Writing is an acquired skill. Anyone can learn to improve their writing, and everyone has something to express whether they initially realize it or not. A fluency-first approach for new writers can provide the initial seeds of confidence needed to begin a virtuous cycle of motivation. As students see the fun in expressing themselves, sharing ideas and opinions with classmates, and acquire fluency skills, most of them then want to take on the challenge of improving either accuracy or complexity next. Teaching an active writing class can allow teachers to better connect with students through their writing, and also finish with a greater sense of satisfaction as a teacher.

In many EFL contexts, high school teachers don’t enjoy teaching writing classes, and students hate doing endless sentence-level translations and grammar or vocabulary activities. This course will share the many lessons learned from pedagogical research of a two-year high school writing course that took a fluency-first approach before introducing accuracy and complexity expectations to students. Teachers will explore ways to motivate, inspire and lead students to develop writing skills in a classroom that quickly changes from teacher centered to student centered.

Get your professional development certified with iTDi

In this course, you will read articles recommended by the instructor, watch four recorded sessions, and answer four discussion questions. (This is not a live course.) If you would like to receive a Certificate of Completion verifying 20 hours of professional development credit, email your answers to these questions in a separate word document to support@iTDi.pro for evaluation. In the body of your document, please include your name as you wish it to appear on your certificate, your email address, and the name of course you have completed.

Take this course


As always, iTDi believes that all teachers deserve the same opportunity to improve themselves. Therefore, a limited number of scholarships will be available for this course. Please apply through our scholarship application.

About Steven Herder:

Steven Herder is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Kyoto Notre Dame University.

Steven has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for over 25 years at the elementary, junior and senior high school level, and now coordinates the Global English Class (GEC) at Kyoto Notre Dame Women’s University in Kyoto Japan. He teaches Before Study Abroad (BSA) preparation, courses on Women in Leadership, and Global Human Resources Development, as well as a 3rd/4th year seminar on Exploring Leadership.

He is an author and editor of two Palgrave Macmillan teacher resources, Innovating EFL Teaching in Asia (2012) and Exploring EFL Fluency in Asia (2014). Since 2010, he has been working with Suken Publishing in Kyoto for the past 10 years on high school textbook series such as Big Dipper Series I, II, III, DUALSCOPE, as well as writing various workbooks and graded readers. He co-founded MASH Collaboration in 2007, believing that “Collaboration creates just the right amount of tension to get lots done” and over the years he has come to realize that, “being a teacher means a never-ending commitment to learning”.

In 2012, he and a network of like-minded educators co-founded the International Teacher Development Institute, an online community for teachers by teachers, with over 5000 members and a growing global reach into over 100 countries.


iTDi Advanced Skills Self Study courses allow you to access and enjoy the content of popular Advanced Skills live courses, at your own pace and at a time that is convenient for you.

Course Reviews


  • 5 stars0
  • 4 stars0
  • 3 stars0
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars0

No Reviews found for this course.

  • $59.00$79.00
Content © iTDi TESOL. All rights reserved.