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Numer: 12417
Dział: Języki obce

Why learn and teach to write?

Writing is a skill that has been the source of interest to specialists. It has always caused problems as it is not innate. All humans grow up speaking while writing has to be taught. People learn speaking since the time they are born, as they are exposed to it in their natural habitat whereas the ability to write has to be consciously learned. In the past, long time ago, literacy was not good. It has been desirable for whole populations as it was perceived as a status that only wealthy people and dignitaries could afford. Thus, this skill was used only by rulers of church and state.

Too many of educated people were not thought to be desirable for the working population. But then, when the economic growth started, the need of gaining the knowledge of reading and writing became essential to be successful.
There is no doubt that writing is the most difficult skill to master for English learners. The difficulty appears when generating and organizing ideas as well as translating them into a readable text. Raimes (2002), taking advantage of her broad experience in teaching writing, suggests the guideliness that can make the planning of classes more pleasant. To achieve it, we need to take the key principles of designing a course. They include theories, content, syllabus, methodology, materials, activities and evaluation of a course and a teacher is responsible to put them into practice. A well designed writing course is a key to the students’ success. What is more, we need to remember that most exams, i.e. The New Matura Examination, rely on writing tasks which examine and measure students’ knowledge.
Harmer (1998) mentions four reasons of teaching writing. These are reinforcement, language development, learning style and writing as a skill. In the first one, some students are auditory learners. They acquire a foreign language in an oral way easily. However, most of us are visual learners and seeing something written is an invaluable source of learning. Visualizing sentences helps students to memorize and understand them. In language development the process of writing is improved when practiced, so the longer we acquire our knowledge of writing, the better our papers are. In the fourth reason called learning style, some students possess an invaluable ability of learning fast and some need much more time to accomplish the same work. The pace of their work is slower and thus they are able to think everything through to produce language. Quietening activity instead of dynamic communication.
We must not forget that writing is one of four basic skills and it is of the same importance as speaking, listening or reading. Students have to master the knowlegde of writing letters, postcards, invitations or questionnaires to fulfil modern world requirements. Teachers often plan appropriate classroom activities that support the learning to specific writing skills at every age.

Harmer, J., 2004, How to teach English. Pearson Education Limited.

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