Doing Writing In Class

Recording Microphone

Anyone who has heard me speaking about Skills or read any of my lesson plans on Writing will be fully aware of the fact that I am a big advocator of doing writing in class and not at home.

I often get asked why I think this, especially since setting writing to do at home is:

  1. Logical – it seems the most obvious way not to waste precious class time
  2. Common – just about every course, teacher and school sets writing tasks as homework

While the logic behind this approach seems sound, it overlooks a very salient feature of writing – namely that is a skill. You would not expect your learners to develop their other skills solely at home, so why would you do expect this with writing?

In this talk, I explain my take on writing and I also try to explain why writing has ended up being the dreaded homework task that it has become.

Any thoughts, ideas or comments would be welcome – get in touch below or send me an e-mail.

11 thoughts on “Doing Writing In Class

  1. Working in East Asia, I sometimes have problems with students plagiarising writing. I’d put it down to a combination of a different value placed on original work, as well as time pressure: my students are constantly overwhelmed by the amount of homework they have. Either way, since moving the bulk of writing to class time, instances of plagiarism have dropped sharply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That doesn’t surprise me. By doing that, the pressures at home as well as the opportunity to plagiarise have been removed or reduced by moving writing to the classroom.


  2. Great posts. I usually perfer text, but your accent is lovely!

    Anyway, I think you have a point that writing is often too linguistically based and less process based. I tend to have my learners write in class and at home. And, I’d like to think I have them work through the writing process as best as they can. We don’t just go from brainstorm to outline to essay. We plan each part and paragraph separately and I try to get them to think through the ideas. In class, students get a lot of time to write, ask questions, and get feedback (linguistic and non-linguistic). I float around and help each student as much as possible, though it is not easy to give equal time to everyone in just 50 mins.

    Just to clarify your idea, what would a lesson sequence be for your class in writing a short essay?


  3. Thanks for this post Anthony. I have to say that I prefer text posts – I don’t tend to listen to audios because it takes a lot longer. Perhaps you could have a downloadable audio if you’ve used that as a thought process? Having said that, as Murat said, the sound quality is very good, and it is a chance to hear the voice behind the blog 🙂


  4. Very interesting Anthony! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on homework as I definitely have the same problem with several students obviously rushing it last minute & not actually learning from it thus defeating the object of setting it………!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment Kim! I’ve also got a pretty strong opinion on homework, so a post on that should be in the pipeline.

      If you don’t mind plugging to get s bit of feedback: did you like the audio format or would it better if it had been just a text?


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