The present section targets the types and phases of writing that are trained in the school room, then it reveals a study of collaborative writing within writing workshops, and finally, it explains the bond between teaching writing and the internet. Because of this, I will demonstrate how writing is the consequence of various intertwined acts such as note-taking, planning, drafting, editing, and revising. Next, I show how workshops enhance collaborative writing and how Internet resources may improve the writing experience in the class.
Teaching writing is often if not necessarily bound by genre categories. Jeremy Harmer avers that “Genre represents the norms of different types of writing” (327). It is an acknowledged fact that writers choose a certain structure for his or her work: poem, book, letter, commercial, article, or essay. This writing format is easily recognizable by other participants of the discourse community and permits writers to make their work considering aspects such as audience, register, topic selection, or tone.
Nowadays, methodologists group the methods to teaching writing in two wide-ranging categories: writing as process and writing as product. The latter-i. e. writing as product-is identified by Harmer the following: “When concentrating on the merchandise, we are only interested in the purpose of an activity and in the end product” (325). Therefore, by concentrating on a certain kind of writing, teachers can offer students writing strategies, content syntagms, cues, and design guidelines in order to get the desired written product.
In its change, writing as product is subdivided into two additional teams, often labelled controlled or led writing and free writing respectively (Ross-Larson 59). The controlled writing stage is appropriate for all those levels (newbie, intermediate, advanced) when the professor works as a source, conveying new English structures and structure ideas to the students. For rookies, the teacher might show learners how to create an informal letter, a dialogue or he / she can keep these things define a fresh word; filling in gapped text messages, questions and answers, or quick change exercises are also used at this level. The intermediate students may be given tasks which assume developing a paragraph, describing an image, writing brief poems and formal words, or creating a commercial. You will discover more options to choose from at this level because students have already acquired more words structures. At an advanced level, students benefit from the biggest terms autonomy as their linguistic record is already more complicated. In cases like this, guided writing means that students are usually educated how to create various types of essays (descriptive, persuasive, argumentative, reflexive, or narrative), articles, accounts, job applications, or claims.
By distinction, the free writing approach is student-centred as the professor only functions as a tutor or prompter this time. A successful free writing approach may be included as a series in the teacher’s lesson plan within the post-writing level. Therefore, a vintage writing lessons in three steps may be organised into pre-writing, while-writing, and post-writing responsibilities (Hidi 86): during the first stage educators help students set up their ideas and plan their composition based on revising previously obtained structures; soon after, the while-writing level is as soon as when the students perform the writing activity per se; finally, throughout the post-writing stage, students will come up with their own cases drawn from personal experience to show their knowledge of what has been trained. Free writing may be easily included during this last stage of the lessons and additional developed at home by students. Actually, the majority of the writing that learners unconsciously accomplish at home on a daily basis is free writing: notes, diary pages, texts on mobile phones, e-mails, and other written reviews. Free writing enhances personal writing styles, registers, and even choices.
Nevertheless, the second major category-writing as process-no much longer centres on a specific writing genre whose composition concepts the students have to take; instead, “This pays attention to the various periods that any piece of writing undergoes” (Harmer 326). Methodologists identify several major steps a article writer takes when striving to make a written piece:
Fig. 1: The Process Steering wheel (Harmer 326).
Source: Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of British Language Teaching. 4th ed. Essex: Pearson Education Small, 2007.
In the class, planning presupposes that students obtain new writing ideas through brainstorming, groupwork or note-taking to avoid the well-known writer’s block. Drafting includes choosing and sequencing the optimal suggestions to be included in the written piece. Then, enhancing means placing everything jointly in a coherent and cogent manner whereas revising asks the learners to check their written work once more for the sake of crossing out any possible inadvertences. Although watching writing as an activity is a time-consuming activity, it is quite helpful when instructors require students to choose mutually on the levels of composition even before engaging in planning writing. Mention should be made of the actual fact that, the truth is, the levels of writing are never linear. As writing is a creative process, students always move to and fro and perform simultaneous actions because “writing is re-writing re-vision-seeing with new eye” (White and Arndt quoted in Harmer 326).
All in every, the practice of writing proves to be most efficiently educated and learnt in category when it’s understood and used as both a process and something.
In his article “Social Construction, Terms and the Specialist of Knowledge” (1984), K. Bruffee clarifies that collaborative writing occurs in the 1970s in the United States of America for useful reasons: the plethora of students admitted to university assist each other in their endeavour to broaden their horizons. As Bruffee avers, “For American school teachers, the root base of collaborative learning lie neither in radical politics nor in research” but actually on “a pressing educational need” (quoted in Clark 16).
In the classroom, collaborative writing is best completed through writing workshops. This will not indicate that students can group up and know just what to do with no guiding from the tutor, but instead it signifies that “in words classes teachers and students can take advantage of the presence of others to make writing a cooperative activity, with great benefit to all or any those included” (Harmer 328). As a result, a successful class workshop presupposes the same talk about of responsibility granted to students and instructors alike, a dynamic student contribution in the writing duties, group work and collaboration with peers as well as the “decentering of the writing category” (Clark 16).
