ESL writing lessons are an important part of any English course, as writing is probably the trickiest of the skills. Apart from the normal language difficulties, the students also have to consider: spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, style, capitalization, linkers, text organization and sentence construction.
As with other skills, it's important to teach the students what they need to know, before they have to produce anything themselves:
Here are some ideas of various texts that you can use for ESL writing lessons:
Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate some writing activities into your ESL writing lessons......
Give the students a short story e.g.
A man walked into the room and saw that there was a party going on. He glanced across the crowd, and as soon as he saw that she was there, he turned around and walked out. He didn't even stop to put on his coat on the way to the front door, but walked out into the snow. The next day, he never answered his phone ....
You are then going to ask the students questions, which they have to answer as comprehensively as possible. They need to write down the questions and the answers e.g.
To make this activity more difficult for advanced classes, have a pile of flashcards on the table with vocabulary that the students have just learnt, and get them to pick up a word for each question and include it in the answer.
The students each need to have a blank piece of paper. Give them a story starter e.g.
As they walked through the forest ......
The students need to complete the sentence, and then pass their paper to the person on their left. They then have to continue the story with a sentence of their own on the piece of paper they have just received. Continue in the same manner until you've had enough. Use this to not only practice writing, but also to cover a grammar point or new vocabulary.
For Business English, get the students to bring in correspondence that they have actually done or are using, and do error correction with them.
For debates and formal presentations, get the students to prepare their perspectives in writing before doing the speaking activity. Teach the students how to prepare using bullet points and logical, progressive arguments - this doesn't always come naturally to everyone.
Conclude a reading or listening lesson with a writing activity e.g.
Getting the students to write some instructions which the other students have to do can be a fun activity. Instructions can include how to build something with lego, how to draw something (e.g. snowflakes in winter), how to make something (e.g. paper mache plate) etc. This can be useful for practising modals like can/must and the first conditional (If you want your drawing to look nice, you will need some good crayons).
Give the students a short story using basic vocabulary (you can alternatively get the students to write their own very short story, and then choose the best from the class). The students need to adjust the story by adding and changing the text with more advanced vocabulary. You could do this as a group activity where the students each consecutively have a turn, as they pass the story from one to the other. They need to continue until they feel they cannot add or change any more.
All of the above, and ........ at this level your ESL writing lessons should have a greater emphasis on style.
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ESL Writing Lessons