Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Writing Skills

 

We are going to move on to the second of the productive skills, which is writing and, again, we'll have look at the background, too, and create a typical lesson for a writing skills session. One of the things to be aware of in a writing skills lesson is that writing tends to be more formal than spoken English. So, there will be some differences between the two, such as writing very often uses less contracted forms and so on, but having said that there are many similarities between the two particular skills. So, many of the considerations that we had for a speaking skills lesson will also apply here to a writing skills lesson. Within writing skills itself there are some sub-skills that we may want to teach and those sub-skills could include, but are not limited to, hand writing spelling and punctuation. Now, hand writing tends to be a personal thing but it is very important for our students to get hand writing practice to make sure that they are following the letters correctly and so on and so forth. Spelling, obviously with the English language not being phonetic, spelling can often be a problem for all levels of students. We take a simple example, obviously, the spelling differences between those, two even though, they actually sound the same bow and bough, their spelling is completely different. So, this can often create problems for our students. Finally, punctuation. We should be aware that many languages have a very different punctuation system to that of the English language and some languages have no punctuation whatsoever. If you're teaching students with a different punctuation system or no punctuation then, obviously, our system within the English language can be quite difficult. There are different types of writing that we can do within each of these particular skills and they would be categorized by the situational or creative. A situational piece of writing refers to a different type of writing that might take place. For, example the way in which we write a postcard would probably not be the same as the way we would write a formal letter and the way in which you write a formal letter would probably not be exactly the same as we would write an email, whereas in a creative situation what we're actually doing is things like stories, the creation of dialogues and quite possibly even the creation in poetry.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit consisted of watching two videos of a TEFL class being taught the same content with different techniques. The videos showed me the importance of how content is delivered for the success of the lesson. It also showed me that little things such as smiling can make a very big difference to making a class feel comfortable and getting participation.When teaching skills of any kind, the resources available to a teacher often dictate how the lesson will be structured and presented. This unit was very useful in gaining a better understanding of the typical tools available to a TEFL teacher and some great examples and ideas of how to use these tools in lessons to ensure they are as engaging as possible.


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