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

Module 8: Supporting writing

Welcome to Module 8 of Working with English Language Learners.

In this module you will learn about ways to support learners who are at different stages of learning to write in English.


Learning byte

Watch the clips below to see teachers using collaborative tasks, including a Venn Diagram and a dictation task, to scaffold writing.

After you have viewed the videos, have a shared discussion to reflect on:

  • how writing is supported by listening, speaking, and reading
  • how graphic organisers can support learners to think and talk through ideas
  • how writing can be developed following a shared language experience
  • how learners can write together as a shared activity.


Teacher – After you have shared the different symbols that have been used, what you are going to do is, you are going to work with your buddy to complete a Venn diagram.

In this Venn diagram you are going to write down, or you might draw, the symbols that just Fatu Feu'u uses. You are going to draw or write the symbols that just Michel Tuffery uses. Then you are going to draw or write down what symbols do both artists use.

Student – Now looking at the both of them, what did they do the same?

Oh, that R... petal flower.

Student – See it looks like a... lizard... 




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...

Preparation for Module 9 >>

Module 9: Supporting learning to learn

Module 9 is about supporting learners with ‘thinking about thinking’ and ‘learning to learn’. Think about what helps you to learn more effectively.

Updated on: 03 May 2022