Tài liệu Techniques in teaching writing for high school students

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Tham gia: 23/09/2015

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*************************** 0 Techniques in teaching writing for high school students Part A: Introduction 1 I. Aims of the study Nowadays, English has become an international language and learning English is an evitable demand for many people who would use it as an effective means of communication in their life and work. However, in order to master one language, one has to know not only the language aspects of that language such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation but also the four basic skills. The fact is that for a long time in Viet Nam, much attention is paid to the teaching and learning of grammar and they tend to ignore the teaching of some basic skills such as writing, speaking, and listening. Consequently, Vietnamese students, though they are very competent at doing exercises, fail to communicate well in the language they have studied for years. Writing, along with other skills, is very important when we want to evaluate the English level. Many students, as well as teachers, consider writing so difficult that they hardly master it. However, the students are not only to blame for this problem because teachers' quality of English, lack of materials and the old conception in teaching and learning are also the main reasons. This is the reason why I conduct this study on some techniques in teaching writing for high school students with the hope that it would contribute to the promotion of enhancing the teaching and learning writing among teachers and students at high school. II. Methods of the study 2 I have used the following methods for my study: - reading references of different sources - consultation with colleagues - personal observations and nine-year-experience in teaching English at high school. III. Scope of the study This paper only investigates some techniques in teaching writing sentences, a paragraph and an essay. The writing of other forms and the teaching of other skills are not mentioned here because of lack of time and materials. Part B: Development 3 Sentences and paragraphs are the most basic components of an essay. As a matter of fact, it is really necessary to study sentence structures, types of sentences and the basic rules when writing a paragraph… when we want to learn how to write an essay. I. Sentence structure 1. Simple sentence: A clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb. Some clauses can stand alone as a sentence. This kind of clause is an independent clause. A simple sentence is one independent clause. Eg: Tom loves Erica. 2. Compound sentence: A compound sentence is two independent clauses joined together by a comma and one of the seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, so, or, nor, for, yet. Example: – Tom loves Erica, and she loves him – Jack loves Jean, but she loves Ronald. – Jack should forget Jean, or he will die a lonely man. – Jean doesn’t love Jack, so she won’t marry him or by semi colon and the first word after a semicolon is not capitalized. Example: – Jack loves Erica; she loves him. – Jack loves Jean; she loves Ronald. or joining the two independent clauses with a semicolon + sentence connector + comma: moreover, furthermore, however, otherwise, therefore. Example: – Tom loves Erica; moreover, she loves him. – Tome loves Erica; furthermore, she loves him. 3. Complex sentence: 3.1. Dependent clause: Dependent clause is a clause with a subject and a verb that does not express a complete thought and cannot stand alone. 4 There are different kinds of dependent clauses: – dependent adjective clauses : which can work twenty hours a day/ who cannot work around the clock. – dependent dverb cl use before the comp ny inst lled robots/ bec use….. – dependent noun clause : that robots are here to stay 3.2. Complex sentence: A dependent clause must be connected to an independent clause in order to make a complete sentence which is called a complex sentence. Independent clause dependent clause The company uses robot, which can work twenty four hours a day Production was average before the company installed robots nnu l s les re now over one million bec use production meets buyer’s demands The word that begins a dependent clause is called a subordinating conjunction: which, who, before and because 3.3. Complex sentences with Adverb clauses Dependent adverb clauses tell why, when and where or introduce an opposite idea. – to tell why: because, since as. – to tell when and where: when, whenever, since, while, as soon as, after, before… – to introduce an opposite idea: although, though, even though II. Parts of a paragraph. A paragraph is a group of related sentences that develops one main idea, which is the topic of a paragraph. A paragraph is made up of three kinds of sentences that develop the writer’s m in ide . hese sentences re - the topic sentence - supporting sentences - the concluding sentence 5 A hamburger is a good example for teacher when teaching writing a paragraph. 1. The topic sentence: The topic sentence is the most general and important statement of the paragraph. It is the key sentence because it names the subject and the controlling idea, opinion or feeling about the topic. The topic sentence should be written at the beginning of the paragraph because it tells the reader what you are going to say and you can look back at the topic sentence as you write the supporting sentences. The topic sentence must have the subject and the controlling idea. The controlling idea limits what you will write about in your paragraph.  River rafting is challenging sport with important requirements S CI  College-> Greenhill college-> registration-> frustrating experience  Registration at Greenhill College is a frustrating experience 2. The supporting sentences: They develop the topic sentences by giving specific details , explanations, or proof about the topic sentence. Topic sentence: Traditional American family relationships have changed greatly in the last thirty years - x out of x marriages ending divorce - x out of x children live in homes with only one parent. - x percent of couples living together are not legally married. Topic sentence: Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world. - Cost of a diner at a medium-priced restaurant. - Rent for an average two-bedroom apartment. - Cost of a ride on public transportation - Cost of a medium-priced hotel room 3. The concluding sentence It signals the end of the paragraph. 6 It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. The concluding sentence reminds the readers of the topic sentence, it is like the topic sentence but in different words not copy the topic sentence. It can be begun with: All in all, In any event, In brief, Indeed, In other words, In short, Therefore, In conclusion, In summary, Finally… Here are examples of topic sentences: - River rafting is a challenging sport with special requirements - Gold, a precious metal is prized for two important characteristics And here are the concluding sentences: - In short, if you are fearless and in good physical condition and can react quickly, river rafting is the ideal outdoor sport for you . - In conclusion, gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for it utility. III. Some steps in writing a paragraph 1. Pre-writing: Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a prewriting activity in which you come up with a list of ideas about a topic on your own or in small groups with your classmates -Brainstorming may follow these steps: + Write down your general subject or specific topic. + Make list of everything that comes to your mind about it. + Use words, phrases and sentences + Keep writing down whatever comes up to your mind until run out of ideas. 