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B Today we are going to look at writing

T So what do we mean by writing?

B Well, writing is communication in written form…, but unlike speaking, where we can also use our intonation and body language to convey our message, when writing we have to rely on the words.

T So writing requires people to organise their ideas and pay much more attention to accuracy.

B Exactly And students are often surprised at the differences between the writing conventions in their first language and English…For example we tend to use shorter sentences and we really love paragraphs.

T So why study writing?

B Well…In the past writing was often used as a way of consolidating new language. Now you only have to think about the importance of the internet in our everyday lives to see how powerful the written word has become, as a means of communication.

T And many people want to prepare for exams such as IELTS and Cambridge, which all include written components.

B Let’s not forget that, for those choosing to study abroad, most university programmes require good writing skills.

T So how can we help our students with writing?

B People often say that the key to writing well is reading a lot ..but the truth is that students need to write a lot and this means dedicating class time to writing.

T Our approach involves firstly making students aware of the different forms writing can take and then providing them with models…. examples, so they understand what they are aiming to produce.

B Yes because when we write, we usually have the reader or audience in mind and this determines the way we write…

T But what really makes a good writer?

B There’s a lot more to it than picking up a pen and writing. Students need to get into the habit of planning their writing, which means organising their ideas before they put pen to paper and then allowing themselves time to check what they have written.

T And of course, writing is a creative process and we find that the more that students explore the language, the more they enjoy writing.