Writing activities in the classroom

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Writing activities in the classroom. Writing may be just notation:copying in its conventional graphic form something already written or reproducing in written form something which has been read or heard.May involve nothing more than the ability to use the writing system of the language. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Writing Skill

Writing may be just notation:copying in its conventional graphic form something already written or reproducing in written form something which has been read or heard.May involve nothing more than the ability to use the writing system of the language.Writing in the language becomes more complicated when it involves writing meaningful writing meaningful segments of the language which might be used in specific circumstance by native speakers.Involved grammatical exercises,the construction of simple dialogues,,uncomplicated translation exercises,dictation and the cloze procedure.This is the Writing Practice.

Writing activities in the classroomWriting is a skill which can be learned in isolation.What the student must learn,apart from the peculiar diffuculties of spelling or script,is a counterpart of what has to be learned for the mastery of listening comprehension,speaking,and reading a nucleus of linguistic knowledge.Most effective writing practice and the most generally useful,will have a close connection with what is being practiced in relation to other skills.It will be well for the teacher to keep in mind that some will never reach a high standard in composition in another language.These students should not be driven into state of frustration by examinations heavily weighted in favor of the writing skill,when it is evident that they have achieved a satisfactory mastery of the skills of listening comprehension,speaking and reading.

INTEGRATION OF THE SKILLSCopying is often despised by teachers as an unworthy and unchallenging occupation for language learners.Many aspect of another language which are very strange to learners,and with which they need to familiarize themselves througly.Where the script is the same as in the native language and where there are many similialities between the two language,careful copying focuses the students attention on the differences between the native and target language.In language where sound-symbol correspondences are particulary complicated,copying activities may be continued side by side with more advenced writing practice.Writing down:NOTationcopying Students will attempt to write,without originality what the have learned orally and read in their textbooks.When dictation procedures are employed for reproduction it is well for the teacher to realize that two skills are being exercised at once:listening and writing .Since all the skills are finally integrated in language knowledge this is not necessarily a disadvanteges,but the teacher must be aware of the fact that what is being required of the student is more than a simple exercise in writing.Where particular diffuculties of spelling are being emphasized,the spot dictation procedure may be adopted:a complete a sentence will be read but only the word or words which are repeated will be written.REPRODUCTIONStudents are required to reproduce practiced senteces with adaptations.In coptention the recombination stage in oral work and reading.The writing of recombinations of practiced sentences requires not only the ability to manipulate grammatical structures to express meaning(which is also basic to speaking skill),but also a sound knowledge of the intricacies of representing graphiccally what the students is required only to recognize in reading.RECOMBINATION DICTATIONRecombination dictation-a mixture of recombination and reproduction-consists of rearragement of dialogue sentence,or narratives constructed from the conversational material or from pattern sentences used in classroom oral practice.At this stage work to be written from dictation should not contain distinctly new elements.WRITTEN PRACTICE RECOMBINATIONStudents will be given more freedom in the selection of lexical items and structural patterns for their written exercise.They will gradually move on to composition which is so closely associated with what they have read or heard that without feeling unduly restricted,they will still be using and reusing what they know.Each student will nevertheless be expected to construct an indivual answer in the choice of a completion.At this stage they will be learning something about the differences between the conventions for spoken and written style.Writing at this stage is still under supervision.The teacher should see that the students do not lapse into the habit of writing native language versions which they then translate inexpertely into the target language.PRODUCTION:GUIDED WRITING The final stage of compositioninvolves individual selection of vocabulary and structure for the expression of personal meaning.In a second or foreign language students are still not able to use as wide a range of expression as a native speaker.Their knowledge of the second language is still very inferior to their knowledge and control of the native language.At this stage they will be increasing their understanding of the differences between speaking and writting in the language.Apart from the observing the conventional differences between spoken and written language they will be trying to express themselves more concisely more descriptively,less casually.Extensive reading assignments may direct students to articles of current interest in foreign language magazines or newspapers.To ensure that students dont become bogged down in reading which is too coplicated or esoteric,the teacher will be well advised to discuss the selection of articles to be read.EXPRESSIVE WRITING:COMPOSITIONTo be effective,systematic training in writing requires systematic correction of indivual scripts.With the usual class size,this can impose an intolerable burden on most willing teacher.Ideally,individual efforts at wriitng should be read by the teacher as soon as possible after completiton,then corrected and sometimes rewritten by the students without delay.Correction time is reduced by underlining errors and using a letter symbol to indicate the type of mistake made,whether lexical syntactical,morphological or orthographical,with special attentob to errors which would make the composition incomprehensible to a native reader.The teacher returns the scripts to the students in class,allowing sufficient time for individual correction of mistakes under supervision and for discussion of the implications of the commonest faults.An organized correction system also helps the teacher to evaluate the work more quickly and systematically.CORRECTION OF WRITTEN EXERCISEAn overal intuitive grade for written composition can be seriously nfluenced by neatness and clear writing.HOW MUCH WRITING ? The listing of so many possible forms of written exercises may confuse inexperienced teacher who may believe that writing practice shouloccupy a large part of the teaching time at their disposal.Writing may be very important for one group of students but much less important for others.The decision on how much writing to include will,then,be made independently according to the needs of each group of students.It is more efficiently acquired when practice in writing parallels practice in other skills.It is also useful for setting homework exercise and for some class test.Accuacy in written exercises becomes an obsession with some teachers to such an extent that it distorts their assesment of the relative merits of the written assignment of students.Many students who are the pride of their teachers in creative writing classes in their native language are notoriously careless about details of their writing.On the other hand,sheer accuracy must not be rewarded at the expense of real knowledge of the foreing language and ability to use it resourcefully and flexibly.Part of this grade will be given for accuracy of writing(correct grammatical forms spelling,diacritics,and so on).Areas of controversy