ESL Writing Assignments
According to Second-Language Writing in the Composition Classroom by Paul Matsuda, Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, instructors should include the following criteria when preparing students assignments:
-The purpose of the assignment
-Does the assignment fit in with the class objectives?
-Is the prompt accessible to the students? Does it tap into their existing background and knowledge?
-What are the needs of the students?
-How will the writing process engage the students?
-What knowledge should the students demonstrate in the final project?
-Can the students see that the assignment “real world” future work?
-Is the assignment engaging?
-Is there appropriate and thorough evaluation criteria?
Following are the notes I took after reading “Working with Generation 1.5 Principles and Practices” by Sugie Goen and Patricia Salter.
1. Use knowledge of students backgrounds to inform teaching and classroom practice.
-Use surveys to get background information from the students.
-Have the students write about language and language identity
2. Help students raise awareness and make connections between learning preferences, spoken language, and written discourse.
-Eye learners vs. ear learners
-Dictocomp (students listen to a text read 2 or more times and take notes. They then work in groups to reconstruct the text based on their notes.)
3. Make grammar information accessible.
-Limit grammar focus to key features
-subordinates and coordinates
-structures for attribution and stance
-Assess student’s strategies for editing
-Use accessible texts
-Address individual differences
4. Help students take an active role in grammar and editing.
5. Give students a voice.
Additional exercises to help facilitate student learning in these areas can be found in Goen and Salter’s article.
Goren, Sugie and Patricia Salter. “Working with Generation 1.5 Principles and Practices.”
Matsuda, Paul Kei, Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan, and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper. Second-Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.