Besides this, the educator plays an essential role in arranging and guiding workshop consultations since they must plan in advance every activity, the time allotted to each activity but also the criterion where learners are established in groups. It really is highly recommended to “assign the categories through random selection” (Clark 17) and “keep carefully the groups continuous throughout the semester” (ibidem) to avoid students amusing themselves more than focusing on a given task or to steer clear of situations when only the more ready member of the group provides out the task alone. By primarily demonstrating the instructions and checking out students’ understanding of these but also by requesting learners to report back again to the class in the long run (thus making them alert to their audience), instructors can ensure a soft flow of the workshop activity.
Additionally, a great way to boost peer co-operation in a writing workshop is the utilization of realia. Images, diagrams, flashcards, graphs, posters, personal items, as well as others represent the best option means to bring about the learners’ impulse to attract on their distributed information, previously acquired English set ups, or on their personal life experience-in other words to use all their available knowledge-to complete a specific assignment. Employing realia for writing workshops similarly implies having “the outside world into the classroom in a vividly concrete way” (Raimes 27) and therefore enabling trainers to plan cascading or chained lessons over a more substantial period of time but also offering them the chance to permanently recycle British language items trained earlier.
Nowadays, theoreticians and commentators of strategy concentrate on writing workshops as powerful generators of pupil motivation. Harmer talks about that “Writing in teams () can be greatly motivating for students, including () not only writing, but research, discourse, peer analysis” (329). Intrinsic determination in particular is increased not solely by traditional pen-and-paper group writing assignments but similarly by top-notch technological gadgets and software that allow learners to corroborate a bit of writing on the web and receive peer responses (as I shall further expose in my own previous subchapter).
Generally speaking, collaborative writing within classroom workshops increases students’ self-confidence, peer reliance, group communication, and means that learners become responsible for their own learning. At the same time, on paper to be Read (1968), K. Macrorie underlines the fact that freelance writers gain information and experience “through engaging in critical trainings with peers” (85).
Technology currently permeates every portion of our daily lives and it is a powerful factor in the development of social communication, learning surroundings, digital literacy, and career evolution. Nowadays, it can be an acknowledged simple fact that computers have started out being used during the 1960s as a means to standardize spelling and punctuation teaching as well as the assessment of learners’ writing.
In the English classroom, technology will serve three main functions matching to Vicki Urquhart and Monette McIver, namely information resource, cooperation tool, and multi-media tool (43-4). The first main category-information resource-means that by using technology, the professor of English gets the possibility to improve and enrich this content of the teaching-learning process. The most important and, at the same time, an unlimited source of knowledge is the Internet. The Internet links computers worldwide and places forward a sizable number of options for advanced students to arrange and complete study projects. The Internet also synchronizes communication by using e-mails for instance-the students may be taught how to correctly write e-mails when concentrating on writing as something. The exact same coordinated exchange of information might take place when instructors entail their learners in cross-curricular projects with the participation of other classes or colleges as well. Yet information should never always be received but also directed. In this admiration, students’ webpages are a suitable way with informal character where put out their interests, queries, or opinions with no need of guided writing. E-mails, personal sites, and research projects are all “exchanges” which “coach students to write for a real audience” (Clark 495).
Despite the knowledge overload that the internet encloses, there arise the questions of how reliable such information is and of how students can avoid plagiarism. On the one hand, it is always helpful that professors revise previously educated English set ups before participating in a technology-oriented course in order to ensure a smooth transition to a new lesson. Moreover, offering students tutorial-programmed software or demonstrating an internet goal yourself is very encouraging. Alternatively, the problem of plagiarism-whether inadvertent or not-is an omnipresent modern matter. To dodge it, instructors can clarify advanced students what plagiarism is and the way to stay away from it but they can similarly use se’s that understand plagiarized passages.
The second major function, collaboration tool, boosts collaborative writing as previously mentioned. Within this category, phrase processors allow students to change their written work, to alter, alter, erase, or coordinate it in a different way even during larger periods of time. This sort of learner cooperation is specially appropriate for advanced students, who are able to engage in ongoing writing workshops, draft their writings matching to peer reactions, and include the teacher’s feedback or recommendations. “Collective knowledge-building” (Clark 485) as emphasized today focuses on socialization; for example, websites are informal, digital collaboration musical instruments that encourage peer reactions and editing and enhancing but also foster various visual styles (features, cross-out, underlines) to mirror the bloggers’ tastes, personalities, and insight. Students’ blogs may be attracted after as starting points for further, more formal review of writing in the school room.
Ultimately, technology as multimedia tool refers to the combo between writing and audio, video, colour, design, or animation. Actually, this top-notch development enables students to “become fluent in ‘multimedia literacy'” (Urquhart and McIver 43). Writing within boards (hence the many abbreviated language sorts that encode exclusive discussion such as lol, brb, the use of emoticons, etc. ), video accompanied by text messages, movie subtitles, or PowerPoint presentations demonstrate that advanced students and efficient teachers have to stay up-to-date with new technical discoveries that increase a good writing experience through the teaching-learning process in the current globalised world.
On the whole, “What computers offer are different ways to provide our best practices in composition coaching” (Clark 502). There is absolutely no single solution to ensure an effective writing class; what’s clear is the fact becoming a member of the writing as process with the writing as product techniques, fostering cooperative writing workshops, and promoting scientific learning tools is sure to guarantee a confident, beneficial experience for learners and teachers alike.