About Teaching High School Students to Enjoy L2 Writing Self Study

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.

Session 1: The L2 Writing Research Study

  • According to the literature
  • Input / output in EFL
  • 10-minute writing and the honeymoon
  • Quantitative and Qualitative results

Session 2: Fluency Approach Considerations

  • The Fluency Tree
  • Obstacles and ongoing challenges
  • Student expectations
  • Teacher centered to student centered classes

Session 3: Six Issues in L2 Writing

  • Fluency writing vs. process writing
  • Corrections – Who/what/when/where/why
  • Genre approach – How many genres?
  • Use of the mother tongue (L1) in class
  • Balance of individual, pair, and group work
  • Assessment and testing

Session 4: 50 Ideas for High School Writers

  • Narratives develop trust and interest
  • Expository writing leads to confidence and clarity
  • Persuasive essays show competence

Each recorded session will involve discussing and trying out activities as well as the presentation of ideas and an opportunity for you to complete a discussion task.

Purchase of this self-study course includes access to four video recordings, readings, and discussion tasks. Teachers can earn a Certificate of Completion verifying 20 Professional Development hours if desired. To receive a certificate teachers are required to submit written responses to the discussion tasks.

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