Scholarly Article Summary
An article by Nordin (2017) focuses the attention of language teachers on approaches to writing. The central idea of the paper is to create a synthesized method for teaching writing, which includes the elements of two recent approaches. Before proposing a model for teaching writing, Nordin (2017) provides a brief overview of the product, process, and genre approaches. The oldest of the three methods is the product approach, which viewed writing as a supporting skill.
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Teachers utilizing the approach ask their students to write essays imitating a given pattern. The process approach focuses its attention on how the text is written and explains five steps of writing, which are rehearsing, drafting, revising editing, and publishing. The genre approach is similar to the product approach with an essential addition of the social context in which writing is produced. Nordin (2017) notes that all the approaches have significant flaws that are discussed in the scholarly literature; therefore, innovation is required in the sphere.
As a result, Nordin (2017) promotes a synergetic method that fuses the genre and process approaches. The process/genre-based approach encourages learners to understand that all writings occur in a social context. At the same time, every piece of writing needs to achieve a certain goal. Therefore, students need to acknowledge these two matters and choose an appropriate genre, tone, and form to start writing. After that, they need to go through the standard five steps of the writing process keeping in mind its purpose. In this approach, teachers are seen as the audience, assistants, evaluators, and examiners.
They can provide input in different stages of writing and evaluate the overall work when it is done. The proposed approach allows using the better of the two approaches and helps the students learn writing from different angles. The approach is meant to ensure the systematization and applicability of the acquired writing skills.
YouTube Video Critique. The Power of Literacy: Writing Workshop
The video published by Fairfax Network (2016) focuses its attention on the advantages of writing workshops in fifth-graders and kindergarten students. The video emphasizes that teachers need to help the students understand that they are writers and not only readers. The teachers need to make students feel comfortable sharing their ideas. At the same time, teachers need to balance instruction time and the actual writing time. I believe that the central strength of the approach demonstrated in the video is that teachers become role models for their students. They go through the process of writing together with their students, which makes all the stakeholders more engaged in learning.
The video lacks specific information about the difficulties associated with writing workshops and strategies that can be used to address these problems. One of the narrators says that workshops are rather disorganized at the beginning of a school year; however, the reasons for such problems. The analysis of possible problems allows teachers to be prepared and apply preventative measures to ensure positive outcomes. At the same time, it must be understood that the discussion of specific techniques utilized during writing workshops is beyond the agenda of the video as it aims to encourage teachers to utilize the proposed method despite the possible challenges.
The material for the writing section of the present project was helpful for finding some new ideas for teaching writing. In particular, I was always aware of the process approach to writing, which included five crucial steps. However, the process approach always seemed unamusing, and I found it difficult to arouse interest in my students. The article by Nordin (2017) helped me to understand that I can increase the motivation of my students by introducing the social context into the process.
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In other words, instead of writing in a vacuum, I can provide my students with a situation in which they will need to choose an appropriate form of writing and go through the five standards steps of the writing process. At the same time, I can become a role model during writing workshops, which will improve the motivation of my students.
The knowledge acquired about the component of literacy is in line with my literacy philosophy. I believe that all the information and skills taught at school should be applicable in everyday situations. Knowledge should always be linked to specific situations in which it can be used. The reviewed material also helped me to understand how technology can be used in teaching writing. In particular, during the video by Fairfax Network (2016), the students were allowed to use the internet to conduct research about the topic of their interest. This will improve students’ confidence in the ideas they present and help them become experts in the field they are writing about. In summary, learning to write correctly can be an exciting adventure, and teachers should guide their students through this journey.
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Nordin, S. M. (2017). The best of two approaches: Process/genre-based approach to teaching writing. The English Teacher, 35 (11), 75-85.
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