Integrating the four skills
(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)*
This is the perfect activity for integrating four skills into one activity. And it culminates in a writing task in which students focus on controlling their grammar and on their sentence style. It’s also one in which students can practice those two aspects of writing without having to spend time thinking about what to write.
These fluency activities can be used throughout a term when instructors would like to have students work on their grammar in a writing context and/or when they would like to add some group work in their writing classes. Also, it’s a good lead-in to teaching paraphrasing skills.
Fluency Writing Steps
In brief, each student in a pair or triad is given a different part of a high-interest article and follows these steps:
1) Silently read their part to themselves.
2) Take turns reading their part to their partner(s), who can only see their part of the article.
3) After all parts of the article have been read, individually they write as many details as they can about the whole article without looking at the article. (A list of key words from the article are given to them to help them remember the details.)
In other words, they are not trying to think of ideas, only write about the details in the article. They can focus on their grammar and style.
These are relatively easy for instructors to mark as they are only giving feedback on grammar (marking grammatical mistakes) and not having to simultaneously evaluate the content since everyone’s content is the same. And because students are not looking at the articles while writing, but instead, only look at the “Key Words” to help them remember, they are learning paraphrasing skills, i.e., telling source information in their own words.
Another positive aspect of these is that the content of all the students is the same, so the instructor can easily compare the level of competency of each student’s grammar and style to the others in the class.
Attached here is a sample pair fluency writing activity with the article, Fluency Man follows his dreams
Here is a sample triad fluency writing activity with the article, Fluency How to Be More Likeable
For more fluency activities at the intermediate level, see Pro Lingua Learning–Writing Strategies Book 1
For advanced students, see Pro Lingua Learning–Writing Strategies Book 2.
*About the free-download materials. During my 40 years of teaching ESL, I have had many colleagues who were very generous with their time, advice and materials. These downloads are my way of paying it forward.