Learning English is not an easy task, especially as a second language, and the students are looking up to you for directions. Speaking English is one thing, but writing in it is a different task altogether. The ESL students' English writing skills should be on point all the time, or else it will be frustrating for them every time they are told to write something down.
As a teacher, equipping your students with writing skills will change their lives for the best. By incorporating some crucial writing skills into your lesson plans, they will acquire the ability to make writing an integral component of their lives forever. Their understanding of the other facets of English will also improve.
In ESL learning, writing often is not given the utmost importance it deserves, especially at the beginner's level. This is because most students find writing rules and structures complicated. However, emphasis should be put from the start on the importance of acquiring writing skills.
It was with this in mind that we came up with the following tips on how to improve your students’ essay writing skills:
Search for Essay Writing Lesson Plans
If you are teaching writing skills for the first time, you can always find someone else who’s taught them before. You can always find on the internet lesson plans on writing that you can download and utilize. If you don’t want to use the plans as they are, you can always choose what you want and come up with your own ideas.
Write Practice Passages during Class Time
You will do your students justice by giving them small writing assignments to do now and then. These assignments don't have to be graded, and you can be there to assist them in case they encounter any problem. Over time, the students' writing skills will improve and they won't be handicapped when you eventually give them a test that will be graded. As it’s usually said, practice makes perfect.
Put the Students in Pairs
Another great tip is to pair the students so that they can practice essay writing. The trick here is to pair a student who has grasped the concepts of the language with the one who has encountered difficulties. As a result, the weaker students will end up understanding the concepts while the stronger ones will be doing a revision, further strengthening their comprehension.
The internet is an excellent place for students to access writing tools that will help them in the long run. These tools include:
English Grammar Guide: This tool is considered the ultimate guide to English grammar. It will be of great assistance to your students.
Read Write Think: The tools found here are exciting to use and at the same time teach fundamental English skills.
Pixton: This online tool lets students create cartoon strips. This, in turn, helps them with their language mastery.
Give the Students Examples of Good Essays
If your students have no idea how good writing looks like, it will not be easy for them to write well themselves. Plenty of essays can be found in various textbooks and also on online sources. As a teacher, you can have the class create a piece together and write it on the board so that they get first-hand experience of how to go about it.
Comprehend why the Examples Work
Not only you should look at the above-mentioned sample essays in class, but you also need to understand why they work together with the students. Examining them in class with the students will give them a clear understanding of why they are good. You should also impart them with the necessary skills required for the students to try it themselves.
Writing proper essays in your native language is itself a difficult skill to grasp, what about those learning English as a second language? It is, therefore, prudent for you as a teacher to go slow on your students. Give them ample time to understand writing in English. Give them room to slowly develop their skills and you’ll see results in the long run.
Choosing Appropriate Writing Topics
There’s a need to present topics in class in a fun and effective way for the students. An exhilarating presentation of topics will make the students eager to write their essays. Moreover, making them part of the choosing process will enable them to acquire the ability to choose topics for themselves in the long run.
A good way of presenting a topic in class is through the utilisation of personal stories. You can also make use of videos and pictures.
In summary, the above mentioned are just but some of the ways you can use to improve your students’ essay writing skills. With these tips, your students will find essay writing fun and more fulfilling. As their teacher, make sure you are engaging, innovative, and resourceful. Eventually, your students will follow your lead and get on the path towards being excellent essay writers.