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EFL Writing Skills- Dr. M. Enamul Hoque

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Writing skill is an advanced level secondary skill of a language. Strong writing skills in English come from practice and determination. No one is born an excellent writer. Learning to be an excellent writer in English takes a lot of time and practice. Anyone can be a good writer if they are determined enough.

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EFL Writing Skills- Dr. M. Enamul Hoque

  1. 1. AGENDA 1.WHAT IS PROCESS WRITING? 2.PRE-WRITING 3.GIVING FEEDBACK EFL Writing Skills Dr. M. Enamul Hoque ELT Specialist and Teacher Education Consultant Director , EDRC
  2. 2. 1. What is Process Writing? Writing is a work in progress that is completed in steps.
  3. 3. 6 + 1 Traits of Writing 1. Ideas 2. Organization 3. Voice 4. Word Choice 5. Sentence Fluency 6. Conventions (spelling and grammar) +1. Presentation Source: Culham, R. (2003). 6+1 Traits of Writing. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Education Library.
  4. 4. Brainstorming: Planning to Write Pre-writing Steps Brainstorm Organize Research
  5. 5. Brainstorming Tools The purpose of brainstorming is to generate and organize ideas. Can be done alone or in small groups Possible brainstorming tools:  Use graphic organizers  Ask the journalist questions (who, what, where, when, why, and how)  Think of crucial words (Million Dollar Words)
  6. 6. Brainstorming and Organizing Assignment: Descriptive essay on the Olympic Games Tool: Word Web
  7. 7. Brainstorming and Organizing Assignment: Descriptive essay on the Olympic Games Tool: Journalist Questions Who: Athletes What: Compete for medals, championship Where: A different venue each year; the city that wins the bid When: Every 4 years for each season (summer & winter) Why: To unite people from all over the world, to compete How: Athletes first compete in their own countries, then go on to international competition
  8. 8. Brainstorming and Organizing Assignment: Compare/contrast essay on cats and dogs Tool: Venn diagram Animals, mammals, pets, eat meat
  9. 9. Brainstorming and Organizing Assignment: Persuasive essay on an Environmental Issue, such as whether to limit fishing to protect the environment Tool: Flow Chart
  10. 10. Brainstorming and Organizing Assignment: Persuasive essay on an Environmental Issue Tool: Million Dollar Words activity Depletion Conservation Pollution Balance in atmosphere National Parks Deforestation Equilibrium
  11. 11. Organizing Ideas Students must translate brainstorming results into a workable structure for the writing assignment Outline  Show progression of ideas, events, descriptions in writing assignment (by paragraph/by larger element)  Power writing (simple outlines with one-word items) From outline to paragraphs  Each paragraph has one main idea or thought and corresponds to a section of the outline  The first sentence of the paragraph (topic sentence) summarizes the main idea of the entire paragraph
  12. 12. Research If students are finding sources, they should consider their range of sources.  Type of source (newspaper, internet, book, etc.)  Author (expert, advocate, opponent, etc.) While writing, students should offer their own opinions on the ideas in different sources, and how these ideas relate to each other U.S. schools focus on citing sources. Students must clearly state when they are using the ideas or words of another author.
  13. 13. 3. Giving Feedback What would you give as feedback to a student who turns in this piece of writing? I like school. Classes at school is good, I do not like homework. For english class we are reading Where the Red Fern Grows it was good. School is a good place to see my friends. We love the playground. In science class we do experiment. My favorite is history because we study ancient times.
