Teaching Writing &
Using the Process Approach
in ESL/EFL Classes

World Wide Web Resources

Can Students Benefit from Process Writing?
National Center for Education Studies, April 1996

ABSTRACT: Evidence is presented that teaching the cluster of writing techniques known collectively as "process writing" is associated with higher average writing proficiency among students. Students whose teachers always had them do such activities, especially in combination, had the highest average writing scores. Students who did certain pre-writing activities on the actual NAEP test also had higher average proficiency scores than other students.
What the "Process Approach" Means to Practising Teachers of Second Language Writing Skills
Tim Caudery, University of Aarhus, Denmark
TESL-EJ, Vol. 1, No. 4, A-3, June 1995
ABSTRACT: The article reports on a survey conducted on TESL-L aimed at discovering whether ESL teachers have similar concepts of the "process approach" to writing, or whether the concept has now evolved in different ways in different places. The survey results show that teachers actually have strongly differing ideas as to what process writing is. Such divergence may be typical of teaching approaches which have been in use for some time; but in this instance the changes may have been accentuated because the process approach was originally developed in and for the L1 classroom, and has been adapted for L2 teaching. It is suggested that some of the heat which characterized the initial debate on process writing may have cooled a little, making the time ripe for fresh discussion of what we have learned about teaching writing in L2 and possible ways forward in the future.
The Process Oriented Approach to Teaching Writing to Second Language Learners
Nicole Montague
New York State Association for Bilingual Education Journal, Vol. 10, pp.13-24, Summer 1995
ABSTRACT: The process oriented approach to teaching writing in the classroom is an idea that began three decades ago as the result of extensive research on literacy acquisition for majority language learners. Since that initial research, process oriented instruction has been used in many classrooms across the country with different types of learners, implemented by different types of interpretations and teaching styles (Reyes ,1991a). The appropriateness of such instruction for learners from minority cultures and speakers of minority languages has been questioned by some researchers (Delpit, 1986; Reyes, 1991a, 1991b; Valdés, 1988, 1992). This review examines the foundation of the process oriented approach and current theories of literacy acquisition. The efficacy of imple menting this teaching approach with second language learners is examined through a review of the pertinent literature and an examination of recent case studies.
Improving ESL Learners' Writing Skills
Tom Bello, Fairfax County Public Schools Adult Education, Virginia
ERIC Digest, June 1997
EXCERPT: Writing is a continuing process of discovering how to find the most effective language for communicating one's thoughts and feelings. It can be challenging, whether writing in one's native language or in a second language. Yet, as adult English as a second language (ESL) learners put their thoughts on paper, see their ideas in print, and share them with others, they find they develop a powerful voice in their new culture (Peyton, 1993; Tran, 1997). Writing also enhances language acquisition as learners experiment with words, sentences, and larger chunks of writing to communicate their ideas effectively and to reinforce the grammar and vocabulary they are learning in class (Bello, 1997). This digest suggests general approaches to writing and specific activities that can make writing easier and more enjoyable for both learners and teachers. These suggestions are by no means exhaustive, but they are presented to encourage new thinking about how writing can be incorporated into adult ESL instruction.
Designing Effective Writing Assignments
Effective Writing Program
University of Maryland University College, 1996-2000
INTRODUCTION: An effective writing assignment can advance important course objectives. It clarifies what you expect of students, encourages students to learn actively, and may even help them to self-assess both their learning and their written work. A strategically segmented assignment allows you to provide feedback during students' research and writing process, and it facilitates your evaluation of their writings.
Revision in the Writing Process
Fran Lehr, ERIC Digest, 1995 (ED379664 95)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication, Bloomington, IN
ABSTRACT: Although Donald Murray (1982) argues that writing is rewriting, students often see revision not as an opportunity to develop and improve a piece of writing but as an indication that they have failed to do it right the first time. To them, revision means correction. This attitude is attributable partly to textbooks, in which revision is often defined as the act of "cleaning up" or "polishing" prose, and partly to instructional practices that treat revision as cosmetic changes rather than as rethinking one's work (Sommers, 1982). Revision, however, is the heart of the writing process--the means by which ideas emerge and evolve and meanings are clarified. This Digest hopes to provide information that can help in changing students from "correctors" to "revisers."
Writer's Web: A Writing Handbook
University of Richmond Writing Center
INTRODUCTION: Explore topics by stages of the writing process.
The UVic Writer's Guide: Planning, Organizing, and Presenting Essays
The University of Victoria, 1995

Praise-Question-Encourage: Guidelines for Writing Teacher-Comments between Essay Drafts
Ellen Lipp & Debbie Davis-Ockey
English Teaching Forum Online, Vol. 35, No. 1, Page 12, January-March 1997

