Tag Archives: writing


21 Feb

An excellent simple list to help our students when writing opinion essays.


Why is WRITING so hard?

17 Feb

The BIG mystery…

Oxford University Press

Solutions-Writing-Challenge-logo-WEBOlha Madylus, an experienced teacher and teacher trainer gives her thoughts on the first of our Solutions Speaking Challenges: ‘My students keep making the same mistakes’.

As teachers we may despair of marking our students’ written work and writing that ‘C+ musttry harder’ at the bottom of their compositions, but let’s spare a thought for those poor students, who may after all be trying as hard as they can.

First let’s admit it – writing is hard!

They are on their own

Students face a number of challenges producing correct and appropriate texts. For a start it is usually a solitary task, often given as homework and therefore unsupported. In class students can find support from each other doing pair or group work and also from their teacher. Writing a composition for homework, they often don’t know how to help themselves.

*Consider allowing students to write compositions collaboratively in…

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100 colorful words to use in place of “said”

16 Sep


Writing texts in Primary

11 Aug

From my point of view, a good teacher always needs to keep updating his/her knowledge and adapting to what is going on around himself/herself. Therefore, I like taking part in workshops, conferencies or seminars in order to go on increasing my teaching skills.

Today, I would like to share with you some classnotes I was given in this Oxford Webinar by Sarah Phillips called ” writing texts in Primary”.


The flow diagram charts a set of possible sets from idea to publishing a finished text. In order for our pupils to successful writers we have to work on each of the steps with them, supporting them and showing them different ways of approaching each one.

1) Focus on the topic and the structure of the text.
Reading is an important precursor to writing a text. Exposing the children to different text types and encouraging them to notice their features helps them when they write their own texts.

2) Generate ideas and choose what to use.
Ways of generating ideas include: completing a table with given headings, adding headings to groups of words, answering generic questions about sample texts and then using them as prompts for further ideas, using a concept map as a way of organising words associated with key words. Once the pupils have put their ideas onto paper they can then select the ones they wish to include in their text. It is always better to have more ideas than you can use.

3) Model texts and first drafts
By giving the pupils model texts to work with we are scaffolding their own writing. Such activities are an important step on the way to independent writing. The children can transfer information from tables, mind maps, notes and so on into a model text. This mimics the process they should follow when writing their own texts.

Once the children worked on ways of generating ideas and done some activities with model texts they can start to write their own texts, following a clear set of instructions.

4) Reading with a critical eye
When they have a first draft it needs to be checked with a critical eye, which can be their own, their classmates’ or their teacher’s. It is important that they receive feedback on the content as well as the language. After all, the function of a piece of writing is to communicate with the reader. Give children a clear and simple set of criteria to look for when reading through their own or their peer’s work. When reading the children’s first drafts look for things that they will be able to correct themselves. You may want to correct the second draft more ruthlessly, especially if it is going to be published for a wider audience.

5) Publish
Writing is hard work, and it is a pity to spend a lot of time on writing a text only for it to disappear into a folder. Children’s work can be published in many different ways: for example on the class noticeboard, on blogs and wikis, stapled together to make a class book for the reading corner or to take home to parents.

Sense títol


Informal vs. Formal writing

25 Jul

A very important skill when learning a foreign language is to be able to express yourself when writing. Connected to this, it is essencial to know when it is appropiate to write using formal writing rules, and when to use informal writing rules. I found these two powerpoints, which I really like, that explain very well the differences between the formal and the informal writing and when it is more suitable to use each type of writing when it comes to letters or emails.


Informal writing:


Formal writing:  


To practice what has been seen, there are a few online exercises that will be very useful to make sure the knowledge is being acquired:

1) http://www.parapal-online.co.uk/exercises/multichoice.swf?address=general//form_m

2) http://www.parapal-online.co.uk/exercises/complaint_c.html

3) http://www.esl-lounge.com/student/reading/3r8-formal-informal-letter.php

4) http://www.examenglish.com/PET/PET_writing.htm

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