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Quick Write 122211 “Output-oriented Inputting”

It may apply to anything -you’ll never able to output unless you’ve input to begin with. Daily QWing has been a good reason for me to keep writing every day, in other words, "outputting” every day. For most of the English learners, young and not so young, beginner and advanced, full-time and part-time, forming a habit to write something daily may be not so easy. I’m not talking about writing two or three poetic sentences in English along with a pretty picture. I’m talking about writing more passage-like pieces or whatever you may call "essay”. As an English learner who’s been writing almost daily for seven months (only seven months, though), I strongly feel that I need to do something more demanding to refine my writing skills. I read online articles while learning new words. I occasionally pick up my favorite article to do Conditioned QWing for which I try using unfamiliar words that I found in the piece in my own writing. This Conditioned QWing practice is actually intended to learn new words and phrases through using the words in different ways, so it may be more like vocabulary-building-through-outputting. I won’t negate the importance or effectiveness of such form of outputting. In fact I think I’ll do more Conditioned QWing. But I’ve sort of realized that Conditioned QWing is a good theme to do QWing, but I’m not so sure that such style of writing practice develops my writing skills simultaneously. What I mean here by "writing skills” is the ability to write with richness of vocabulary and grammatical accuracy and complexity. Nation (2009) states five aspects of writing as 1) Richness of vocabulary, 2) Mechanics (spelling, punctuation), 3) Grammatical accuracy and complexity, 4) Organization and coherence, and 5) Content. As far as my writing practice is concerned, I’d like to focus on 1) and 3) for the time being, being aware that those two aspects of writing are what my writing skills lack most. Thanks to QWing and QWF, I’ve somehow established a habit of writing every day just like I brush my teeth after each meal for my dental hygiene. Next thing I need to do to my “habit” is to examine the outcome more closely. Habit-making phrase is over, so to speak. Next up may be outcome-refining. To do so, I’ll need to adopt a different approach with a little adjusted viewpoint to the way of obtaining input – it should be like more of “Output-oriented Inputting”.

Reference: Nation, P. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing. New York: Routledge.

(30 minutes / 422 words)

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Aya

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