Short writing activities for esl

Here are two suggestions. Assign reading homework to students. Half the students read Story A and the other half read Story B. Next class, pair up students with different stories.

Short writing activities for esl

In this article Adrian Tennant focuses on short texts such as messages, notes, instructions and notices. Although these kinds of text are read and written on a regular basis, they are often neglected despite being extremely common in everyday life.

Introduction Writing is often a neglected skill in the classroom and when it does take place it almost always seems to focus on long texts such as letters and essays. This is extremely unfortunate for a number of reasons. Secondly, writing helps consolidate other aspects of learning such as grammar and vocabulary.

When students are writing they often have more time than they would if they were speaking and this gives them the opportunity to think about the language they use and learn from the choices they make.

A third issue I want to raise here is the type of texts we ask students to write.

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As previously mentioned, these are often quite long and this in itself is a problem as the texts students are more likely to need to write are short texts such as messages, notes and instructions. The features of these texts differ radically from long texts and yet students seem to be expected to be able to produce short texts with almost no teaching having taken place.

One of the most important things to emphasize is that writing texts of any kind requires an understanding of how such texts operate and what they look like.

The key to this is exposure to the text types — in other words, opportunities to read such texts.


The writing of any text cannot come in isolation — writing and reading are intertwined and the best writers are people who read a lot. Let them read the texts, notice their features and think about the context and the message.

And, because of this there are a number of implications. Firstly, the use of ellipsis i. This requires an understanding of the context and a shared understanding or at least the expectation of such between the writer and reader. Finally, short texts cut to the chase — the message is key and words are not wasted.

This means that messages can appear to be almost rude in nature simply because of their brevity. All of these things are reflected in the language used in short texts.

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In short texts, grammar words — such as pronouns, articles, conjunctions and prepositions — are often omitted. It almost feels as if short texts are ungrammatical when, in fact, this is not the case. Although the words are not written, the reader will automatically reinsert them if necessary.

short writing activities for esl

Take a look at the example note below: Why is there an apostrophe? What are they going to do there? There is no explanation, however the reason in this case is fairly obvious. The next thing students need to try and understand is the reason for the note. Another feature that we often find in short texts such as notes and instructions is the use of the passive.

There are two main reasons for this: Please make sure the rubbish is taken out. Turn the lights off before leaving. Please feed the dog!

Leave outdoor shoes here.Free worksheets for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school including letters, sounds, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, cursive writing, shapes and colors, numbers and math.

ESL Writing Wizard: ESL Writing Wizard is a free resource that allows ESL teachers to create and print customized English handwriting worksheets. English as a Second Language: Jumbled Sentence Exercises: This site allows ESL students to test their word knowledge by rearranging the given words to form a sentence.

This ESL Halloween lesson for adult learners of the English language goes beyond the commercial observance of the day, focusing on the origins of the celebration along with the roots of many of the customs still practiced during this autumnal holiday.

The lesson includes two activities, a vocabulary section, and a creative writing assignment. Listening and Speaking Activities for Adult ESL Learners Aligned with the BEST Plus Assessment Most listening, however, combines short bursts of face-to-face listening interspersed with speaking – such as discussions at the workplace, social conversations with neighbors topics.

In addition, teachers can facilitate listening and. It is a good practice for ESL students and English learners. Now it is your turn to write a letter like the letter in the above example about your daily routine: Please write a paragraph this sample format for writing a letter in English.

5 ESL Activities Guaranteed to Get Your Students Excited About Writing Practice Writing might seem like a daunting task for ESL students. But writing activities can totally spice up your classroom and teach your students to express themselves in new ways.

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