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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Module 8 - Supporting writing


It's important to provide students with a lot of encouragement and opportunities to develop and practise their writing skills in a range of different genres.

In this module you will discover more about:

  •  supporting students to prepare for writing
  •  using tools and strategies such as graphic organisers and dictation
  •  the conventions of different writing styles and the importance of good models

Take your time to read and discuss the key information in this module. You can download the PDF of this module here:

Teacher holding ELLP resource.

Audio transcript

Merhaba! Ahalan!, I’m Rae Si’ilata.

If you have completed Module 7, you will have a better understanding of:

  • using ELLP to identify the text levels students can read and understand
  • supporting phonemic awareness
  • and a range of strategies to develop vocabulary and reading comprehension.

In Module 8, a key message is that writing skills should be linked to the development of oral language and reading skills. Many of the approaches used in one of these skill areas can be adapted for use in the other, for example, brainstorming.

Effective writing is based on a progression of skills – from first grasping a pencil to using words in order to form sentences and organising ideas into paragraphs. Students need lots of opportunities and your support to develop and practise these skills in preparation for writing. You can lead a student to the paper but you can’t force them to write. Discussing key ideas, using visual prompts, completing writing frames and other graphic organisers all help ensure that a writing task can be successfully negotiated.

All learners need to know what the piece of writing should look like upon completion. Talking about models of recounts, descriptions, or information reports encourages students to discover what makes this kind of writing different from another. The English Language Intensive Programmes (ELIP) provide a comprehensive guide to the different types of text we expect students to produce.

Most learners will benefit from a systematic spelling programme that operates alongside the teaching of vocabulary, reading and writing.  Using a method such as Look, Say, Spell, Cover, Write, Check will assist students to make the links between their phonemic awareness and visual memory.

By the time you have completed this module, you will have a better understanding of using an integrated approach to develop writing skills, of allowing ample preparation time and of discussing models of particular writing styles.

 In this module you have 4 different tasks to explore.

  • Sorting genres
  • Before and after 4 x 3 grid
  • Combining a 4 x 3 grid and a writing frame
  • Teaching note-taking and summarising

Over the next few weeks you should try these tasks yourself.  With your coordinating teacher, identify when you will use them and how you will adapt them for use with your students.

Watch the clip below to see an example of a teacher using Dictogloss to scaffold writing.



Teacher - I’m going to read you a group of sentences. I don’t expect you to write everything down because I’ll be reading too fast for that. “Lantern frame, must be joined”

When it came to having to reconstruct the text with the Dictogloss some of my ESOL learners actually had sentence starters as opposed to having to write the whole sentence

themselves. So each activity, during the planning stage, thinking about what needs to be scaffolded for a particular group or even an individual.

Students - The lantern must be strong.

Should or must?


Yeah, it was should.

Why didn’t you write should?

Yeah, it is should be strong but not too heavy.

Should be strong.

Oh yeah, that part.

The lantern. The lantern...

The Next Steps section of this module (p 73), asks you to reflect on your learning, and review a task to see how you would now do it differently.

Discuss the Next Steps section in the handbook with your coordinating teacher then answer these questions about your learning from this module:

  • What are three concepts and three terms you learnt in this module?
  • What learning tasks did you complete in this module?
  • How will you apply the learning tasks from this module with your students?
  • What main issues did you discuss with your coordinating teacher?
  • What do you need to find out more about and how will you do this?
  • What do you need to do to prepare for the next module?

When you've completed all of the questions, you've finished the module. Your coordinating teacher can sign off the module on the course completion certificate

Published on: 08 Jan 2018