  14. 14. Feedback: Examples of Teacher Corrections Surface-Level Feedback Content-Level Feedback
  15. 15. Feedback: Examples of Teacher Corrections Both types of feedback are important  However, giving both types at once may overwhelm students Surface-level feedback is appropriate for a class or lesson focused on English grammar Content-level feedback allows students to look at their own work and ideas critically
  16. 16. Feedback: Examples of Teacher Correction Teacher corrections vs. teacher guidance in helping student find correct answer
  17. 17. Feedback: Best Practices The purpose of feedback is to efficiently maximize student learning. Praise! Focus on a specific skill that relates to classroom work. Targeted feedback is more effective than correcting all mistakes at once. Written comments and corrections: reference for the future “Teachers should be coaches, not crutches.” – Vincent Kovar
  18. 18. Who can give feedback to the writer? Teacher Peer Writer (self-evaluation)
  19. 19. Who can give feedback to the writer? TEACHER SELF PEER + •Teachers are experts, can see the mistakes •Teachers have authority + •Promotes self-evaluation on the part of students •Learners see their own mistakes •More involvement •Builds confidence + •More student involvement •Peer feedback may be less threatening - •Very time-consuming •Students are not involved •Students rely on teachers instead of learning to edit their own work - •Student may not see own mistakes - •Students may be afraid of giving or receiving criticism
  20. 20. Peer Feedback Students have different strengths and weaknesses Students need to be taught how to evaluate each other’s work as well as their own Must be structured collaboration Most effective if students are evaluated on and held accountable for the feedback that they give
  21. 21. Rubrics A rubric is a grading tool that has a range of possible grades for a set of criteria. The rubric should define the criteria and include examples. Why use rubrics?  They create clear expectations for students’ work  They are adaptable  They make grading easier for teachers  Students may be more comfortable using rubrics during peer evaluations
  22. 22. Sample Rubric 4 Excellent 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor Organization Clear flow of ideas; sentence order is logical; Ideas are related to each other; sentence order is mostly logical Some ideas are weakly related to each other; same for sentences Writing is hard to understand; sentences are not related; Conventions 0 - 5 errors in spelling or grammar 5 - 10 errors in spelling or grammar 10 - 15 errors in spelling or grammar Many errors in spelling and grammar Ideas Arguments are clear and strong Arguments are good but can be strengthened Arguments are present but weak or unclear No clear arguments Examples Examples are specific and relevant General and mostly relevant examples Limited examples show some relevance No examples or irrelevant examples
  23. 23. 4 Excellent 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor Organization Clear flow of ideas; sentence order is logical Ideas are related to each other; sentence order is mostly logical Some ideas are weakly related to each other; same for sentences Writing is hard to understand; sentences are not related How would you grade this piece of writing on the sample rubric? The most important subgect in school is history. It is important because we see good things and bad things that happened for the past. For example we see that wars are bad. History is important because we learns to be better people. We know mistakes in the past so we sometimes know not to do the same mistakes again.
  24. 24. How would you grade this piece of writing on the sample rubric? 4 Excellent 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor Conventions 0 - 5 errors in spelling or grammar 5 - 10 errors in spelling or grammar 10 - 15 errors in spelling or grammar Many errors in spelling and grammar The most important subgect in school is history. It is important because we see good things and bad things that happened for the past. For example we see that wars are bad. History is important because we learns to be better people. We know mistakes in the past so we sometimes know not to do the same mistakes again.
  25. 25. How would you grade this piece of writing on the sample rubric? The most important subgect in school is history. It is important because we see good things and bad things that happened for the past. For example we see that wars are bad. History is important because we learns to be better people. We know mistakes in the past so we sometimes know not to do the same mistakes again. 4 Excellent 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor Ideas Arguments are clear and strong Arguments are good but can be strengthened Arguments are present but weak or unclear No clear arguments
  26. 26. How would you grade this piece of writing on the sample rubric? The most important subgect in school is history. It is important because we see good things and bad things that happened for the past. For example we see that wars are bad. History is important because we learns to be better people. We know mistakes in the past so we sometimes know not to do the same mistakes again. 4 Excellent 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor Examples Examples are specific and relevant General and mostly relevant examples Limited examples show some relevance No examples or irrelevant examples
  27. 27. How would you grade this piece of writing on the sample rubric? Organization: 3 Conventions: 4 Ideas: 2 Examples: 2 Total score: 11 / 16
  28. 28. Using Rubrics: Best Practices Teachers can write their own rubrics or use an appropriate general rubric. Tips for writing rubrics:  Keep it simple  Use very clear language  Adapt to your goals for the class or assignment, and to your students Use rubrics to target your feedback You will probably want to introduce rubrics slowly and give students plenty of practice using them.
  29. 29. Summary There are many steps in the process of writing The students must do the actual writing, but the teacher sets goals, helps in planning, and gives feedback Provide structure for students during all steps of the writing process
  30. 30. Resources The Writing Teacher: http://www.thewritingteacher.org/ A blog that gives tips, techniques, and strategies for teaching writing. The two pre-reading assignments are on this website Scholastic: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writeit/ Scholastic is a global children's publishing, education and media company. Rubrics: http://rubistar.4teachers.org/ A free tool that helps teachers create rubrics.
  31. 31. Final Questions and Comments Thank you for participating! Dr. M. Enamul Hoque ELT Specialist and Teacher Education Consultant Director , EDRC

Notizen

  • Writing is a process. It is not completed in one sitting and the writer usually has help from others to develop his/her work. It is important to teach students strategies that address the different steps/phases of the writing process. This will help them to develop writing habits which can be applied to all writing projects.
