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Quick Write 101113 “Writing on the same theme”

Since the beginning of September, about 50 students in my class have kept contributing their QW products as a weekly assignment. To be honest, I was not very sure of how this writing practice would turn out to be although I was rather confident that the weekly QWing would do good for their writing fluency while lowering the anxiety or mental pressure of writing in English. On the last two topics, QW 4 and 5, their QW products have been greatly improved both content-wise and volume-wise. One of the reasons might be that thanks to the students’ cooperation the class went just as planned and they had time to do 10-minute hand-written QWing in class, meaning they’ve already obtained the initial drafts to further revise and refine by the time they type their QW products onto QWF. That said, it seems to me that their writing skill itself has been improved to a large extent. Those who submit QW products weekly have taken reading/writing class by native English speaking teachers for one and the half years, so they must’ve known the basics of how to write in English. Still, most of their earlier QW products were much more awkward or less convincing than the current ones. I suppose one major contributing factor to their progress is that they keep writing on the same theme, that is “writing a letter to a person who has a personal issue”.

I select an article from “Salon: Since You Asked”, create a handout of a letter rendering a personal issue that a reader wrote to the columnist. The students read the letter, identify the issue, brainstorm for possible suggestions as a pair or group, do 10-minite writing if there’s time left in class, and are assigned to submit their revised QW products to QWF by the next class. In the following class they read the actual response that the professional columnist, Cary Tennis, has written, pick up a couple of good lines or phrases from his pieces, and are advised to use them in their future products. They’ve done this whole writing practice for five weeks. The content of the personal issues varies week by week, but what they practice doesn’t change basically. I believe the beauty of doing the same or similar practice is that it is more likely for learners to realize their progress, and to be motivated once they realize that they’ve made progress. Most of the students used to write less than 100 words, but they currently write more than 150 words. Isn’t that amazing? What we can take from this fact is writing, or I’d say any form of practice, on the same theme could enable learners to accumulate knowledge and skill on a particular theme, motivate themselves through perceived progress and improvement, and eventually want to learn more. So-called “mannerism” should be avoided not to demotivate learners, but my recent observation suggests that the advantage of writing on the same theme outweighs its disadvantage.
(30 minutes / 496 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。