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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Need to upgrade your students writing    

Need to upgrade your students writing


Need to upgrade your students writing
After spending the last 9 years of my life complaining that students writing isn �t ok and that they really should pay more attention in class, read examples, use materials provided and so on. I �ve finally found two worksheets that have started to make a little bit of difference in expanding thier vocabulary. Baby steps, right?
Anyway, I �ve posted both of them here and if the people who made them  are out there, somewhere. I would like to give you a massive kiss.
Thank you so much.

14 Dec 2015      


Good, thanx! I �ve been handing similar handouts to my students, too. The question is that they don �t always use them. Sometimes I feel they think they are doing me a favour they write their assignments - I �m talking here about exam classes - FCE, CAE. They are convinced that if they can answer the question, they will manage somehow and they do - getting borderline grades especially for range of grammar and vocab. Hope that helps a little ;-)

14 Dec 2015     

United Kingdom

Thanks, Harry.

Good point, Joanna. Couldn�t agree more. It obviously depends on how motivated your students are, but there are so many other variables to be taken into account.
I�ve used this type of chart before and I find them incredibly helpful, but some of the problems I�ve had with students relate to usage areas like nuance and collocation. I used to work (occasionally still do) with postgraduate students who needed to pass IELTS or IELTS-related exams. Paraphrasing is a major part of this and I used to use charts and diagrams based on lexical/semantic fields to increase vocabulary range. But I found my students tended to use the words indiscriminately � as if they all meant the same thing (e.g. from the worksheet Harry links to:  �he ran across the road� = �he hustled across the road� � ?). Probably my fault initially for not emphasising the nuances enough, but I found one of the best ways for them to discover this for themselves was to use something they were familiar with such as a flow chart: "Am I happy? �> YES?NO? � how happy?�> etc".

14 Dec 2015     


Actually Hbomb84, the first one is a commercially produced chart.  It �s called Other ways to say.  If you google it you �ll see some of the places where you can buy it. I �ve seen it on the walls in some of the schools I used to teach at.

14 Dec 2015     

United Kingdom

I used to teach in the top room of a beautiful Victorian villa. The building was condemned and so I decided to put displays directly onto the wall. Well, it was due to be demolished... I took a whole wall for �Alternatives to nice �. A sort of spider chart, with sub categories - for describing food, the weather, clothes, people etc... I did it in permanent thick black marker pen. Then, the building was reprieved and my room became an office. Three coats of paint later, my display was still very visible... I hope those admin workers learned from it. I might upload it here as a ws...
Edit: I don�t know why there�s a great gap after this... What did I do???

16 Dec 2015