• Traditional way of teaching writing for Intermediate Three and Four Students

    We all know that English is not our first language, not even our second language, so it becomes our challenge as EFL teachers to teach good English to our students. For as long as I teach, beside speaking, the second nightmare for most of my students when they study English is writing. Every term I always make a questionnaire about four skill focuses, what they like and what they do not like. I have got the almost the same answer that they really do not like writing because they have limited vocabulary, they have difficulty in grammar, and also they do not know how to write an Essay. They really have problems in writing, their grammar is in a mess, their organization is far from perfect, spoken language are often used in writing, the topic is not focus, and et cetera.

    Here, as a teacher, I have a purpose to help my students not to master the entire writing lesson, but to help them improving their writing skill, to guide them step by step so that they will at least start to know, understand and hopefully like writing. It is not an easy job because both parties, the student and the teacher, have to help each other. What I share to my students is something simple that most of teachers are familiar with this idea. I do not think much about the result because to know that they have willingness to write already make me feel happy. My personal objectives are to make students writing Essay in a good way, according to the rules and to make them believe that they are able to write Essay in English language. In the end, it is up the students to take seriously in studying writing or not, a teacher only becomes facilitator and motivator for them.
    Name of the lesson plan:
    Traditional way of teaching writing for Intermediate Three and Four Students
    Materials:Notebooks for students to write their Essay
    1. In the first meeting, inform the students about their upcoming writing projects. It is better to discuss with the students to decide the due date of submitting their writing per week.
    2. Tell the students about the Essay writing that they have to master in Intermediate three and four level.
    3. Discuss about the organization of essay writing, for Intermediate three students, it will be the first time they meet essay at LIA. As for intermediate four, it will be the continuation of essay writing in Intermediate, but be careful because more than half of my students admit that they forgot about essay writing techniques and organization. To be safe, it is wise for the teacher to review essay writing taught in the previous level, especially on how to write thesis statement.
    4. After all rules and plan set, ask students to work on their essay every week in their notebooks with the topic according to the topic of lesson in their book. In my class, I never push my students to write essay, I just give them encouragement that by doing English essay they can help themselves to master essay easily so it will be a benefit for their formal school essay project, too. If they have time, they can submit their work the second meeting every week, but if they fail to meet the deadline, I just ask them to submit as soon as they have free out of school works.
    5. Check and give notes (comments and encouragements) toward their writing. Well, this is one of the hardest parts for teachers to spend their leisure checking their students’ works. It takes time, energy and determination to make this project work. In my case, I always try to be on time returning their books. I ask them to write essay in notebook since the students tend to lose their paper works after I correct it, so notebook is the best way for them to always open and look at their writing, both their mistakes and the my notes for them.
    6. After returning the students’ book, I usually have three ideas on how to discuss the mistakes:

    If we have time in the class, I usually make their mistakes in grammar and vocabulary as a group competition quiz. I write the incorrect sentence on the board one by one, and then each group of students has to discuss and correct the wrong sentence in a minute. They get points every time they come up with the correct answer. If we have only limited time, I usually discuss the mistakes in general.
    If the time allow, I give short personal consultation to each student. While the others are doing assessment, I call them one by one and discuss their essay gently. I also make use of internet, both email and Facebook as media to keep in touch with my students in connection with their essay.
    This lesson plan brings benefits for me as teacher and hopefully for my students. They try to collect their essay on time because they want to get the feedback from me. Even when one of my students could not come, she sent it via email. Encouragement and comments are what they need besides score; they will feel happy that their work is appreciated by their teacher. In the case of my students, they do feel down when they got many marks. In fact if they do not understand what my note said, they often ask me to explain further. However, our work will be worthless if the next teacher ignore the important of helping out students to do their writing. It does not have to be the same way as me because each teacher has his/her own way to teach, but as long as we have a willingness to help them, they will improve their writing skill.

    Written by: Ms. Esty Puji

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