Fourteen organizations from across the state received grants for projects in line with the mission of the Red Ants Pants Foundation. Grant funding from the Red Ants Pants Foundation will help with the production of a video for elementary students about the production of beef in Montana. Blue Dog Provisions are made of only one ingredient — smoked Montana beef, lamb and pork offal that come straight from the butcher shop!
I was a student teacher in a Massachusetts elementary school, and it took me awhile to figure out the correlation between the pencil and hallway behavior. If I replied, "Yes, you should bring a pencil," the walk to my classroom took 15 minutes and involved a lot of disruptions, student squabbles, drifting students and other various misbehaviors.
As a student teacher, I was very focused on keeping order and creating a challenging learning environment. So, what was the correlation? The students knew that if they had to bring a pencil they would have to do writing in the class, and they dreaded it.
This improved the hallway behavior, but still left me with the question of how to improve ESL student writing when they were frustrated by the practice and went to great lengths to avoid it. I have been teaching ESL for many years and there is no perfect solution to this problem; however, I do believe I have added quite a few writing activities to my bag of tricks and improved my ability to differentiate writing tasks based on student ability.
As I improved my ability to ensure that each student would be successful in the writing activity, their confidence increased, and they were less likely to engage in disruptive behavior.
I hope some of the writing activities I share with you will help you to reduce anxiety in your ESL students and increase their language and writing skills.
There is a very important correlation between writing and language development. Why is writing often the last skill to emerge? It would seem writing might be easier because students are sharing their own ideas already in their heads and simply putting them on paper.
However, writing requires a lot more processing of language in order to produce a message. First the student must have an idea, then think of the appropriate way to say it, then start to write it and spell it correctly, and then create another sentence to continue to communicate the idea.
In fact, the way we communicate, or the way students put their ideas on paper, is largely influenced by their culture. In some of my classes, my Asian students were very confused when I told them to revise their writing because this was a "first draft.
Students from other cultures may have developed a storytelling style that involves laying out a lot of background information and detail and takes quite a while to get to the point.
In most western writing, we expect a topic sentence or a lead paragraph that will tell us what the point is, and then everything written after that leads to a direct conclusion. Many of my students had great difficulty connecting their ideas this way.
With that said, teachers have a big task in improving ESL student writing skills, but the payoff for instructional dedication can be great.
All of the students were involved in a six week study and during that time they were responsible for creating brochures and other types of communication on computers.
They had criteria to input a certain amount of text and graphics to create a final project. This required lots of thought and revisions to achieve the final result.
At the end of the six weeks the students took a reading test and the majority of them had improved their reading skills significantly. This was a very interesting result, considering that the teachers had not focused on teaching reading skills.
The conclusion was that students used meta-cognition to process language and work with it in a more meaningful way, so that consequently their reading skills improved even though they were mostly working on writing.
Additional positive academic results have been seen in the "90 90 90 Schools. This is a most remarkable combination in the educational world. The researchers examined these schools and found one common denominator among them — they all focused on developing writing skills. Each school had an agreed upon writing curriculum and methodology that was used at all grade levels, and student writing was prominently displayed throughout the building and in classrooms.
Students used writing in all content areas to demonstrate academic concepts learned. Now that I have hopefully convinced you that all your hard work will pay off, I would like to introduce some effective writing activities. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on a few writing activities that I think are particularly useful when working with students with a wide-range of English language skills.Important: ESL students need to have grade-appropriate cognitive challenges.
Making things easier for ESL students in the mainstream classroom means making accommodations that help them to do the tasks that the native speakers are expected to do.
Santa Barbara City College combines comprehensive academic programs and modern facilities on a beautiful seaside campus creating a learning environment unmatched throughout the nation. The Muse Writers Center has many teachers who are professional writers, published in poetry, fiction, plays, screenplays, and nonfiction.
Love Words for Love Letters. (ashio-midori.com) Writing a postcard. Expressions to begin and end formal and informal letters (ashio-midori.com) ; Commercial English - Letters - How to begin the letter / How to end the letter (ashio-midori.com) ; How to set out an Informal letter (Primary Resources).
The Purdue Online Writing Lab Welcome to the Purdue OWL. We offer free resources including Writing and Teaching Writing, Research, Grammar and Mechanics, Style Guides, ESL (English as a Second Language), and Job Search and Professional Writing. The Practice and Effect of a Workshop Approach to Teaching English Writing in ESL Composition Courses Liang-Chen Lin The practice of English writing instruction using a Workshop approach in the ESL composition course, however, the analysis of errors on essays, and making.