Published 16th May 2018
Teaching writing is possibly not on your list of favourite things to do. A lot of students don’t enjoy writing or may even think writing in class is a waste of time. A lot of teachers may feel the same way too! The fact that many of our students are very digitally-inclined doesn’t help either. The thing is, writing is a necessary part of communication. Whether it be through email, a report or an essay, writing is part of our everyday lives no matter what we do.
How, then, do we incorporate teaching writing activities into our EFL lessons without boring our students to tears or causing a revolt?
Three ways for teaching writing
Audio stories with a twist
Play an audio story for the class. You can choose a fictional story or a recording of a current event or anything similar that tickles your fancy. Your students can relax and listen. Afterwards, they must draw a series of pictures to illustrate the audio. Students then swap pictures with other students and write the story to accompany the pictures. This can be a direct copy of the original audio or they can change them according to the pictures.
This can be done as a pairwork activity to increase engagement levels.
A chain story
In this activity, students write collaboratively to complete a story. Give each student a piece of paper. Each student writes the first sentence of a story. The papers are then passed on to new students who then write the next sentence. This continues until each story is completed.
This is a great activity if you have Internet connectivity in your classroom and if your students can access email on their laptops or phones. Write everyone’s email addresses on pieces of paper. Write different topics on pieces of paper – for example, a complaint, making an appointment, asking for information. Hand out an email address and a topic to each student. They must write an email to their assigned address on their assigned topic. They can send the email as soon as they are finished. When they get an email they need to respond immediately.
A class newspaper
Divide the class into groups. Each group must have a section of a newspaper to write. For example, a crime story, a local sports event, the entertainment section. Each group writes their section collaboratively and together the class compiles their newspaper. The newspaper can then be copied so that the whole class can read the entire newspaper.
By utilising fun, different activities into our lessons, we can make writing more enjoyable for both students and teacher.