Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why teach writing.....?

Why teach writing?
The reasons for teaching writing to students of English as a foreign language include reinforcement, language development, learning style and, most importantly, writing as a skill in its own right. We will look at each of these in turn.

Reinforcement: some students acquire languages in a purely oral/aural way, but most of us greatly from seeing the language written down. The visual demonstration of language construktion is invaluable for both our understanding of how it all fits together and as an aid to committing the new language to memory. Students often find it useful to write sentences using new language shortly after they have studied it.

Language Development: we can’t be sure, but it seems that the actual process or writing (rather like the process of speaking) helps us to learn as we go along. The mental activity we have to go through in order to construct proper written texts is all part of the ongoing learning experience.

Learning Style: some students are fantastically quick at picking up language just by looking and listening. For the rest of us, it may take a little longer. For many learners, the time to think thing through, to produce language in a slower way, is invaluable. Writing is appropriate for such learners. Ir can also be a quite reflective activity instead of the rush and bother of intrapersonal face-to-face communication.

Writing As a Skill: by far the most important reason for teaching writing, of course, is that it is a basic language skill, just as important as speaking, listening and reading. Students need to know how to write letters, how to put written reports together, how to reply to advertisment – and increasingly, how to write using electronic media. They need to know some of writing’s special conventions (punctuation, paragraph construction, etc.) just as they need to know how to pronounce spoken English appropriately. Part of our job is to give them that skill.

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