Learning English is a challenging undertaking, and your students are looking to you for guidance. Being able to speak the language is one thing, but writing in it is a whole other thing. Here’s some tips for helping your students write clearer and better structured essays.
Look for essay writing lesson plans
If you’re trying to teach essay writing now, there’s always someone who’s had to do it before you. Look online for lesson plans in the subject. There’s plenty on the internet, and you’ll be able to download and use them. If you don’t want to use the whole lesson plan, you can always take the elements you like and fashion them into a new plan you can use with your class.
Give your students examples of good writing
Your students can’t write good essays if they don’t know what they look like. There’s plenty of examples in textbooks and online of every kind of essay imaginable. It’s best to start in the classroom, though. Have the whole class create an essay together on the board, so they get practical experience in how it should work.
Understand why the samples work
Of course, it’s not enough to just look at good examples of writing. Get those samples in class and dissect just why they work with your students. Pulling them apart and examining them will help them understand why they work, and give them the skills to try it themselves.
Write practice passages in class
No one ever does well by being thrown in at the deep end. In class, give your students small writing exercises to do. They can practice their essay writing skills without worrying about their grades, and you can be on hand to help. When they come to write essays for real, they won’t be suddenly faced with a task that seems too big for them to handle.
Pair students off to work together
Another good practice tip is to split your class into pairs to work on practice essays. This tip works well in most educational settings, and teachers almost always see results. The secret is to pair a student stronger in the subject with one who could use some help. The weaker students gets extra help understanding the material, and the stronger one has the material reinforced for them when they explain it.
Use online tools
The internet is a great place to find assistance. Your students can try using these tools for help, both in and out of the classroom.
Pixton: This fun tool allows students to create their own cartoon strips, helping them with their language as they play.
English Grammar Guide: This is the definitive guide to English grammar, so your students can check it whenever they have questions.
Read Write Think: The online tools on this site are fun to use and teach essential English skills at the same time.
Essay writing in your native language is a hard skill to master, so give your students time to crack it when they’re writing in English. Practice always makes perfect, so give them the time and space to work at it. You’ll be sure to see results soon.
With these tips and tools, your students will find writing essays a much more fulfilling experience. Have them try them out and you’ll see how well they do.