Teaching writing is one of the more difficult tasks an instructor can take on. Many people harbor a great deal of a anxiety about the writing craft and as a result many adult educators are faced with considerable resistance. However, if you can get around the initial barrier, you will find that teaching writing through reading and practice is an excellent way to encourage an individual's creativity while promoting self-discovery and comprehension of the world. Read on to learn more.
Begin with writing assignments that encourage rather than discourage creativity and originality. Meet your writers where they are. Avoid reading that might be too difficult.
Pull your students gradually to the place you want them to be with a number of fun and dynamic exercises. Focused free writing is an excellent way to encourage this.
Promote reading for enjoyment by allowing your students to choose their own reading material (within reason). Even pulp fiction is well crafted prose and the mere exposure to clear, succinct passages will promote an intuitive understanding of effective prose.
Encourage revision and peer feedback in group sessions. Good writers are not simply born but made through countless hours of practice and endurance.
Open up your group discussions so that a healthy and friendly environment is created. A forbidding atmosphere squelches learning.
Listen to what your students have to say about their own writing process. Not everyone will learn in the same fashion and it is important to remain open to different styles of learning and adjust your teaching accordingly.
Look closely at your student essays for larger organizational and developmental concerns, but reading for strict grammatical correctness is often counterproductive.
Remember that teaching writing is a calling and that if you do not have a passion for the subject your students will be able to tell.
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