4 Summary

This unit has explored a number of different classroom techniques to develop your students’ writing: brainstorming, pair work and peer review. In all these techniques you are using the idea that learning can be a social activity in which you and your students can co-construct knowledge through sharing and building on each other’s thoughts and experiences.

Using the techniques in this unit will help all of your students to become more effective and accurate writers in English and in other languages. It will also help them to develop their creative and critical skills, and to collaborate and share with others.

You can find more ideas for writing activities in Resource 4. If you would like to improve your own writing skills, you can find links and tips in Resource 5. There are also suggestions for further reading in the additional resources.

Other secondary English teacher development units on this topic are:

  • Supporting independent writing in English: You can learn more about helping students to develop their writing skills in this unit.
  • Supporting language learning through formative assessment: You can learn more about using writing activities for assessment purposes in this unit.

Summary ideas for developing your students’ writing skills

  • If you don’t have much time to do the activity, your students could write fewer texts, but spend more time on each one.
  • You don’t have to do everything in this unit with every writing task. You might decide to do just brainstorming or review.
  • You don’t have to do everything suggested in this unit in one class. You can generate ideas and plan in one class, write a first draft in another class, and then review them in another. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to leave time between writing drafts.
  • Encourage students to keep a record of mistakes that they make repeatedly. They can refer to this when they write and review.
  • Get students to read each other’s work regularly. It’s motivating, and quality and accuracy often improves.
  • Take in some of your students’ written work from time to time. Mark the work and use it for your records about your students’ performance. Make sure you take in work from different students each time, so that you can cover the whole class over a period of time. (See the unit Supporting language learning through formative assessment.)
  • Display written work when you can. You can hang it on the blackboard, or on string on a wall. Once again, this is very motivating for students, and also makes them think about their presentation.