Teaching EFL Writing

Teaching Writing in the EFL Classroom

We have created a podcast to complement this lesson.


Teaching EFL Writing Podcast – six minutes

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You can download all our podcasts from our podcast page.

Basic Concepts

Teaching writing is often about teaching grammar. If grammar comes up anywhere in EFL, it is in the writing classroom. Most EFL students will have some writing skills when you get them and they will often have an idea that their writing is quite good. Unfortunately, it will very often be quite poor.

In fact, they often will have quite poor writing skills even at the sentence level. Therefore, you will need to take them back to sentence level and begin to teach them very basic structure and how to write simply. Run-on and fragmented sentences will be very common until you correct those errors.

The more basic you get with your writing students, the better. Once a good foundation is built, you can move on to basic paragraph writing and on to essays. These skills take time to develop though and you will find that most textbooks will move your students forward too quickly.

You may find resistance from your students when you take them back to basics. This can be done without demoralizing them or making them feel their skills are poor. Take the approach that We can make the good skills you already have even better by polishing up some good basic skills.

Expanded Concepts

Read and review these links:

General Writing Concerns

Teaching Sentence Fluency

Two EFL writing manuscripts are available to you from TEFL Boot Camp for free.

Download them and read them and you will see EXACTLY how to go about teaching basic writing skills to your EFL students.

These two books are very methodical in their approach to helping students improve their writing skills. When you are teaching, you will find that EFL writing textbooks move far too quickly from point to point and these books were written specifically to help students practice and acquire a skill and become competent with it before moving on. Slow things down and be sure to tie each lesson in with the previous lesson, linking their skills together as you go. That will facilitate long-term retention of the skills rather than the typical use it once and forget it approach many coursebooks take.

Sentence Writing Text Book – a draft manuscript for a sentence writing book. You can use this with your students too! Downloads as a PDF file. 1.8MB.

In addition to the Sentence Writing book above, scan of proofreading symbols for pages 10 and 11. Downloads as a PDF File with 3.2MB

You can also download an “Intermediate” writing Textbook written for university students. The book prepares students for better paragraphs and eventual essay writing.

Intermediate Writing Textbook – draft manuscript that downloads as a PDF file 2.4MB.

Specifically look over the contents of each section and the order of the contents of each book to get a good idea of what needs to come first.

A skilled writing teacher is a rare find, especially at the language school level. If you are patient and make sure your students pick up these skills, you WILL be in demand.