    Different sources may name the steps differently, but the phases are essentially the same:
    Brainstorm (Ideas, planning, organization)
    Draft (first stage of writing, emphasize that drafts will not be perfect- there is always room for improvement)
    Review (Edit for mechanics and content, feedback from different sources)
    Revise (use feedback to make changes and improve your document)
    *** Steps 3 and 4 can be repeated many times!***
    Polish (presentation, final changes- this is not always listed as a “process step”)
    Publish (share! Who is the audience?- peers, teacher, etc)
    Students are best at process writing when they repeat it. Process steps should be used intentionally, explicitly, and often in the classroom. Keeping journals is a good way to make writing commonplace for students.
  • Both of our pre-reading articles touched on the idea of the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. We wanted to share what those traits are briefly, although our focus for today will be on the planning and feedback stages of the writing process.
    Generate ideas/content
    Organize in a meaningful way
    Voice- writer’s personality, writing style (how do you describe something?)
    Word Choice- how are you using words to capture the reader’s attention?
    Sentence Fluency- good test for this trait is to read the piece aloud. Is it pleasant? Is there variation in length and sentence structure?
    Conventions- spelling and grammar
    Presentation- what does the final draft look like? Formatting, etc.
  • Before beginning to write, students should go through the appropriate pre-writing steps. Usually this will involve brainstorming and organizing, and depending on the assignment, research.
    Brainstorming is great for all assignments because it gives students the freedom to generate ideas before they begin to write. They can looking at all their ideas, and choose the best before starting to write. Brainstorming can be creative and fun.
    Organizing the ideas generated in brainstorming will give the students’ writing logic and clarity. Sometimes, such as when using a graphic organizer, brainstorming and organization can happen at the same time. Sometimes they will clearly be separate steps.
    Whether a student will need to do research depends on the assignment. If research is needed for the assignment, students must find relevant sources and use those sources appropriately in their writing.
  • The advantage of small groups is that it allows students to work together and inspire each other to create new and imaginative ideas. The students will start writing with the same ideas and perhaps arguments, and you will see how well each one develops their ideas.
    These possible brainstorming tools are a few creative brainstorming techniques that you may use in the classroom to start students thinking about how to write on a certain topic. Different tools may work better with different types of assignments.
  • For example, a teacher might have students describe the Olympic games.
    Using the word web, prompt students to think of words that describe, or are associated with, the Olympics.
    Students can create the webs in their notebooks individually or in small groups, or the teacher create one together with the whole class (perhaps by drawing on a chalkboard or using an overhead projector).
    Now let’s consider the same assignment but with a different brainstorming tool.
  • We would write a very different essay than if we used the word web to brainstorm. How would this essay be different?
    When could it be better to use word web and when to use journalist questions? What about the ages and abilities of students?
    Word web: may be better for lower-level students/classes as it is mostly creating a list and relationships, good for visual learners as well.
    Journalist questions: may be better for more advanced classes as it involves looking at the reasons or the process behind a story or event.
    Let’s move on to a different type of assignment: compare and contrast
  • In a Venn diagram, you write what is unique to each subject in that circle in the light red areas. Then you write what the subjects have in common within the shaded portion shared by both circles, here a darker red.
    You may have also seen this used with 3 circles.
    Students can see the traits or characteristics of each thing, organizing their thoughts.
    Now we’ll move on to a third type of assignment: the persuasive essay.
  • Here we have a flow chart used as a graphic organizer for an assignment in which students have to argue a position, or an opinion.
    This is a more sophisticated design for students working on an essay that argues for one point. They can use the hierarchy to structure their ideas and arguments.
    While brainstorming, students can be divided into pro and con groups, then come together to share their ideas.
    Now let’s look at one final example of how to lead your students in brainstorming, still using the same topic.
  • Student planning does not need to be for content alone. Word choice and voice are other traits that can be planned for in advance. The million dollar words activity asks students to brainstorm the best words to use to discuss a topic. The most appropriate or descriptive words, NOT everyday words!
  • For more advanced assignments, you may ask students to do research. Students should remember several things when finding and using sources during their research.
    First, they will want to make sure that they have a range of various sources. They might be tempted, if they have internet access, to only use information found on the internet. Anyone can write on the internet, but a published author has probably had her work evaluated and judged for accuracy by publishers and colleagues.
    Second, they need to examine their sources critically. Who is the author? What does she say and not say? What has influenced her opinion? What are the author’s sources?
    Third, they will need a list of sources at the end of the essay or paper. When using quotations or direct ideas, the U.S. method is to also list the author’s name in the essay in parentheses.
