TEACHING WRITING

Writing in the target language can be introduced shortly after language learners have begun reading. There are different types of writing, depending on the levels of language performance. They may be classified as writing or composition. There are four types of writing, imitative writing, dictation, guided writing and controlled writing.

  1. 1.      Imitate writing

Writing may begin with the simple writing skill, imitative writing. In this writing beginning language learners begin writing by copyin materials that they have already mastered by hearing, speaking and reading. The material may be the text that they have memorized. Since in this writing language learners only “imitate”, they write groups of words, sentence or phrases rather than singe words.

  1. 2.      Dectation

After language learners have had sufficient practice in imitative writing, they may begin with dictation. The materials can be the dialogues that they have memorized. The teacher can read sentences or parts of the dialogue and the language learners fill the missing words or phrases. By having dictaktion, language learners practice having aural comprehension and spelling correctly. The procedure of dictaction may be as follows: the language teacher reads the text three times. During the first reading, the language teacher reasd the texts at normal speed and language learners listen carefully and make no attemp to write. In the second reading, which is done more slowly, language learners write. In the third reading the teacher reads the text at normal speed again and the language learners make some necessary corrections.

  1. 3.      Guided writing

Guide writing is the third step for increasing writing ability after language learners have practiced imitative writing and dictaction. In guided writing the language teachers guide language learners to write short responses. The procedure of guided writing may take various forms. 1) the teacher reads a passage twice and then he/she makes incomplete the statements. 2) the teacher reads a passage twice and  asks a number of questions. Language learners write the answers to each question. 3) the teacher reads a passage twice and asks language learners to rephrase the passage in their own words. Language learners write each passage read by the teacher in their own words. 4) the teacher reads a passage twice and asks language learners to change the tense, i.e. from simple present tense to simple past tense. Language learners change all sentences in the passage. Or, the teacher asks language learners to change all singular person in the pasage to the plural. 5) the teacher reads some questions and language learners to write their answers in a paragraph. Language  learners write a composition based on the question.

  1. 4.      Controlled writing

If sufficient practice in guided writing has been given, language learners can begin with controlled writing. Like the previous steps of writing, controlled writing is also developed from a dialogue. It is similat to rewriting but in this writing language learners change a passage from dialogue to narrative or vice versa. Controlled writing may take a form of letter. This steep may be given to more advanced learners after they have been given considerable practice in controlled writing. The practice in controlled writing can guide language learners to have composition in the target language.

Composition drivers from “compose”; it means that language learners make original, independent and free manipulation of language. It mostly takes written forms. In writing a composition language learners are required to have imagination or idess, knowledge of the target language, including words and expressions. There are three types of composition controlled composition directed composition and free composition.

  1. 5.      Controlled composition

This steep is similar to controlled writing. Unlike in controlled writing, with which language learners change the way they exprees the content of a passage, in controlled composition language learners write a composition based on a model. They can write their daily life or experience similar to the model. This composition may assume the form of a letter or an article. This exercise enables them to write an article in the target language.

  1. 6.      Directed composition

In directed composition language learners receive detailed directions from the their teacher concerning the form and content of the composition. Directions from the teacher are not necessarily given in the target language if this will make the dirrections clearer. Language learners are not given the directions concerning the form of the composition. The teacher may give detailed directions on the content of the composition if necessary.

  1. 7.      Free composition

This is the highest level of writing activities. After language learners are able to express their ideas without difficulty in brief naratives, descriptions, reports, dialogues or letters, they have reached the level of free composition. Directions in this level are sometimes not required. The teacher has to make sure that language learners are able to express themselves freely and independently before the language learners are given free composition. This steep will be given to language learners after they have practiced in guided composition and controlled composition.

Besides the four language skills, the ALM also considers the teaching the subject matter of language, that is vocabulary and grammar. However, grammar and vocabulary are not thought of as a logical arrangement of forms, meanings, paradigms, and rules extracted from the written language but a succession of grammatical patterns that occur constantly in the spoken language. This assumption suggests that vocabulary and grammar are not taught sparately from the four skills. The subject mater of the language is learned unconsciously. The language teachers may present the subject matter on the basis of their importance and frequency. This way of looking vocabulary and grammar is different from previous methods, which see the subject matter as parts of speech, parsing sentences, memorizing rules, or translating sentences.

Vocabulary and grammar are taught primarily through imitation of native speakers if the target language or the language teacher as the model of the target language. The language teacehrs  should not be asked to produce original utterances in the target language until they have become throughly familiar with the stuctural patterns involved through presentation and drills in the class.

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