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Process-Genre Base Communicative Writing Book for Young Learners
- Process-Genre Base Communicative Writing Book for Young Learners
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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Deborah Sukyung Chin
English education is important for young learners; however, the English education system in Korea mainly focus on receptive skills such as reading and listening, and students still seem to lack of confidence in speaking and writing, and struggle to communicate in English (Chang, 2010). As an instructor who has worked in private institution for elementary students, I have observed that students in EFL context have a gap between their receptive and productive English skills. They also have problems expressing their thoughts in English. Particularly, because most writing activities in Korea focus on teaching and practicing students language structure. However, Korean elementary young learners still seem to struggle their writing skill in terms of writing for communicative purpose (Kim YH & Kim JY, 2005). Thus, to help the target students overcome these problems, this portfolio will provide an opportunity for the students to improve their writing skill and engage in collaborative and communicative activities to help students balance their four skills.
The group of students I seek to address is 3rd to 5th graders and their proficiency level is Developing 4 according to the WIDA frame. The students have been studying English with native and bilingual teachers for 5 hours a week and are able to read and understand stories about familiar topics such as family, friends, school, and daily life intensively and practiced summarizing and describing stories that they read into 2-3 sentences. However, they have not practiced writing or speaking for different purposes. When writing in paragraph, there is lack of using linking words and cohesions between sentences and paragraphs. They also have difficulty in organizing their thoughts and ideas. Moreover, when their proficiency level is examined in detail, their listening and reading is fairly higher compare to their speaking and writing ability. Therefore, this textbook is designed to develop the students writing skill in various genres. In addition, engaging in a variety of communicative activities can improve students’ communicative languages. Especially for young learners who have short attention spans and lack motivation, learning should be fun and interactive. (Brewster, Ellis, & Girard 2002; Brown, 2007). Also, the text books should contain a variety of communicative activities, encourage group and collaborative learning, and provide opportunities for authentic communication (Nunan, 2011). Thus, the topics in the textbook will aim to be fun and relevant to young learners’ interest and students work together to share and learn from each other.
The textbook will follow the Process- Genre based approach synthesizing Genre approach and Process approach for the final writing tasks. In order to guide students to complete the tasks, a variety of supporting reading and writing activities will be included. According to Hyland (2012), students become aware of the structure and language used in different genre by reading examples through Genre approach and plan, write and review, edit, and evaluate solutions in their writing though the Process approach. Genre approach is focusing on communicative purpose, social role of writer and audience (Paltridge, 2001). Students will read and learn different types of texts such as movie poster, book review, newspaper articles, journals, and stories, and ultimately write similar text for their final writing projects. Moreover, in order to write a paragraph or multi- paragraphs, students will practice and develop cohesion in writing using appropriate linking words and phrases.
In the sample, unit 8, I Wanna Iguana, students will learn about how to write an opinion essay by reading the storybook, exploring sample essays, and analyzing the languages used. The overall goal of the unit is for students to write their own opinion essay with strong reasons. First, students build up their knowledge of the topic, situation and functional context, and then they will focus on understanding the organization of opinion essays, other language patterns used in opinion essays. In the next stage, students work together to create a similar text in class following the writing process: planning, drafting, editing and publishing. Teacher will monitor and support them by giving feedbacks during the tasks. They will work individually or collaboratively to write a similar text with the same process of writing in class and as an assignment.
In this text book, Intensive Reading (IR) and Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) are also integrated to develop effective reading skills and communicative skills by a variety of communicative tasks which lead to their final writing project. Since the students are young learners, they need scaffolding when reading longer texts. Therefore, IR activities are include to support text comprehension as well as to help learners become more effective readers by means of strategy building activities (Nutall, 2005). In addition, according to Nunan (2011), CLT mainly focuses on expressing meaning and students could acquire language by engaging in meaningful tasks for communicative purpose. In the sample chapter, after reading the story, I Wanna Iguana, students will participate in communicative activities such as sharing and discussing about the story and writing a letter to teacher for a class pet.
Due to the needs of my target group, I believe this textbook will encourage students to develop their writing skills in terms of writing for communicative purpose and balance the gap between receptive skills and productive skills. This textbook will help students prepare to write for different genres, situation and audience throughout various meaningful writing tasks, Also, fun reading activities and communicative tasks will be integrated with the writing tasks as the interesting stories can be used to motivate students, build context knowledge, or as a model text. Hopefully, this textbook would lead students to build their confidence in using English while they develop their English skills.
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