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Practical Ideas for Teaching Writing: Is Vocab the Writing Teacher

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Practical Ideas for Teaching Writing: Is Vocab the Writing Teacher s Job? Keith Folse University of Central Florida keith.folse_at_gmail.com * * * * * * A non-ESL ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Practical Ideas for Teaching Writing: Is Vocab the Writing Teacher


1
Practical Ideas for Teaching Writing Is Vocab
the Writing Teachers Job?
  • Keith Folse
  • University of Central Florida
  • keith.folse_at_gmail.com

2
Thank You
  • HEINLE CENGAGE

3
HELP a new book for new (and not so new)
teachers
  • HOT SEAT QUESTIONS
  • mygrammarquestion_at_gmail.com

4
HOT SEAT QUESTION
  • _____ Monday
  • _____ June
  • _____ noon
  • _____ December 25th
  • _____ spring
  • _____ my birthday
  • _____ the 1980s

5
ANSWER
AT O N I N
  • at 6 pm, at noon, at this moment
  • on Monday, on Dec. 5th,
  • on my birthday
  • _
  • in June, in spring, in 1990,
  • in the 80s, in the 20th century

6
We need your questions!!!!
  • E-MAIL mygrammarquestion_at_gmail.com
  • Book of HOT SEAT QUESTIONS for teachers
  • Royalties go to a TESOL scholarship fund
  • Your name and school will appear with your
    question
  • Help your fellow teachers and also TESOL students

7
Teaching writing QUESTIONS
  • ? Why are students in this course?
  • ? What should I do (in class)?
  • What should they write about? (My decision?)
  • ? What should we do about errors?
  • ? How should I mark student writing?
  • ? Wait. Should I even mark student writing?
  • Should students write in a journal? And then?
  • So what about grammar? Vocabulary?
    Spelling? Punctuation?
  • etc.,etc.,etc. What to do???

8
YOU must work on vocabulary! Importance of
Vocab for ELLs
  • 3 pieces of evidence

9
Importance of Vocab for ELLs
  • 1 Student Voices
  • In exit surveys, secondary ELLs now in college
    complain their ESL courses needed
  • (1) more opportunities to speak English in class
  • (2) more teaching of vocabulary

10
Importance of Vocab for ELLs
  • 2 Reading
  • Knowledge of isolated vocabulary correlates VERY
    highly with reading proficiency
  • (1) The best readers know how to use context
    clues to read, but
  • (2) The best readers rely on context clues the
    least because they know the most words

11
Importance of Vocab for ELLs
  • 3 Writing
  • Vocabulary usage impacts writing scores by
    natives
  • In experimental conditions, the best papers
  • (1) are longer
  • (2) have the highest number of unique words
    (which means they use a lot of synonyms, which
    means they know more vocab)

12
Teaching writing QUESTIONS
  • ? Why are students in this course?
  • ? What should I do (in class)?
  • What should they write about? (My decision?)
  • ? What should we do about errors?
  • ? How should I mark student writing?
  • ? Wait. Should I even mark student writing?
  • Should students write in a journal? And then?
  • So what about grammar? Vocabulary?
    Spelling? Punctuation?
  • etc.,etc.,etc. WHAT TO DO?????

13
The Serenity Prayer
14
So what are things we can control?And what are
things we cannot control?Coming up with the
items in the correct categoryis not as easy as
it might appear
  • OUR ( teacher AND student) PROBLEM
  • What is obvious to you and me is not always so
  • obvious to people not of our culture or not of
  • our language background -- especially when it
  • comes to WRITING
  • REVOLUTIONARY IDEA I asked some advanced ESL
    students about WRITING and what was surprising
    here in the US
  • (great DVD see BIBLIOGRAPHY !!!) _ _ _

15
Japanese observation about a dry cleaning garment
bag
  • "Warning To avoid danger of suffocation,
    keep this plastic bag away from babies and
    children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds,
    carriages or playpens. The plastic bag could
    block nose and mouth and prevent breathing. This
    bag is not a toy.
  • Do we NEED to say this???

16
Argentinean reaction on an Airbus 320 recently
  • "Warning This door must be closed during
    take-off and landing.
  • Do we NEED to say this???

17
Turkish student American writing repeats too
much its redundant
  • P 1 This ___ will discuss XYZ by analyzing A,
    B, and C
  • P 2 support 1 (about A)
  • P 3 support 2 (about B)
  • P 4 support 3 (about C strongest)
  • P 5 This ___ discussed XYZ by analyzing A, B,
    and C
  • Do we NEED to say this???

18
Serenity Prayer What we CANNOT control
  • students expectations / goals / needs
  • time required to grade 100 essays
  • students ability to correct all of their own
    grammar errors instantly or independently (in x
    wks.)
  • students English proficiency (in x wks.)
  • students composition ability in L1

19
Serenity Prayer What we CAN control
  • 1. the topics and therefore Ss Ts interest
  • 2. writing tasks (what? ? of rewrites?)
  • 3. the scoring procedures (YOUR TIME!)
  • (no research to show that your grading
    better student writing)
  • 4. what we do (and dont) teach
  • 4a. teach (selected) grammar only as needed
  • 4b. teach vocabulary at the adv. level

20
What we CAN control
  • 1. the topics and therefore our interest
  • BOOK 2 GREAT PARAGRAPHS Each chapter ends
    with 5 writing prompts for that rhetorical mode.
  • BOOK 5 GREATER ESSAYS ditto but the prompts
    are divided by subject (Humanities, Sciences,
    Business, Personal) plus 10 additional topics
    per chapter
  • TOP 20 one large writing prompt for the grammar
    point

