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4 FAQs On Teaching Writing To ESL/EFL Learners And Their Answers

Questions and answers on teaching writing

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:

  • 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?


  • 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.

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