INTRODUCTION: In the early 1990s, the guidelines I used reflected the view widely held by process teachers that it is best to comment only about the content of an early draft and only about surface mistakes after the content has been revised. For some writing teachers, helping students with revision (improving the content and organization) and editing (fixing some of the surface errors) will continue to remain separate tasks. However, recent research suggests that feedback between drafts is most effective when teachers comment only on the content (Sheppard 1992) or when teachers write a concentration of content feedback along with a limited amount of grammar, punctuation, and spelling feedback (Leki 1992). This research corresponds with my work with writing teachers and my own classroom experience.
The Effects of Instructional Rubrics on Learning to Write
Heidi Goodrich Andrade, Ohio University
Current Issues in Education, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2001
ABSTRACT: This study examines the impact of instructional rubrics on eighth grade students' writing and on their knowledge of the qualities of effective writing. Students in the treatment group were given instructional rubrics that articulated the criteria and gradations of quality for three assigned essays. Students in the control group wrote the same three essays but did not receive the rubric. Students in the treatment group received, on average, higher scores on one of the three essays. Questionnaires administered at the end of the study revealed that students in the treatment group tended to identify more of the criteria by which their writing was evaluated.
My Students' Self-correction Strategies in Writing Tasks
Ana Robles
Humanising Language Teaching, Year 1, Issue 4, June 1999
EXCERPT: In my experience when I don't teach strategies some students will be able to discover efficient strategies on their own, but some will get stuck and fail. As teachers we can help our students to develop efficient strategies that foster learning.
Portfolio Development: An Introduction
Erlyn Baak
English Teaching Forum Online, Vol. 35, No. 2, Page 38, April-June 1997
INTRODUCTION: There is a wide body of theoretical research proposing the use of portfolios in ESL composition classes. The purpose of this article is to describe how I have applied existing theoretical research at the practical level in the intermediate/advanced composition classes from teaching experiences in both the U.S. and Mexico. I believe teachers should consider portfolio development in their composition classes because portfolios can measure the growth of students' abilities as writers, promote ownership of students'  own writing, and, along with a scoring rubric, provide a mechanism by which students can assess their own strengths and weaknesses as writers.
Effective Use of Student Journal Writing
Prepared by: Gary Cobine, ERIC Digest, 1995 (EDO-CS-95-02)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication Digest #99
INTRODUCTION: The concept of a "communications triangle" of reading, writing, and discussing implies the need for a methodology whereby the teacher could stimulate the natural interaction of language uses in students to further linguistic development. Specifically, it implies the need for a method with which the teacher could connect reading and writing assignments to teach "the art of communicating" (Simpson, 1986). As the cornerstone of such a communications method, student journals have proven simple, yet effective (see Bromley, 1993).
Ten Ways to Emphasize the Writing Process
Prepared by the University Writing Program at Virginia Tech
INTRODUCTION: We can help our students handle writing assignments more successfully by emphasizing writing processes as well as writing products in our classrooms. Too often our students approach writing with a "one and done" mentality, failing to recognize that complex writing tasks in school and in the workplace cannot be accomplished in a single sitting, in a single draft. We need to help them realize that successful writers are reflective about their writing processes and habits, learning what procedures work best and adapting them to suit particular situations. Here are some ways to help students focus on the writing process, drawn from a list brainstormed by UWP Summer Seminar Participants in a session on process this past summer.
Creating a Classroom of Writers
Teacher Notes (c)1997 by Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc.
ABSTRACT: The writing process has four components:  forming intentions, composing and drafting,  correcting and publishing, and outcomes. The Meet the Author collection helps young writers explore these stages by giving examples of the writing process in action, enabling them to experience the writing process on a personal level. Young writers will be both comforted and surprised to find that their favorite authors go through the same process as they do when they write. Authors such as Jane Yolen, Patricia Polacco, Eve Bunting, and Paul Goble not only answer questions about writing but invite each child into the process. Writing becomes an adventure instead of a chore!
Integrating Reading and Writing into Adult ESL Instruction
Dan Rabideau, ERIC Digest
National Clearinghouse on Literacy Education, Washington, DC.; Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education for Limited-English-Proficient Adults, Washington, DC
EXCERPT: Process writing, an integral part of most ABE classes, is beginning to play a larger role in ESL classes as well. From a process writing perspective, writing is a communicative act with an intended purpose and audience. The teacher and other learners help the writer find a topic and revise drafts of a written piece until it conveys the intended meaning. Learners are encouraged to take risks and try out new language. As they continue to work to make their meanings clear, learners acquire competence using the style, syntax, grammar, and surface features of the language. Sometimes language rules are taught in teacher-led mini-lessons, but always in the context of expressing the learner's own ideas.
The Process Approach to Teaching Writing
Dartmouth College. (1997-1999).
EXCERPT: The most important principle of process pedagogy is that writing is the result of a very complex, highly individualized process. Before process pedagogy, writing classes generally ignored the writing process. Teachers assigned papers, graded them, and then handed them back. They attended to the product--its clarity, originality, and correctness--but they did not attend to the writing process. Nor did they attend to the writers themselves.
The Writing Process
University of Texas. (1998).
INTRODUCTION: Writing essays and research papers is a nerve-wracking experience for many students, especially those composing their first university papers. One way to make writing assignments less intimidating (and, thus, less likely to be put off) is to introduce students to the idea that writing is a process.
The Writing Process
Saskatchewan Education. (1997).
English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Middle Level (Grades 6-9).
INTRODUCTION: Learning to write is a developmental process. "The process approach to writing focuses upon the exploration and awareness of what writers actually do and what choices they make when they write" (Policy for English Language Arts, 1989, p. 23). A process approach to writing helps students to write as professional authors do, choosing their own topics and genres, and writing from their own experiences or observations. A writing process approach requires that teachers give students greater responsibility for, and ownership of, their own learning. Students make decisions about genre and choice of topics, and collaborate as they write.
For Writers and Would-BE Writers:  Starting the Writing Process
Writing Center, Tidewater Community College

