4 FAQs on Teaching Writing to ESL/EFL Learners and Their Answers

1. Why do You Think EFL Writing is Difficult for Students?

Many students have a belief that it’s too difficult for them to write in a foreign language, so they try to avoid writing activities and some students may be discouraged to write because they face some difficulties such as:

  • Lack of motivation.

  • Fear of committing mistakes.

  • Lack of sufficient practice.

  • Spelling difficulties.

  • Structural mistakes.

  • Punctuation\capitalization difficulties.

  • Vocabulary (Word choice\using words in context)

  • Flow and sequencing of ideas.

  • Mother tongue interference.

2. What Steps Can You Follow to Teach the Early Writing of Individual Letters?

I CAN: 

  • Draw lines on the board.

  • Write the letters clearly on the board, one by another.

  • Describe how each letter is formed.

  • Say the name of the letter.

  • Give the sound of the letter.

  • Ask students to repeat the name of the letter.

  • Ask students to repeat the sound of the letter.

  • Give words including the sound of the letter.

  • Ask students to draw the letter in the air.

  • Ask students to copy the letter in their books.

3. What are the Stages of the Writing Process?

There are five main stages the writing process goes through:

1. Generating ideas:

Deciding what to write about by:

  • Asking questions to guide writing.

  • Brainstorming.

  • Using concept mapping.

  • Using graphic organizers.

2. Writing Drafts:

  • Putting the ideas down on paper without concern for being correct.

  • Composing ideas, words, language patterns.

3. Revising:

  • Explaining and expanding the content.

  • Confirming a logical sequence of sentences.

4. Editing:

  • Making final changes and corrections in relation to spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

5. Publishing:

  • Sharing the writing with others.

4. What Can You Do to Remedy Low Achievers in Writing?

  • Prepare students by encouraging them to speak and read first.

  • Ask students to write correct and simple structures and sentences.

  • Insist on achieving accuracy by frequent feedback and corrections.

  • Give model paragraphs to imitate them in writing.

  • Give practice on planning, organizing and expressing information.

  • Make students practice writing in class.

  • Keep a record of common mistakes and focus on one at a time.

  • Encourage students to write in pairs asking the good ones to help others in their writing.


Want a Resource on How to Teach Early Writing?

Here is my eBook on Teaching Early Writing to ESL/EFL Learners.  that answers all the questions above. It is a practical guide to teaching writing in the primary stage. It gives teachers step-by-step instructions to teach basics of handwriting and tells them what to do exactly when teaching paragraph, letter and email writing. This guide enables teachers to have control of their teaching early writing to kindergarten and primary leaners.

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