Writing Lessons Are Boring
I’m not going to lie. There are some negative viewpoints on writing lessons. For example, that writing is boring. However, I strongly disagree. Writing is not boring. In fact, it can be incredibly fun, and if done right, will quickly turn into you and your students’ favorite lesson type. The key is to focus on developing the skill of writing (rather than viewing it as only a means to practice grammar and vocabulary) by improving your students’ skills to be descriptive, creative, and stylistic. Also, utilize variety when it comes to writing e.g. experiment with different interaction patterns (writing in pairs, writing in small groups, writing by passing around, experimenting with different genres etc.). Finally, don’t forget. Good demos can go a loooong way to bring your writing lessons alive. If you want your students writing to be descriptive, creative, and stylistic; give them
good (wait, not just good) GREAT models to emulate.
Another common belief is that students would rather focus on improving on their speaking more so than their writing. Which is true. Many students would rather focus on speaking rather than writing. However, writing in fact develops speaking ability by challenging students in making their language production more descriptive, accurate, and complex. Which are three key areas to emphasize to your students to develop when writing (in addition to the fact that writing improves their speaking).
Finally, there is a commonly held belief that students don’t really need writing in their daily lives. However, writing today, probably more than ever, is in fact more linked to our everyday lives than ever before thanks to the internet and smartphones e.g. calling someone today, without sending a few text messages first, is like being an uninvited guest showing up randomly to someone’s house – not really polite. The trick to having students see the relevance in your writing lessons is to tie writing activities to real-life applicable activities e.g. emails, text messaging, instant messaging, comments, blog posts, social media, resumes, online reviews, maybe a little online dating 😉 etc. That’s how you make writing fun, effective, and relevant. Here is a link to some fun and engaging writing lesson plans.