Minggu, 22 Januari 2012


Principles for teaching writing

The following are a few principles that every teacher should consider
while planning a course, whether it is a writing course, or a course in which
writing will play a part. These principles can (and should) be adapted to the
many different learning situations.
1. Understand your students’ reasons for writing.
The greatest dissatisfaction with writing instruction comes when the
teacher’s goals do not match the student’s, or when the teacher’s goals do not
match those of the school or institution in which the student works. It is
important to understand both and to convey goals to students in ways that
make sense to them.
1. What are the ways in which you use writing? Make a list (think of everything
from shopping lists to research essays) of all the ways in which you use writing.
2. Review your list and think of which could be converted into writing activities.
Create one activity related to an item on your list.
2. Provide many opportunities for students to write.
Writing almost always improves with practice. Evaluate your lesson plans:
how much time is spent reading or talking about writing, and how much is
spent actually writing? My students groan when they see how much writing is
required, but I draw an analogy for them: Since writing is in part a physical
activity, it is like other physical activities—it requires practice, and lots of it.
Practice writing should provide students with different types of writing as
well. Short responses to a reading, journal entries, letter writing, summaries,
poetry, or any type of writing you find useful in your class should be practiced
in class.

3. Make feedback helpful and meaningful.
Students crave feedback on their writing, yet it doesn’t always have the
intended effect. If you write comments on students’ papers, make sure they
understand the vocabulary or symbols you use. Take time to discuss them in
class. Be cautious about the tone of your comments. The margins of a paper
are small and can force you into short comments. When writing short comments,you can:
1. Find one good idea the student has, and make an encouraging comment
about it.
2. Find a place where the student wasn’t clear, and write a comment that
will help her/him clarify it.
3. Identify a grammar problem, and make a comment that will help the students
see the problem in other places in the paper.
4. Clarify for yourself, and for your students, how their
writing will be evaluated.
Students often feel that the evaluation of their writing is completely subjective.
Teachers often hear, “I just don’t understand what you want.” One
way to combat that feeling is to first develop a statement for yourself about
what is valued in student writing, either in your classroom or in your institution
as a whole. Reflection
Students can help to form a rubric as well. Take class time to ask them
what they value in writing. Ask them what features make writing enjoyable
to read and what features distract from that enjoyment. This kind of discussion
has two benefits: it not only gives students a voice in the evaluation of
their own work, it also provides a common vocabulary with which the entire
class can discuss their writing and the writing of others.

Senin, 16 Januari 2012

Teaching Pronunciation

Pronunciation involves far more than individual sounds. Word stress, sentence stress, intonation, and word linking all influence the sound of spoken English, not to mention the way we often slur words and phrases together in casual speech. 'What are you going to do?' becomes 'Whaddaya gonna do?' English pronunciation involves too many complexities for learners to strive for a complete elimination of accent, but improving pronunciation will boost self esteem, facilitate communication, and possibly lead to a better job or a least more respect in the workplace. Effective communication is of greatest importance, so choose first to work on problems that significantly hinder communication and let the rest go. Remember that your students also need to learn strategies for dealing with misunderstandings, since native pronunciation is for most an unrealistic goal.

Senin, 02 Januari 2012

Teaching Speaking
Strategies for Developing Speaking Skills
Students often think that the ability to speak a language is the product of language learning, but speaking is also a crucial part of the language learning process. Effective instructors teach students speaking strategies -- using minimal responses, recognizing scripts, and using language to talk about language -- that they can use to help themselves expand their knowledge of the language and their confidence in using it. These instructors help students learn to speak so that the students can use speaking to learn.

Jumat, 30 Desember 2011


Grammar is important because it is the language that makes it possible for us to talk about language. Grammar names the types of words and word groups that make up sentences not only in English but in any language. As human beings, we can put sentences together even as children--we can all do grammar. But to be able to talk about how sentences are built, about the types of words and word groups that make up sentences--that is knowing about grammar. And knowing about grammar offers a window into the human mind and into our amazingly complex mental capacity.