Creative Writing – for teens and adults
You can find images of all famous (and not so famous)
You can choose just one painting (or a few) and display them
on screen or make photocopies of a wide selection of paintings, which you can
pin up on the board and invite students (in pairs or threes) to choose one that
appeals to them.
Ask students to work in small groups and share a piece of
paper and pencil. Ask students to choose one person in the picture they have
chosen (or the one you are displaying)
Give instructions one at a time allowing students to discuss
What did they have for breakfast
What do they like doing in their spare time
Who matters most to them
What matters most to them
Which adjective best describes them
What hopes / dreams do they have
What are they most frightened of
You can elicit further prompts from your
What happened before the events shown in the
What happened after the events shown in the
After doing this they could some of the
Join another group and share their information
about the person they chose in their picture
Add 2 more pieces of information they want about
Write a diary entry for this person
Write a facebook post for this person
Working with another group tweet messages or
send texts between their characters
Write ‘a day in the life’ for this character
Write the character’s obituary
Write a lonely heart’s posting for this
Or students can choose what they want to
write about the character
Homework – is it a waste of time?
When students lack the support to do it well.
don’t plan for success, we’ll have a lot of correction to do.
When students are so
overwhelmed with studies, they are too tired to do it well.
When it’s learning by rote.
When it’s just easier to copy off your friend tomorrow..
Or when mummy will do it..
work benefits from collaboration
When we haven’t actually
planned how it links with what is done in class or considered its value.
When students are well prepared in class to do it on
Writing a composition - Have you?
pretaught useful vocabulary
reviewed grammar to be used
drawn up plans together
When they see a point in doing it...
Letters to teacher
Preparing input for next lesson e.g doing
research, collecting materials, rehearsing dialogues for taping
Part of an ongoing scheme of work e.g.
extensive reading, a project, portfolio work
When the medium is appealing
When homework tasks can be chosen
When parents can help
and encourage their children at home
When parents are
trained/advised how to help their children
When it’s a pleasure to do
Checklist: does the homework:
provide pre or post lesson
allow for personalisation?
Why do we learn a new language?
To be able to express our ideas in
To be able to understand others
To have access to language arts
through it – songs, literature, film etc.
To increase our ‘knowledge capital’
Washback effect - the extent to
which a test influences teachers and learners to do things they would not
otherwise necessarily do
Dangers of exam driven classes:
Practice tests ad nauseum
Lots of individually done exercises
Idea of ‘finishing English’
Continue to develop skills and language as
well as examination techniques
and engage students
students motivated – in the short and long-term
students see connections between class work and exams
Plan exam preparation lessons accordingly
Know what is required to
Ability to study on their own
Be confident and prepared!
Writing – assessment criteria
Organisation and cohesion
Appropriacy of register
I regret to inform you……………
In conclusion, it must be stated that………….
She grabbed the gun and pointed it at Dillon.
The windows are large and look down onto a
All this can be yours for only $999, if you
call this number…………
Add two tablespoons of sugar and stir………
I look forward to your prompt reply…
Predict – before listening
You hear a woman talking to
Why is she talking to him?
feature of the cable car makes it particularly good for seeing wildlife in the
the speed at which it moves
the height at which it travels
the distance that it covers
the main aim of the cable car project?
to educate local people
to persuade people to save the rainforest
to raise money for other conservation
the advantage of the project for the local people?
They can use the land if they want
They can sell forest products to visitors
More work is available to them
Problems speaking in exams:
Not used to speaking in
Worried about making mistakes
Don’t understand examiner
Don’t have sufficient
vocabulary for task
Make lots of grammar
Speaking integrated with other
Speaking planned in the lesson
Regular varied speaking tasks
Lots of opportunities to speak
Focus on fluency not just
prepare for exams effectively:
Make clear to
students what skills / strategies are needed to do well
Break down and
practise individual skills
to face with the five language skills
Pronunciation impacts on:
Speaking: comprehensibility & confidence
Listening: e.g. Who hasn’t finished? /
overloaded by extensive
Writing: sound spelling relationship e.g. I
slept under a ‘shit’
Reading: sub-vocalization leads to poor processing
of input /bad memory of what is read
Robin Walker, English
Teaching Professional, January 2014
Sound plays an
important role in recalling a word from its meaning…we often have a feeling
about the sound on the word… the left pre-frontal cortex is activated when
subjects correctly retrieve a word
The Learning Brain, Blakemore & Frith, Blackwell
Share / brainstorm ideas (spidergrams)
Set a research task for homework
Ask students to interview each other on the
Show a relevant clip from youtube
Tell students something about the topic
Ask students to predict the text from
Ask students to set own questions