How to Teach Writing Skills: A Brief Explanation

How to Teach Writing Skills: A Brief Explanation

Learners should begin developing their writing skills early on in their education. Strong writing skills play an essential role in education and personal life. They allow people to communicate and express their feelings and opinions. Writing is an important skill that University and college students should pursue to gain and improve as it will help them in their school life and beyond. It helps students to break down complex concepts and present them in an easy-to-understand approach that even a layman could understand. Besides, strong writing skills will play an integral role in helping students to cope with the highly competitive learning environment as they transition from high school to higher learning institutions. In the modern learning environment, students are prone to lose marks due to errors attributed to writing skills such as grammatical and syntax errors. Professors and tutors should no longer perceive writing skills as a preserve of the English department. They should commit to helping their students to gain the requisite writing skills to communicate the concepts of their discipline with ease and confidence.

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Here are five tips for efficient teaching writing skills for college and University students

Emphasize the importance of strong writing skills

As a trainer, you should articulate the value of flawless writing skills to your students. Students must understand that their writing prowess has a direct impact on their grades. You should help them understand that good writing skills will attract higher grades while poor writing will be penalized. It would be advisable to brief them during the start of the course that writing will be integral in determining the overall score. Throughout the course, continue reiterating the significance of developing strong academic language in completing assignments and homework. You should leave comments where you note errors to help students improve their prowess.

Provide regular written assignments

Another effective approach to “how to teach writing skills” is providing routine written tasks.  You should create time during classwork to allow students to complete simple writing tasks to evaluate their progress. In addition, you should apply a mixture of in-class and outside-class writing activities to help them improve their skills. It would also be advisable to give out open-ended questions to allow the students to explain what they understand from the coursework in their own words. Such strategies will give the students opportunities to practice and improve their writing skills.

Guide students throughout the writing process

You should guide your student throughout the writing process to encourage and help them overcome their fears. One way you could do so is by providing an outline that will help complete the assignment. You should assist them in understanding how to focus on a narrow topic and logically arrange their ideas to help their readers follow their thought trail. Help them understand plagiarism and the strategies to avoid it. Ensure that you critically evaluate their first drafts and challenge them to deliver improved versions. This will enable them to grasp important aspects that will help contribute to their writing prowess.

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Allow students to read and evaluate each other’s works

Allowing the students to critique each other’s work will help them in improving their writing skills. You could allow them to analyze their colleagues’ work either in groups or individually. Alternatively, you should request them to write replies to their colleagues’ essays. it will help them understand that they are writing to communicate important concepts that readers should easily understand.

Provide students with information that contains writing rules

There are numerous information sources that students could use to improve their writing skills. You should compile resources that will help the student understand the important writing concepts that will promote their writing competence. Such resources should help students to write critical articles, conduct extensive research, and understand formatting styles, among others. The information will be vital in bridging gaps in academic writing for students joining universities and colleges.

3 effective ways to teach writing skills to kids and teens

Encourage them to engage in extensive reading. To help kids improve their writing skills from an early age, it is good to encourage them to read numerous books. It will expose them to a variety of vocabulary and understand how to use them. In addition, teens will learn other aspects of writing skills, making their writing more meaningful and interesting. Ensure that the materials you encourage them to read are interesting and age-appropriate.

Encourage them to use spelling and grammar checkers. While opponents of using technology in teaching writing skills may dismiss the use of technology, it plays an important role in providing learners with instant feedback on grammatical or spelling errors. Grammar and spelling checkers provide students with multiple suggestions that help the student to critically think about the most appropriate way of correcting errors. It is also a way of avoiding the feeling of embarrassment for routine corrections.

Train them on sentence construction. Sentence construction is an important skill that teenagers should master to become proficient writers. For younger kids, begin by instructing them to write or select words when you present them with pictures or objects. Continue with the routine to help them develop a variety of words. Then proceed to use sentence starters for the students to provide solutions. After this, fade the sentence starters and allow students to write independently about the things they learn in class. For example, you may instruct them to write different sentences about a picture.

How to overcome the challenges you may face when you want to teach writing skills

Here are some tips to overcome challenges when you improve writing skills and teach writing skills to English learners across ages.

  • Continuously remind learners that writing is a process whose purpose is to clarify ideas
  • Make it clear that developing strong writing skills requires hard work and determination
  • Allow students to share their experiences with writing
  • Help students enjoy revising their work, putting an emphasis on the comments and feedback you provide
  • Help them understand the importance of good grammar, sentence and paragraph clarity

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