Howdy, readers! It’s nice to see you again in this blog. Today, I’m going to post another writing in the teaching journal series. As I told you in my previous writing this series of writing is intended to potrait my EFL classroom situation and analyse it using the teaching principles that I have learnt from TEFL books. According to my opinion, this kind of writing is very important to make my teaching better day-to-day.
Saturday, 28th of September 2013
Today, I taught my students writing skill. In this case, writing narrative story. You’ve known that writing skill is the most sophisticated one among other language skills as it requires mastery of many aspects of language such as grammar, vocabulary, idea development, paragraph development, etc. That’s why many say that teaching writing is the most challenging one in TEFL.
In the beginning of my teaching, I divided the class into six groups of discussion; each group consists of six or seven students. In each group, I put an excellent student to lead the discussion. Then, I distributed some papers about narrative story. Every group has a different story. I asked the students to discuss the story in the first hour of my teaching period. To make them focus on their reading, I equipped them with the blank that they should fill in during the discussion.
Teaching writing, I depend on the principle saying, “the more you read the well you write”. I myself experience this. I can conclude that the most contributing factor that makes me able to write English writings is my intense involvement in numerous English passages from books, stories, articles, etc. Though, I admit that I still have many weakness to cope with in making my writng more readable.
In my teaching case, before starting their writing project, the students had to read an example of narrative story. It had two functions; firstly, it implemented the principle of “the more you read, the well you write.” Secondly, it helped them find the idea for their writing project.
When the bell rang, I asked the students to stop discussing. Then, I managed their seat to such an extent that no students would sit with their group-mate. It’s important, as the writing assessment that I employed was an individual activity so no students were allowed to discuss.
After managing the seat, I asked all students to re-write the story they had read by their own words. They might refer to the blank that I gave. I also allowed them to use the dictionary. They had forty minutes to accomplish this assignment.
During the test, I walked around the classroom and very often got some questions from my students. Of course most of the questions were about vocabulary.
The class was over as soon as the bell rang.
Forty minutes didn’t seem enough for my students to reconstruct the story. When the time was over, the students’ accomplishment varied. Few students had finished writing, but most of them haven’t done yet. Moreover, few of them could not write any single paragraph!
To make teaching writing more successful, I think I have to consider other steps of writing. The students must have the chance to undergo four basic stages of writing as suggested by Seouw (2002). The stages are: planning, drafting (writing), revising (re-drafting) and editing. Three other stages could be inserted after the drafting stage; these are responding, evaluating and post-writing.
We can see that my teaching above didn’t apply these stages so the students could not maximize their writing. I think I should consider these stages in my next teaching writing project.
This is the end of my teaching journal. In the next posting I promise to talk more about Seouw’s four writing stages and, of course, my teaching journal about implementing these stages in my EFL classroom.
Bye for now!