2. Outlining a paragraph Simple outline: Topic sentence: - Main supporting sentence - Main supporting sentence - Main supporting sentence Concluding sentence 7 Topic sentence A. Main supporting sentence 1. Supporting detail 2. Supporting detail 3. Supporting detail B. Main supporting sentence 1. Supporting detail 2. Supporting detail 3. Supporting detail C. Main supporting sentence 1. Supporting detail 2. Supporting detail 3. Supporting detail Concluding sentence Example: Snow skiing Snow skiing must take extreme precautions on the slopes. A. They must consider the weather conditions 1. Temperature 2. Wind 3. Storm or clear weather B. They must consider the slope condition 1. Surface 2. Visibility 3. Strength C. They must consider their own ability 1. Beginner 2. Intermediate 3. Expert Snow skiing is a safe and enjoyable winter sport if skiers take a few precautions IV. Writing an essay 8 1. What is an essay? An essay is a piece of writing several paragraphs long instead of one or two paragraphs. It is written about one topic. An essay has three main parts: 1. An introductory paragraph 2. A body ( two or more paragraphs) 3. A concluding paragraph The introductory paragraph consists of two parts: + general statements : - introduce the topic of the essay - give background information on the topic + thesis statements: - States the main topic - Lists the subdivisions of the topic - May indicate the method of organization - The last sentence in the introductory paragraph Ex: A person born in the twentieth century has seen a lot of changes take place in almost all areas of human life. Some people are excited by the challenges that these changes offer; others wants to return to the simpler, less automates lifestyle of the past. Living in the twentieth century has certain advantages such as a higher standard of living but it also has some disadvantages such as a polluted environment, the depersonalization of human relationships, and the weakening of spiritual values The body consists of one or more paragraphs. Each paragraph develops a subdivision The concluding paragraph + a summary of the main points or restatement of your thesis in different words + your final comment on the subject, based on the information you have provided Ex: In conclusion, although the 20th century has indeed given us a lot of advantages by making us richer, healthier, and freer to enjoy our lives. It has, in my opinion, not made us wiser. The 20th century has also made our Earth dirtier, our people less humane and 9 our spiritual lives poorer. We should continue to enjoy the benefits of technological advancements because they free us to pursue our interests and goals. However, we must make an effort to preserve our natural environment for future generations. Moreover, we should take the time now to make our lives more meaningful in an increasing impersonal world. 2. Some transitional signals used in writing paragraphs and essays Usage Sentence connectors Conjunction Coordinator Subordinato r To list ideas in time First, second (ect..) order or order of First of all, then, next, after that, importance finally To add another idea Furthermore, also, in addition, , and moreover, besides, what's more To add an opposite On the other hand, however.. but idea Although, even though To add a similar idea Similarly, likewise, also and To give an example For instance, for example To give a cause( or for reason) Because, since, as To give an effect ( or Therefore, thus, consequently, as a so result) result To add conclusion In brief, all in all, indeed, in other words, in short, in the end. 3. Some Tips in writing an essay 3.1. Writing Introduction: tot lly gree/ dis gree with…. b sing on the grounds below. 10 Person lly believe….. I am personally in favor of…. y writing will present three dv nt ges of…. My ess y will present three supporting re sons such s… y writing will review both sides of this rgument/ opinion/ st tement… My essay will analyze both sides of this argument from an objective viewpoint/ angle/ on the grounds of neutral view. My writing will analyze both sides of this argument on an objective way. My writing will review both aspects based on the grounds below. My writing will aim at taking the two points into account from an objective angle. My writing will aim at analyzing the positive and negative sides of the issue. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. Some useful phrases used in the body. t c nnot be denied th t… t is s fe/true to s y th t… As far as the positive/negative side of the problem/ the reasonable part of the statement is concerned As regards the reason ble p rt of the st tements, le rning English is good… Only by………..c n we….. king the neg tive side into ccount, we know th t…. t is the foregone conclusion th t…. A foregone conclusion/ result is th t… t is essenti l th t…. A commonly held belief is th t… Other people are of the opinion that People put forw rd the view th t… Despite/ lthough…… n p r llel to , B lso…. Besides positive effects, however, exist neg tives sides…. Connectors: ore import ntly, …. dmittedly,… nterestingly,… More surprisingly/ d ngerously/ terribly/ seriously… To make the matter worse/ better Obviously/ eedless to s y….. o some extent/ in terms of… Some useful phrases used in the conclusion: n conclusion,… 11 3.5. strongly believe th t… It is my strong belief that.. I strongly recommend that t is highly recommended th t…. t is dvis ble th t…. m convinced myself th t…. t is our responsibility th t…. Some notes: - Use more passive form rather than active. - Use “We” in ste d of “you” - Use some idioms and fixed expressions - Use appropriate connectors. - U se complex sentences instead of simples ones. - Do not use abbreviations Part C: Conclusion I. Conclusion Writing is important and necessary for student if they want to be fluent inon language in general and English in particular. Therefore, the teaching and learning of it must be focused on. In order for the students to learn how to write an essay well, teachers must teach them how to write individual sentences and individual paragraph. This paper is written with the hope that the skill of teaching writing of teachers and learning writing of students will be improved. It is hard to present more within the scope of this study, so the author hope that more aspects of writing such as describing graph will be studied by other teachers of English. Any comments and suggestions for this paper will be welcome and highly appreciated. II. Suggestions for further study. Beyond the scope of my paper, I strongly suggest the following topic to further study. - Some techniques in describing graphs and tables - Some common mistakes of students when learning writing - Teaching sentence transformation 12
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