7 Tips for Teaching Writing

By Altiné Moumouni
With these seven tips for teaching writing, you will help your students enjoy your writing class and make them successful in their chosen careers
man writing on notebook computer

Like grammar and vocabulary, writing is among the seven things most ESL students struggle with.

With these seven tips for teaching writing, you will help your students enjoy your writing class and make them successful in their chosen careers.

1 Teachers who write are better at teaching writing 

To effectively teach writing to your students, you must be writing yourself. No matter what subject you teach, I suggest that like me you start a blog, write articles, or guest write for other blogs. 

It would be great for a teacher who teaches writing to produce writing at least once or twice a month consistently. 

You can read about writing, but reading alone isn’t enough to make you a credible authority on the subject or sharpen your writing skills.

2 Explaining why writing matters

In general, all students want to feel that their voices matter and that what they are doing has a purpose. And if you can convey this to your students you will inspire them to write and become good at writing. 

Besides, nowadays, we are all writers, writing captions for our social media posts and sending email or text messages. 

Depending on your students’ ages, you can use what interests them the most to captivate and inspire them to become better writers. 

Ensure you explain to your students why learning to write and writing matter; and let them know that their voices count, and learning to write can help them be heard and impact others. 

3 Build your students’ confidence

Build your students’ confidence by organizing class activities to celebrate their success, share their writing with other students and teachers, and celebrate their growth. 

You can have their writings published in a local newspaper or even on a blog (your blog if you started one).

Another excellent way to build your students’ confidence is to have them write the worst poem they possibly can and then ask them to explain why it is bad in one paragraph.

If they did an excellent job, then have them do the opposite now. Give the students a well-written poem and ask them to review it in one paragraph.

And, increasingly give your students less guidance to help them build their confidence and overcome their fear of making mistakes.

4 Make writing contracts with your students

Making a writing contract with your students is a great way to have them on board. For example, you can discuss the grade they want to have and tell them the criteria to get it, including working steadily, actively participating in class, being open to feedback, turning in their best effort. 

It will help them overcome their fear of writing and encourage all the students to take chances and be open more to suggestions for improvement. In addition, you will notice that even the students who never turn in any homework or assignments will give you something in the end. 

Making writing contracts with your students will show them what they are capable of if they put in the time and effort through practice.

5 Share writing with your students

Sharing your writing (or others’) with your students is an excellent way to teach writing. For instance, you can write an essay with some obvious mistakes and then request feedback from your students.

Generally, my students enjoy discussing and rewriting stories from other characters’ perspectives, and extending stories with a dissatisfying ending. 

Also, if you still have your high school, college, or university essays, you can share them with your students and ask them what they think. Ask them precisely what they think you improved on.

The goal is to inspire your students to write and understand that writing is a journey, and that they will get better at it if they persist. 

6 Let your students write about topics that matter to them 

Know your students. Who are they? What do they care about? Let them share what they care about through writing.

Teach them that writing is not a tedious task but a means of expression like singing or dancing.

The more passionate your students are about a subject, the more involved they will be. 

I remember one day, we had a discussion in my class about playing video games. More than half of the students argued why they should be allowed to play video, and then they wrote their reasons in an essay after our debate. It was amongst the best work they produced.

7 Why is writing important for your students? 

In the real world, writing matters more than we think. As a teacher, try to convey to your students the importance or usefulness of writing in the real world. 

From engineering, finance, law, and math, expressing oneself clearly in writing is an essential element of succeeding in real life; the better they can communicate, the more likely they will succeed in their careers. And, no matter what career your students are planning, show them (prove to them) that writing well will play a vital role in their success. 

Written by Altiné Moumouni for Teflnet December 2021
Altiné is from Toronto, Canada, and currently teaches mathematics at a high school in Guangzhou, China. He has a master's degree in International Economics and Finance from Ryerson University in Canada and is passionate about helping people worldwide through his blogs. He writes about TEFL Teaching and Health and Fitness. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, running, traveling, and anything that allows him to experience the beauty of nature. You can find him at altinify.com.
© Teflnet

6 Comments

  • Abdibased Ibrahim Ahmed says:

    hello
    I am Greeting,
    I just sent you a letter about congratulation.

  • Mohsen Gholami says:

    This is a good article about teaching writing. Particularly, I love the first tip because I’ve experienced it before!

  • Altiné says:

    You are very welcome. I am glad you find it helpful.

  • Daro says:

    Is a nice articule, and thank you so much.

  • Altiné says:

    Happy to hear that you find the information helpful.

  • Muamar says:

    Thank you for the information!

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