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TESOL Videos - Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Writing Skills
We are going to move on to the second of the productive skills, which is writing and, again, we'll have look at the background, too, and create a typical lesson for a writing skills session. One of the things to be aware of in a writing skills lesson is that writing tends to be more formal than spoken English. So, there will be some differences between the two, such as writing very often uses less contracted forms and so on, but having said that there are many similarities between the two particular skills. So, many of the considerations that we had for a speaking skills lesson will also apply here to a writing skills lesson. Within writing skills itself there are some sub-skills that we may want to teach and those sub-skills could include, but are not limited to, hand writing spelling and punctuation. Now, hand writing tends to be a personal thing but it is very important for our students to get hand writing practice to make sure that they are following the letters correctly and so on and so forth. Spelling, obviously with the English language not being phonetic, spelling can often be a problem for all levels of students. We take a simple example, obviously, the spelling differences between those, two even though, they actually sound the same bow and bough, their spelling is completely different. So, this can often create problems for our students. Finally, punctuation. We should be aware that many languages have a very different punctuation system to that of the English language and some languages have no punctuation whatsoever. If you're teaching students with a different punctuation system or no punctuation then, obviously, our system within the English language can be quite difficult. There are different types of writing that we can do within each of these particular skills and they would be categorized by the situational or creative. A situational piece of writing refers to a different type of writing that might take place. For, example the way in which we write a postcard would probably not be the same as the way we would write a formal letter and the way in which you write a formal letter would probably not be exactly the same as we would write an email, whereas in a creative situation what we're actually doing is things like stories, the creation of dialogues and quite possibly even the creation in poetry.
This is what one of our TEFL graduates feels he has gained from the course, or a part of it, and how he plans to put into action what he has learned.
Every student learns differently. At the same time, depending on the native language of the students?, there will be challenges unique to that language. There are things needed to understand a new language; exposure, understanding the meaning, the language construction and practice and producing the new language. Vocabulary is an essential language tool as they are influenced to use basic words inorder to integrate themselves in a new language culture. Learning a vocabulary item depends on: similarity to the native language, similarity to English words already known,spelling and pronounciation of the word and the appropriateness of the word. Students need to know the meaning, how to use/appropriate when to use vocabulary words?, grammar (where does it belong in a sentence?), how does the word interact and affect other words in a sentence, it's spelling and pronounciation of the word. A straight arrow technique can be used in the lesson. Grammatical structures look at the meaning of the language, how it is to be used, the form it should take in a sentence and how it is to be said/written. Techniques that can be used to present grammatical structures in class are through having a discussion, scenario building, using pictures, drawing, miming or real objects to engage learning language structures. Language functions refer to the purposes in which language is used? to communicate. Language can be used for a variety of formal and informal purposes, and specific grammatical structures and vocabulary are often used with each language function. Some examples include inviting, agreeing, suggesting among others. Teaching language functions also looks at the appropriateness of the language usage.