The Important of Writing

The Important of Writing

The fact that people need to communicate is not the only reason why second language learners should have writing as a teacher led activity; there is an additional and important fact: “writing helps our students learn”. As writing is a multifaceted skill it does not help only to listen to lectures on writing in general, grammar, syntax etc. The best way to learn is by doing. Starting, re-writing, discussing, giving feedback and re-writing again are all part of the process. The journey from idea to finished product is a long one, and sometimes students need more help once they have reached the middle rather than having someone tell them what is good or bad with the finished work[1]

Writing is a flexible tool that can be used to meet a variety of goals. Writing allows people to communicate with others removed in both distance and time. It can promote a sense of heritage and purpose among larger groups of people. Writing also provides a powerful medium forpersuading others. People use writing to explore who they are, to combat loneliness, and to chronicle their experiences. Writing about one’s feelings and experiences, for example, is beneficial psychologically and physiologically. Writing is also a useful tool for learning[2]

Writing is especially important for the instruction of second language learners for three reasons. First, writing well is a vital skill for academic or occupational success, but one that is especially difficult for second language learners to master. Second, writing can be an effective tool for the development of academic language proficiency as learners more readily explore advanced lexical or syntactic expression in their written work. Third, writing across the curriculum can be invaluable for mastering diverse subject matter, as written expression allows learners to raise their awareness of knowledge gaps, abstract problem specific knowledge into schemas that can be applied to other relevant cases, and elaborate mental representations of knowledge that can be more easily retrieved, while simultaneously allowing teachers to better understand the students’ state of knowledge and thinking process and thus adjust instruction as necessary[3]

[1] Wahlström  (2006) Teaching Writing in Upper Secondary School. Page 4

[2] Graham and Perin (2007) A Meta-Analysis of Writing Instruction for Adolescent Students. Carnegie Corporation of New York. Page 445

[3] Warschauer (2010) Invited Commentary: New Tools For Teaching Writing. Language Learning & Technology. Page 3


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