Improve Your Writing Skills

Hello Everyone!

All of us have been in this situation “Our next assignment is an English essay” we immediately enter into panic mode. You find yourself struggling not knowing where to start. It becomes overwhelming and you just want to give up. Stop and think if this happens to us that know the English language imagine how bilingual students feel. They find second-guessing every word they write and before they know it, it’s time to submit the essay. Today, we are going to review learning strategies on how to help our bilingual students develop writing. We are going to cover mentor text and close reading.

The mentor text can help ELL students to see what a quality piece of writing looks like. As the student reads they can develop their own piece of writing following the text as their guide. When using mentor text we can use any quality piece of writing from picture books, chapter books, articles, nonfiction books, magazines, and poems. It is very important to remind your students that it is ok to read the text several times. The more they read it the more they can observe what quality writing looks and sounds like. Some of the steps to follow for Mentor text are as follow:

Read the text several times Discuss with the class as a whole using the teacher modeling strategy Check for dialog and vivid verbs to express details Apply it to your own writing Read your new paragraph

Using the mentor text strategy can help the student develop their own sentence frames and writing can become less difficult for them.

Close reading can be another strategy to help ELL students. When we do close reading the students are given the opportunity to look over the illustration, make predictions, and infer information according to the pictures. We all share our thoughts on what we predict the reading is going to be about. You are probably thinking about how this going to help to develop better writing. Let's keep in mind that when we read our brain gains knowledge. When we read and comprehend we learn new vocabulary, different ways to express depending on the character, and places to describe. Close reading helps break down paragraphs with a deeper understanding and that can be a tool ELLs can use to develop their writing skills.

I hope you guys give these new learning strategies a try and send me feedback to see how they worked for you!

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