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Writing, like all other aspects of language, is communicative. Think about what we write in real life. We write e-mails, lists, notes, covering letters, reports, curriculums, assignments, essays perhaps if we study.
Some of us write articles or work on blogs, forums and websites. A few write stories and poems - but very few. All of these writing tasks have a communicative purpose and a target audience. In the English language classroom, however, writing often lacks this.
There are lots of reasons, as there are lots of ways to make the writing we do with learners more communicative. Why writing is difficult to teach Some solutions Ideas for communicative writing tasks Conclusion Why writing is difficult to teach By its nature, writing is often a solo activity, writing articles online uk mail silently, involving physical effort and taking a lot of time.
This may not make it attractive to learners or teachers as a classroom activity. In addition to this, writing is difficult, even in L1.
There are linguistic, psychological and cognitive problems involved, making teaching it and learning it a considerable challenge.
It is also important to remember that many people never write anything of any length in their daily lives, or anything using paper and a pen, or without using a spellchecker. But this is often what we ask them to do in English. Responding appropriately to writing that learners give us is time-consuming and taxing, whether we are addressing errors or the content.
We often have to work as hard as our learners have done. Our response is also often dictated by our concern with sub-skills and so correction is often at this level rather than at that of communicative competence.
This is aggravated by the fact that it is not easy to evaluate this competence, especially formally - as can be seen in the complexity of the speaking criteria for exams such as IELTS and Cambridge Main Suite.
In addition, it is important to recognize that learners are equally concerned about correctness in writing at a sub-level, in areas such as spelling and punctuation.
This is especially true when compared to speaking.
The kinds of tasks we set learners may not be motivating, relevant or indeed very communicative. Writing is rarely incorporated into a lesson, ending up relegated to homework - which reduces the possibilities to be communicative. We need to give learners tasks that are intellectually satisfying, especially when writing.
Adult learners become aware of their limitations very quickly when they try to express complex ideas on paper. As a final note coursebooks don't necessarily always help us develop writing.
We need materials that provide relevant, real and communicative practice. Some solutions We need to make a distinction between writing to learn other things, like structures, spelling and vocabulary and learning to write.
If we understand this distinction and make sure our learners do too then the communicative purpose of writing will be clearer. We need to work hard on developing ways of responding to the content of what our learners write - the message - and not just the level of language.
If we can do this effectively, then our learners will make more effort to communicate when they write for us. This can support an emphasis on the importance of writing for a real audience, but we do also need to find real audiences for learner writing.
This could include ourselves if we can respond as readers, other learners and groups, and public forums such as blogs, websites and letter pages. We need to find ways to integrate writing with other skills and activities, giving it more relevance and importance - and also making it more interesting.
We need to use meaningful, realistic and relevant writing tasks, based on our learners' needs and interests. We may need to design individual tasks based on what individual learners need to write.Read our guide to writing successful direct mail.
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On 15 June we launched this new web site, which currently hosts 10, quality reviews / techniques / interviews / tutorial articles — plus news and SOS Forum posts.
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Who specifies what address format is best? Royal Mail is the UK's postal authority and requires a certain standard of address formatting to ensure their processing of mail is efficient.
Qualities of good essay writers. Writing an essay is a creative process which requires concentration. It is a test of the writer's ability to think things over, make conclusions, and express his or her own opinion.
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