(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
This posting is a more detailed response to my interview question on Day 5 .LINCS Discussion: Student-Centered Approach to Teaching Writing Skills. .
Below in blue, you’ll find the details that I’ve added to the Day 5 LINCS’ posting.
My top recommendation is to develop a clear understanding of the type of writing students will do in English Comp and academic class after they leave our classes.
With this as our starting point, we can apply our knowledge of language learning to help them develop the skills they will need.
In a survey of 360 college faculty members (of mainstream courses), it was found that, when asked to prioritize the most important components of an effective piece of writing produced by their ESOL students, the respondents chose, as their top three priorities (1) organizing content to express major and supporting ideas, (2) using relevant examples, and (3) demonstrating command of standard written English (Hinkel, 2004).
I have found similar results from my face-to-face interviews of more than 40 mainstream college instructors in 8 different subject areas who assign papers in their first-year courses. Ten of these were English Comp instructors.
Here are some recommendations based on research.