiting /somebody?
3- present/I/prepare/new project.
* Sentence completion

Complete these sentences using the present continuous tense.

1- At the moment, my mother -------

2- The teacher ---------------.
3- Mr. and Mrs. Brown -------------.
* Write a summary based on prompts

Write the summary of the text using these cues.

Yesterday – Ali - home from school – way - saw – old man – lying – side –street – ill - took –
hospital - …

* Sentence transformation

Rewrite the following sent. keeping the meaning unchanged.

1- This café belongs to Mr. Smith.

 Mr. Smith -----------------------.

2- They built this house a long time ago.

 This house ------------------------.

3- “Don’t go out late.”, her Mum said.

 Her mum -------------------.

Stages of a controlled writing task


- introduce task & give clear instructions

- present language input (vocab., structures) for task

- (model given)


Ss write individually or in groups in class


Give feedback (orally/writing key on BB, pointing out common mistakes)

Problems of controlled writing tasks

Deficiencies of writing tasks in existing English textbooks:

 They are mainly .

 They are designed .

 There is before the writing stage.

 There is .

 There is .

 rather than being invited to invent their own.

 There is , particularly for expressing unusual

or original ideas.

In short, ss can be motivated by authentic writing tasks that have some communicative elements.

However some writing activities can be between “writing for learning” and “writing for


Ss need to progress beyond very controlled writing exercise to freer paragraph writing. Help
them by:

1) Giving short text as a model

2) Doing oral preparation for writing

Oral preparation


+ flexible: can be done different ways according to the interests & ability of class

+ ideas come from Ss themselves: activity more interesting & Ss involved.

+ does not require specially-prepared texts or other materials.


Brainstorming for lg. & ideas : Ss make suggestions, T. provides words/structures +

builds up an outline
Eliciting using list of Qs.

Stages of a guided writing lesson:

Pre-writing/ task

- warm-up

- topic given

- language & idea input (oral prep.)

- (text as a model (a R/L text)

While-writing/ task

Ss write in class (solo/ groups)

Ss write at home

Post-writing/ task

T marks Ss’ papers & give comments

T gives feedback (pointing out good points & common mistakes)

A common approach to guided writing

To motivate ss, it is necessary to engage them in some act of communication.

 Either writing for a specific recipient (e.g. a letter to a friend, writing through e-mail ), or:

 Engaging in an act of creative writing where their work is intended to be read by other

Guided writing: The communicative + the process approach

 Step 1: raising a question: what problems is our city confronted with?

 Step 2: a brief discussion on the problems;

 Step 3: group discussion on solutions;

 Step 4: individual composing: My Solutions to the problem of …;

 Step 5: reading one’s own composition, making suggestions on how to make

improvement, focusing on ideas rather than on language;

 Step 6: rewriting, selecting and organising ideas, keeping an eye on language;

 Step 7: grouping students based on the topics, letting students read their own

 Step 8: making a list of optimal solutions, producing a product of the whole group;

 Step 9: creating a class news letter like “problems and solutions in our city”.