Authentic and reliable methods to be used in ESL classes to improve the students` abillities in writing English and be more communicative
Mainstream education now typically involves students from around the world who consider English as their second language. These non-native speakers, studies show, do not normally demonstrate substantial comfort and proficiency in speaking and writing English. However, through ESL classes, these students are given the proper instructions on how to develop their English writing skills. This paper basically introduces reliable methods and writing process techniques that may be used in ESL classes for the students to develop greater confidence and comfort using their secondary language.
Making Writing Communicative
The English language has been one of the most widely used languages in the world. So many nations consider English as their Secondary Language (ESL). It is used even in the homes of people whose vernacular is not English. Schools have been applying English as their medium of instruction. Undeniably, the broadness of the English language extends not only to the United States, but also to nations all over the world. Therefore, proficiency in English, both in speaking and writing, is basically a necessity for non-native speakers. Naturally, English is used far and wide and already considered a vital requisite for scholarly and corporate aspects. Many methods have been taught to and learned by students for them to be able to improve their English skills. These methods are the ways for educators to incorporate non-native speakers into mainstream education, particularly ESL classes. In this case, writing English very effectively and communicatively is an edge to becoming good English writers. “ESL students may not feel comfortable relying on their English language instincts because they are not comfortable with American culture or language. For this reason, they tend to rely heavily upon the guidance of tutors to fix their writing problems” (Wenclawiak).
Choosing the right method for improving the students’ English depends on a great deal on where they are beginning. There are particular strategies and techniques that help English language learners develop their abilities to write. Tutors can greatly help struggling ESL writers to improve their topic development skills and express their ideas in English writing. Laurel Johnson Black suggests asking the writer to free-write for a few minutes; saying that this helps the writer develop their ideas (101).
Several ways of practicing include creative writing where students get to write in different manners such as writing in the style of an author, and using their own personal and unique skills and strategies. Note taking skills must be polished. Each student must experience and eventually learn by heart how to write different kinds of essays such as controversy papers, persuasive essays and more. It is very crucial though that a mentor constantly monitors the English writing methodologies of the students so as to properly account for the students’ good points and the weaknesses that they have to improve on.
More importantly, reading is definitely a good source of improving one’s English writing skills. Investing in resources such as educational books, journals and magazines give the students broader knowledge not just on different topics but they get vitally exposed to the English-speaking world. Specifically, simplify language and use scaffolding during content lessons to increase the students’ conceptual understanding of English. Then again, keep the lessons at a challenging and intellectually stimulating level. Use visuals and extensive use of written language to reinforce verbal content when teaching in English. Teachers’ word choice and sentence structure needs to be consistent and concise during second language learning. At times, it might be useful to use native language to reinforce English instruction; however, the tutors must be aware pf the risk of over-reliance on simultaneous translations (cited in Sanders, 2000). Do not switch back and forth between languages or translate, as this encourages students’ reliance on their stronger language. There are so many opportunities to improving one’s English and one is to immerse thyself into these occasions. Schools offer Exchanges, such as those offered by Rotary International. This is not only to widen one’s knowledge about another’s country but this is also a venue to extensively improve your English speaking skills as well. Expose the students to more English writing opportunities so as to further make them comfortable using their secondary language. Tutors can implement these strategies and suggestions to help ESL writers, but these solutions are not always clear-cut. There are many issues surrounding ESL students such as culture and writing styles or grammar, and it is important for tutors to remember that these ESL students are unique individuals with different needs and abilities.
Black, L. (1998). Between Talk and Teaching: Reconsidering the Writing Conference. Logan: Utah State UP.
Hamayan, E. (1989). Teaching Writing to Potentially English Proficient Students Using Whole Language Approaches. Program Information Guide Series, No. 11. Illinois Resource Center.
Oxford, R. Integrated Skills in the ESL/EFL Classroom. ERIC Digest. Retrieved 25 October 2007, from http://www.ericdigests.org/2002-2/esl.htm.
Sanders, Y. (2000). Improving ESL Students’ Academic Writing Skills. The Michigan Community College Journal.
Wenclawiak, J. Same Problem, Different Origin. The Dangling Modifier, Vol. 12, No. 2.