Making Writing Meaningful

A practical workshop about "Making Writing Meaningful", by Elena MerinoThis month I have been sharing perspectives, comments and knowledge about ESL Writing with teachers in Catalunya. The Department of Education of the Generalitat invited us to participate in their regular formative sessions.

This session aimed at providing primary, secondary and adult teachers with strategies to Make Writing Meaningful.The practical examples provided the teachers with diverse techniques and activities that they could use later in their classrooms, but we also had a reflective approach towards writing and its importance as a productive skill in second language development.

In the first part of this workshop, teachers shared their experiences and commented on the challenges and difficulties for teaching ESL writing. After, we looked at some facts and statements regarding writing in the ESL classroom. Finally, we took a more hands-on approach, so the last part of the session included a practical workshop called: Let’s make writing happen! Teachers desgined an imaginary activity for their students (with their own reality, their own context) and shared it with others. After, we looked at practical examples for which the teachers had a different role: they were their own students! In those examples we explored some ICT tools that they could use in their classes (augmented reality, blogs, wikis, visual thinking, apps, etc.). Finally, we reviewed those lessons they first planned at the beginning of the session and tried to improve them with the tips and tools shown in our workshop. It actually worked! It proved to be very helpful to have a variety of teaching profiles because we were learning from each other.

The session developed as follows:

  • Reflection on the teachers and the students’ writing attitudes.
  • The Writing process as a productive skill.
  • DIY: creating a lesson plan and sharing with others.
  • A practical example with Pre-Writing, Writing and Post-Writing activities.
  • ICT examples for the ESL classroom.
  • DIY: improving your lesson plan.

I’m really thankful to all the teachers who attended the session and shared their experiences with me. As promised, I’m sharing the presentation. Help yourselves!

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