21
What we CAN control
  • 2. writing tasks (what? ? of rewrites?)
  • a. shorter, specific writing tasks
  • (e.g., providing and following a model)
  • b. numerous writing tasks
  • (avoid the I assign, you write, I grade
    syndrome)
  • c. limit number of rewrites
  • d. more all-class tasks
  • (Greater Essays 3 versions of the same essay)
  • (Great Paragraphs all ss work on same topic
    sent)
  • (various books Building Better Sentences TASK)

22
Tasks that ALL students can do together and then
check together
  1. Teach a CLASS You dont get paid enough or have
    enough time to teach 20 / 15 / 32 individual
    writing classes for the whole semester
  2. Teach a CLASS Limit your grading time
  3. Teach a CLASS Concrete activities that students
    can complete and check in pairs/groups
  4. Practice building better sentences, which are the
    foundation for paragraphs, essays, and all types
    of writing.

23
Sentence Combining in Small Groups
  1. Students work in 3s.
  2. There are 3 problems.
  3. Each student becomes A, B, or C.
  4. After Problem A, then student A will put that on
    the board. (All A students go to the board at
    the same time.
  5. Check all answers as a class.

24
EXAMPLE for whole class
  • The flag is Mexican.
  • The flag is green.
  • The flag is white.
  • The flag is red.
  • you _________________________________
  • _________________________________

25
Problem A
  • from Great Paragraphs, p. 244
  • School uniforms should be mandatory.
  • This should be for all students.
  • The students are in the United States.
  • This is for a number of reasons.
  • you _________________________________
  • _________________________________

26
Problem B
  • Matt plays tennis every Monday.
  • Matt plays tennis at night.
  • Matt enjoys this.
  • Laura also enjoys this.
  • you _________________________________
  • _________________________________

27
Problem C
  • Karla is extremely happy.
  • Karla got a car.
  • Her car is new.
  • Karlas car was a gift.
  • The purpose of the gift was for her birthday.
  • On this birthday, she turned 30.
  • you _________________________________
  • _________________________________

28
What we CAN control
  • 3. the scoring procedure (YOUR TIME!)
  • (no research to show that your grading better
    student writing)
  • a. Mrs. Cameron
  • b. specific feedback , not overkill
  • (e.g., vocabulary GIVE the word!)

29
What we CAN control
  • 4. What we do (and dont) teach
  • 4a. teach (selected) grammar ONLY AS NEEDED
  • ? GRAM CLASS (no future perfect!)
  • ? WRITING CLASS
  • ? TEACH, not TEST, SPECIFIC EDITING
  • (from Top 20 others)
  • This paragraph contains 7 errors spelling
    (1), word choice (2), s-v agr (3), topic
    sentence (1).
  • 4b. TEACH VOCABULARY at the adv. Level
  • ? Keep a vocabulary notebook (Vocabulary
    Myths)

30
Grammar Example 1
  • VERB TENSES? Yes, but which ones?
  • By the year 2020, perhaps the US population will
    have grown to almost 500 million.
  • Future Perfect Tense???

31
Grammar Example 1
  • VERB TENSES
  • present tense
  • past tense
  • present perfect tense
  • present perfect modal verb
  • past perfect
  • passive voice of 1-5

32
Grammar Example 2
  • ADJECTIVES BEFORE NOUNS?
  • Opinion an interesting book
  • Dimension a big apple
  • Age a new car
  • Shape an oval mask
  • Color a black coat
  • Origin a Canadian product
  • Material a plastic toy
  • a big round Malaysian opal friendship ring
  • a delicious aged Dutch cheese snack

33
Grammar Example 2
  • ADJECTIVES BEFORE NOUNS?
  • Make your students use ONE adjective
  • Make sure the adjective is BEFORE the noun it
    modifies

34
A non-ESL-tainted co-author from Greater
Essays, Essay 4c, p. 102
  • Modern Music Technology Downloading or
    Stealing?
  • The recording industry is in a slump. Albums
    and CDs
  • are not selling as much as they were several
    years ago, and
  • this trend shows no sign of reversing. For the
    industry as a whole, profits are down ten percent
    within the last three years. What has caused
    this downward spiral for the music industry? The
    answer is the same piece of equipment with which
    I am writing this essay the personal computer.
    There are three reasons that the computer has had
    this deleterious effect on the recording industry.

35
Evidence that Vocabulary is Critical in ESL
Writing
  • 1st SOURCE Research studies
  • Santos (1988)
  • Ferris (1994)
  • Biber (1986)
  • Engber (1995)
  • Dordick (1996)
  • 2nd SOURCE ESL Composition Rubrics
  • Teacher-generated
  • ESL Profile (Jacobs et al. 1981)
  • TOEFL

36
Tips for Teaching / Inspiring Better Writing
  • Remember students REAL objectives
  • Respect student time / money investment (dont
    have students write only 3 or 4 assignments in
    a semester)
  • Dont teach a grammar course, teach a WRITING
    course (which means teaching grammar as actually
    needed, not as dictated from the
    this-is-good-for-you mentality)
  • Collect many assignments, allow the papers to
    die in memory, mark many lightly/specifically,
    focus on a few in depth and through drafts

37
Tips for Teaching / Inspiring Better Writing
  • Concentrate on editing skills -- both surface
    language AND composition/meaning
  • Let students work together, but dont go crazy
    with peer editing (AKA peer-editing is not THE
    solution)
  • Work on sentence-level tasks (even at advanced!!)
  • Encourage/Push vocabulary usage/growth
  • When in doubt, go back to .

38
The Serenity Prayer
39
Questions?
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