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Effective Teaching Strategies

Teaching Strategies in Basic Writing Classes:

Many basic writing students use Writing Center facilities to improve upon their writing throughout the semester. Some of this utilization is voluntary or prompted by the students’ instructor. Different writing center formats aid basic writers in different ways and their designs are often dependent upon the goals of both the basic writing program as well as the goals of each individual institution. Some questions to consider when thinking about your own institution’s writing center in relationship to your basic writing students are: What aspects of basic writing classes correlate with writing center pedagogy? How can I use the writing center at my institution to support my basic writing students? What are the benefits of each writing center format in basic writing classrooms?

For some students in Basic Writing classes, writing struggles are not based simply on the usual problems experienced by their classmates. These students may have additional problems to overcome in order to be successful in a classroom because they are struggling with a learning disability. Oftentimes these students will need extra help in the classroom and many times it is up to their teachers to see that they become successful in spite of their disabilities. For the teacher of Basic Writing, recognizing the challenges faced by students with a LD, and coming up with strategies to encourage their success is one of the most important tasks that they will have. However, theseteachers need to know what problems to look for, and what strategies they can use to help these students if they want to succeed in their task.

Research (Gender, Learning, and EFL ) shows reading is an essential part of an effective writing program although, a sometimes neglected and undervalued part. What are the best ways to teach reading? What reading strategies do good readers use? Are reading strategies important and why? The treads on reading strategies focus on linking some common educational outcomes to the resources that will help your students to achieve these outcomes in your writing classrooms. In their article “Reading Practices in the Writing Classroom,” Linda Adler-Kassner and Heidi Estrem write “that teaching writing is closely intertwined with teaching reading, yet many are stymied by how to engage productively with reading in the classroom” (1). This reading strategies section will give some direction for instruction in your writing classroom.

Multigenre/Multiwriting projects open up a whole new world to students. It turns the linear model of writing that is often taught in schools on its side and says all writing is important – that it is not only form - but ideas that matter. When students are encouraged to write projects that include multiple genres, either about personal topics or ones that are research based (these can also be one and the same), students become engaged with their writing. As Robert Davis and Mark Shadle write in their book Teaching Multiwriting, “it [multiwriting] helps students to increasingly become aspiring experts in the art of discourse, who not only know some of its multitude of forms but also can freely apply those that are appropriate, using ancient rhetorical considerations such as purpose, audience, message, and occasion” (24). Multigenre/Multiwriting is about taking risks in writing, it’s about feeling confident in one’s writing and work with academic discourse.

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Page last modified on May 25, 2008, at 12:45 PM