A writing curriculum for intensive English programs

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Guertin, Suzanne E.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.A.)
Department of English
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In the area of teaching ESL, the significance of writing in a university arena is of great significance. Learning to write well will benefit the ESL student in all other aspects of learning the language, as well as in the remainder of his university-level work. To this end, I will develop a curriculum design and lesson plans based on working with students in areas that will help them to improve their writing skill at the university level. The emphasis of the program is that the process that one goes through while writing should be emphasized above the final product. Investigation into free writing techniques shows the student that ideas usually develop once writing is underway. A successful final product follows a successful writing process. Writing techniques that focus on the process of writing to be examined in this paper are journal writing, topic-invention, the use of literature, meaningful vocabulary exercises, transitions, sentence combining exercises, paragraph divisions, class discussion and responding to readings, audience and error correction. Additional points for the teacher to consider include grammar in the writing classroom, evaluation and student anxiety about writing in a second language.Through the examination of these areas and through student practice of the above writing processes, writing anxiety should be reduced overall. By concentrating on the writing process rather than the final product, students' essays and journals should become smoother and more cohesive. Furthermore, the act of writing will most likely be more enjoyable altogether.