Another ‘how to become a materials writer’ article has popped up – Kirsten Holt’s article for ETPro offers some more good advice for budding writers. Every time I read one of these posts I’m itching to chip in. I really want to help others get into materials writing. My advice is always the same:
It’s easier than you think.
As with most things, it requires effort at first (unless you’re lucky!).
There is something missing from lots of the advice already out there.
There are inspection copies out for C21 from Garnet Education. If I manage to get a copy I’ll review it. There’s an uber-positive review on their site about it, which was published in the EL Gazette.
Every publisher seems to be marketing books as developing ‘21st Century Skills’ these days. I’ve just googled a list of core ‘21st Century Skills’… eeek. I’m a crap leader, fairly unproductive, sometimes inflexible and not that creative. Send me the book Garnet, I can learn from it…
A few months ago I mentioned word stress games using Kahoot! This app has also come in handy recently for practising punctuation/capitalisation. I just display a sentence with various errors in it– learners judge how many mistakes there are in the sentence. That’s it really. (more…)
A couple of months ago we ran a two-week ‘Grammar and Writing’ course for teens (aged 14+). I was scheduled to teach these classes but, to be honest, the prospect didn’t fill me with excitement. I enjoy teaching teens in general, but it can be a real chore to motivate them at times. I couldn’t see developing writing skills being that inspiring, and grammar wasn’t exactly going to get them rocking up ten minutes before class in anticipation either. (more…)
Teaching writing is something I’ve hardly ever done. I mostly work with groups that visit England for a week or so, and want intense listening and speaking practice. During my DipTESOL I really had to think about what teaching skills and experience I needed in order to develop. How to teach writing, and how to make it interesting, was an area which I had to work on.
For a lesson plan on Henry VIII and a writing task, skip to the end of the blog. To learn a bit about writing in the classroom, read on.
Considerations when teaching writing
Spoken language and written language are very different. Whilst the linguistic elements of spoken language carry a lot of meaning, an utterance can also be supported by paralinguistic features or suprasegmental features of pronunciation (stress, intonation, etc) to further emphasise what is being said. Written language doesn’t have this luxury, so there is often more importance placed on the actual linguistic elements of writing compared to speech.