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Writing activities for beginning ESL students Jodi Versaw

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Presentation on theme: "Writing activities for beginning ESL students Jodi Versaw"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing activities for beginning ESL students Jodi Versaw

2 Opening questions What do you remember about learning to write? What do you remember about learning to write in a foreign language?

3 Learning to write Learning to write… takes years. takes practice. for some (many?) students is a lower priority than learning to speak.

4 Student characteristics that influence writing ability Education level no formal schooling; non-literate limited formal schooling, low-literate emergent readers (writers)

5 Student characteristics that influence writing ability Cultures of origin that value oral communication over written communication

6 Student characteristics that influence writing ability Native languages with different alphabets and writing structure Russian, Tibetan, Korean – different alphabets Arabic – unwritten vowels, written from right to left Amharic – characters represent consonant + vowel

7 Amharic

8 Learning to write Brief questions, thoughts, observations?

9 Writing activities

10 Letter formation Complete beginners need to start by practicing letter formation in English. They can do this by tracing and copying letters and words.

11 Letter formation Longman ESL Literacy Name grid – print out and laminate use Comic Sans font; change color to gray; expand character spacing

12 Letter formation Handwriting worksheets Writing wizard

13 Basic sentence formation Beginners with command of the alphabet need support in creating full sentences.

14 Basic sentence formation Teacher-modeled writing Writing from mingle activity Writing from pictures

15 Writing original thoughts and ideas Higher beginners who can put words together into sentences need support and encouragement to put their own ideas and thoughts into writing.

16 Writing original thoughts and ideas Free writing – starter question, 5 minutes to write as much as possible: What food do you like? What food dont you like? Why? Write about the people in your family. What are their names? Where do they live? Write about your kitchen. What is in your kitchen? What do you do in the kitchen? Write about yesterday. What did you do? Where did you go? What did you eat?

17 Writing original thoughts and ideas Journals Personal observations Dialog between student and teacher

18 Writing original thoughts and ideas Simple poems – less focus on sentence structure, more focus on creativity MLC volunteer curriculum Beginning ESL: Writing poetry

19 Building additional skills When high beginners have some self- confidence with writing words and sentences, they should be exposed to basic paragraph form.

20 Building additional skills MLC volunteer curriculum Beginning – Descriptive writing Intermediate – Personal writing


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