  • Different kinds of feedback can be used in various situations to make progress towards different classroom goals.
    Surface-level feedback is important especially if your class is focused on the mechanics of English. If your class is studying run-on sentences, for instance, it is a good thing to emphasize in your feedback to provide individualized instruction. (In this way, feedback is a good tool to use for differentiated instruction).
    Content-level feedback is also important as a means to give students the tools to look at their own work critically beyond the sentence structure. You are asking students to reconsider their ideas, organization, word choice, voice… many of the 6+1 traits.
  • Continuing on the idea of “making the most out of written feedback”, let’s remember that we said that the purpose of feedback is to maximize student learning.
    According to this idea, which of these teachers have offered feedback that will maximize learning for the student writer? Blue comments or red comments?
    When possible, using guiding questions is a great way to point out a problem to a student and encourage them to find the answer and make the necessary changes on their own. ** If you ask students guiding questions, follow up with them to make sure that they have made an adequate correction.**
  • Why do we give students feedback? The purpose of feedback is to efficiently maximize student learning. Because you have signed up for this webinar, it is clear that you are interested in improving you students’ writing skills. This often requires a significant amount of differentiated instruction. Feedback provides a great opportunity to individualize instruction for students who struggle with certain skills/learning objectives.
    Praise!  As teachers, you know that students respond well when they are encouraged and affirmed. A good practice to use is to begin by praising some aspect of a student’s work. It is good to begin and end positively. Students will feel more comfortable and confident and therefore respond better to the constructive/corrective comments.
    It will be overwhelming for both parties if a teacher tries to correct every single mistake or problem in a student’s written work. It is most effective to select one or two skills to focus on. (Reference pre-reading article 1- warning against giving too much negative feedback). Students will lose focus if they see too much red ink (drafts).
    Students can look back on written feedback. It is concrete and tangible- a tool that students can use in the future. Teachers should be very thoughtful and purposeful with written feedback. This can be a time-consuming endeavor, make the most out of it!
    The quote “Teachers should be coaches, not crutches.” is from the second pre-reading article.
  • Discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of feedback from each of these sources.
  • Peer review is a valuable tool if used correctly. Once students learn good practices in peer review, this process can help to reduce the amount of time that the teacher spends giving feedback on written work.
    Give students a structure for review- one example from the pre-reading article is to have students read their work aloud to one another. The person listening asks questions to clarify the ideas/sentences. Reading aloud is also a tool that will allow the writer to think about their work in a new way.
    Pre-reading article 2 addresses peer-editing in greater detail. Gives an example of holding students accountable for their peer review process based on both the thoroughness and usefulness of editing AND on the partner’s finished product. Students receive an equally-weighted grade for editing work.
    There is a tool for helping students to evaluate each others’ work, and also for helping you to evaluate as well.
    Rubrics may be familiar to some of you. Has anyone used rubrics to grade students?
  • Why use rubrics?
    Clear expectations: They know what their grades are based on and how to improve.
    Adaptable: Teachers can write them for any assignment and for classes at different grades
    Grading: Instead of extensive written comments, teachers can grade a student’s first draft or final essay by indicating their place on the scale in the rubric.
    Peer evaluations: Evaluation can be less subjective – the student can point to a criteria and say “you did not give any examples, that is why your score was low.
  • Notice how there is a scale across the top from excellent to poor. Down the side are the 4 criteria we’re using today. Inside each box there is a description of what is excellent to poor for each criteria. For example, we see with “conventions” that…
    There are only 4 criteria in this sample rubric due to our space and time limitations. When writing a rubric, you will probably want to add more criteria. For example, see the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing on the second slide.
  • Make sure to focus ONLY on organization of the paragraph.
    The writing flows well between ideas. Good to excellent.
  • Excellent. When writing a rubric, the number of errors can be changed depending on the length of the essay and the level of the students. The rubric might also be more specific, such as counting spelling and grammar errors different, or major versus minor errors.
    4 errors:
    “subgect”
    “for the past”
    “we learns”
    “do mistakes”
  • Fair to good.
    Arguments are that we learn about the past in history, which can teach us to be better and not make the same mistakes.
  • Fair to poor.
    “War is bad” is the only example, not specific or relevant enough.
  • This is the score that we collectively reached during the session. Individuals sometimes gave different scores, which is to be expected.
  • To introduce rubrics, you may first have students grade a sample essay using a rubric (like we just did). This may be less threatening than grading their own or other students’ work.
    Engage students in a discussion of criteria, for example, what is an “excellent” example versus a “fair” example.
    With higher-level students, you may wish to write rubrics together.
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