Getting Started
The Writing Center, Princeton University

EXCERPT: One of the best ways to get an idea is to wonder about something. For many students, coming up with ideas for an assigned paper begins with wondering about the general topic of their paper and trying to formulate their thoughts as questions. It will be easier for you to get started on a paper if you let yourself--indeed encourage yourself--to take seriously the things that puzzle you and the questions that occur to you in a lecture, in your reading, or in discussions with classmates. Writing down your questions, and then trying to answer them in a "free," unedited way may lead you to ideas that will make for an interesting, worthwhile paper--for you and your readers.
ABC's of the Writing Process
SITE DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this site is to provide a user friendly online resource, for students or teachers, no matter what they are being challenged to write.
Tracking the Changes in Writing Instruction
Jennifer Le Lynch, University of Missouri, 1998
Powerpoint Presentation

10 Rules for Good Writing
D. Roberts

INTRODUCTION: Good writing depends on a solid understanding of grammatical terms and rules for composition. The 10 simple rules below can help make your writing stand out.
Writer's Workshop and Children Acquiring English as a Non-native Language
Katharine Davies Samway
NCBE Program Information Guide Series, Number 10, Spring 1992
NOTE: Includes an excellent list of references and resources for teaching writing.
ESL: Writing
The Internet TESL Journal, Links to online articles related to teaching writing.

Writing Effective Transitions
Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998

INTRODUCTION: In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present them. Whether single words, quick phrases or full sentences, they function as signs for readers that tell them how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.
CLEAR Writing Bibliography
Center for Language Education and Research, Michigan State University
INTRODUCTION: This bibliography was intended first as a resource for two groups of people:  foreign language teachers interested in finding out more about various pedagogical techniques for teaching foreign language writing and researchers wanting to find empirical research on specific topics. The second goal of this bibliography was to help CLEAR determine the current topics of focus in the area of foreign language writing so that we could formulate an appropriate research agenda that would best serve US foreign language students.

The actual bibliography is here:

Writing Resources for English Language Learners
Ohio ESL, Ohio University, 1999

Writing Resources for Teachers
Ohio ESL, Ohio University, 1999

Indispensable Writing Resources

INTRODUCTION: You'll find everything on and off the Net that you could possibly need in writing or researching a paper, including links to all sorts of reference material, links to writing labs, links to Web search engines, and links to writing-related Web sites.
Internet/Computer Writing Resources for a Content-Based Curriculum
Michael Krauss, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
OBJECTIVE: To provide resources which will help ESL/EFL teachers incorporate CALL writing activities into content-based classes. This site contains both Internet and non-Internet based resources. The user will find sample lesson plans, student work, and resources for further reading/research.
Teaching Writing in the Classroom
The Writer's Resource
INTRODUCTION: [Resources] focused on the teaching and learning of writing in classrooms, or have sections devoted to the topic.
On Teaching Writing
A series of articles by Sharon Kingen
INTRODUCTION: The links below lead you to articles written by Sharon Kingen that summarize the essential content and methods that writing teachers need to master.
Ideas for Teaching Writing
Kim's Korner for Teacher Talk
INTRODUCTION: For my writing program, I use the Six Trait Analytic Writing Model. If you aren't familiar with this model, don't go away. Writing has simply been divided into the six areas, or traits, that teachers value most: ideas and content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and writing conventions.
Writing with Writers
Scholastic, Inc.
INTRODUCTION: Students work with acclaimed authors in exclusive writing seminars.
Writing Research
A bibliography compiled in the Resource Centre
National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research

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Online since: July 1, 2000
Last updated: June 21, 2001