Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Hi all hows it going?

    Hi all hows it going?

    Im currently attempting to teach someone how to write essays. She has been learning using a method where grammar rules and phrases are memorized, and is having some problems constructing an essay from scratch. When she is faced with questions where it is required to fill in the blanks with the correct words, she is fine.

    Right now I am correcting her written work, as well as writing examples of my own, for reference. We are also reading various materials, and communicating in English.

    Any tips? Or more specifically anyone with TEOFL teaching experience? I can post or PM an example if needs be.

    Thanks!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864
    #2

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    Please post a sample of her writing so we can look at it. Very often when students have been taught in this way, their writing doesn't conect very well, because the focus has been on single isolated grammatical elements, so suprasentencial things like linking are underused, which makes the writing choppy and fragmented. Start on creating a well-formed paragraph with a topic sentence and linked development, then move onto larger stretches of text.

  2. #3

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    Thanks for replying

    I'll post a sample of her work when I can get a chance(most probably later tonight), although here is a sample of an essay written by her toefl teacher. They are taught to memorize these essays, and many of the phrases used are common throughout all of their essays including the introduction, which is used as a "stencil" to form other introductions.

    Example-

    -People, especially socialists, often discuss whether playing games can teach us about the realities of life. I strongly believe that playing games can help people learn about competition and how to follwo rules.

    Some people insist that playing games can create unnecessary competition among participants. However, this argument is shortsighted. Competition is anything but needless because it can motivate us to excel at what is a concerted effort, they are less likely to produce the outcome that they want and that they can learn this lesson through games. Etc, etc.


    -phrases which are drilled into their head repeatedly include shortsighted, make a concerted effort, team up. The same introduction is taught to be used for all essays, just cut and paste where needed. eg- People, especially socialists often discuss what is the most important plant in my country.


    What do you all think?


    Cheers

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864
    #4

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    Cut and paste can work up to a certain level, but it is a limited aproach that tends to lead to dull and unexpressive writing. I think it's better to look at concepts in writing rather than give static models.

  3. #5

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    thanks

    which concepts do you suggest?

    here is an short example of her essay, where should I start?

    <People, especially educators often discuss whether it is better for students between reading fiction and watch movies. I strongly believe that reading fiction give you more pleasure because it leaves a lot of imaginations.

    When you are reading novels, you can feel that you are totally into it. At that time, you do not think of real life and concentrate on what is going on. Also, you can imagine with visible effects in your brain. For example, there is Harry Potter series which is really popular to children..........>


    Feedback?

    Cheers

  4. #6

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    here is another example:

    #11. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should give the same amount of money to their students' sports activities as they give to their uniersity libraries. Use specific reasons and examples o support your opinion.



    A lot of universities use their finaces to improve their educational services, such as rebuilding libraries or improving students' studying condition. However there is another investment to make university better, spending much more money for their students' sports actiities. I agree that university students are deserved to get the same amount of financial help. It will help students to make healthy body to concentrate on their work. Also, they can get storong unity while they are doing it.


    Cheers

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864
    #7

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    <People, especially educators often discuss whether it is better for students between reading fiction and watch movies. I strongly believe that reading fiction give you more pleasure because it leaves a lot of imaginations.

    When you are reading novels, you can feel that you are totally into it. At that time, you do not think of real life and concentrate on what is going on. Also, you can imagine with visible effects in your brain. For example, there is Harry Potter series which is really popular to children..........>

    What's the student's first language BTW?

    There are varius things going here. firstly, there ar some gramatical mistakes like 'give','imaginations' and 'reading/watch', so the student needs to focus on editing skills. There's some inappropriate language like 'really' and 'into it', which can be dealt with fairly easily, but he/she has to know about registers and style. Then there's the tasty sentence in para 2 about visible effects, which is probably a translation of some sort. This sentence is highly problematic because it is way off the mark. Here the students is moving in creative writing, away from the patterns given to work from, and it shows.

    I'd say:
    Some editing skills- give them stuff with mistakes and errors and get them used to lookingfor these things
    Style register- expose them to texts with inappropriate register and get them to change it to formal or informal
    Editing for unecessary information- do we need to know that Harry Potter is popular when we are looking at the benefits of escapism
    Positioning in sentence- like moving 'for example'
    These spring to mind- I'll mull it over and get back to you.

  5. #8

    Re: Hi all hows it going?

    Her first language is Korean. I must say that she cannot differentiate between formal and informal writing when presented side by side, however Ive pointed out that formal language doesnt contain personal words, such as "you" and "really", she seems to understand the jist of this.

    I believe the problem that she is encountering, when she goes into creative writing mode, is that she doesnt know what to write, because she cant write, or think in English. Hence- "visible effects", a direct translation from Korean.

    Editing questions- what I find interesting is that she gets nearly all of these questions right, and is able to pick up mistakes in badly written text very easily.
    Style register-I will look into this, possibly newspaper articles?
    Uneccessary info- She has been taught to include popular examples, hence the Harry Potter example.

    I can correct mistakes time and time again, however this doesnt help in the long run/

    thanks for ur help please let me know when think of something else, Im in a bit of a "hot pot"

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864
    #9

    Re: Hi all hows it going?


Similar Threads

  1. Could I trouble you solving two questions?
    By sky753 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Oct-2004, 15:40
  2. How's it going?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jun-2003, 12:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •