Blog Post Two - Bilingual Students' Writing
Writing is the other part of literacy. While a student may be receptive with language, producing it may be more difficult specifically if it is not in their language. It is important that we as teachers, differentiate and scaffold for our diverse learners. It can also help students retain information regardless of the subject.
One of the best ways to make time for writing is incorporating it into other subjects (even just for the sake of practice.) Besides focus instruction, another important part in the writing process is evaluation of student work, providing feedback, and more instruction based on student needs. This can only happen if writing practice happens consistently. It may be tough but it is needed. Writing can be taught in different lengths of time, in different modes, and different focuses. Later on, this can be based on the feedback given to students.
You can start off with teacher feedback and rubrics that show each student where they are at. All rubrics will contain grammar, spelling, and such. However, depending on the grade level, they may have criteria such as ideas, theme, organization and so on. For bilingual students, this can be broken up into chunks so that it is not overwhelming. This will allow them to take in meaningful information that sticks in each step of the way.
Then, students can move on to peer feedback and support each other in improvement in their writing. Eventually, students will be able to apply the criteria and follow the rubrics on their own. With knowing how to apply what's needed in the rubric, they will grow in their writing and language as it all ties together. In this process, students will revise, and write the writing pieces multiple times. By the time they have their final piece, they can compare the drafts and notice their own progress. It will show what writing practice does for both content and language.