Improving Writing Skills: ELLs and the Joy of Writing (2023)

"The meaning of even a single word is rather more complex than one might imagine."

- Editors of the American Heritage Dictionary, 1980, p. viii

"Teacher, do we need our pencils today?" my Puerto Rican elementary students would urgently ask when I came to their classroom to escort them to my English as a Second Language classroom. I was a student teacher in a Massachusetts elementary school, and it took me awhile to figure out the correlation between the pencil and hallway behavior. If I replied, "Yes, you should bring a pencil," the walk to my classroom took 15 minutes and involved a lot of disruptions, student squabbles, drifting students and other various misbehaviors. As a student teacher, I was very focused on keeping order and creating a challenging learning environment. If I replied, "No, you don't need a pencil today," the walk to my classroom took about five minutes, even with a stop at the drinking fountain.

So, what was the correlation? Writing. The students knew that if they had to bring a pencil they would have to do writing in the class, and they dreaded it. If they didn't need a pencil, we would be working on projects or doing more verbal work, and they liked that. What they weren't expecting was that half-way through my student teaching, I bought 10 boxes of pencils and kept them in my classroom, so they never had to bring a pencil to class — I had plenty to go around. This improved the hallway behavior, but still left me with the question of how to improve ESL student writing when they were frustrated by the practice and went to great lengths to avoid it.

I have been teaching ESL for many years and there is no perfect solution to this problem; however, I do believe I have added quite a few writing activities to my bag of tricks and improved my ability to differentiate writing tasks based on student ability. As I improved my ability to ensure that each student would be successful in the writing activity, their confidence increased, and they were less likely to engage in disruptive behavior. You know what I'm talking about — the long, dramatic search for a pencil… and then paper… or the meandering walk about the room to get yesterday's writing draft, or the ever popular, "15 minute pencil sharpening" session. I hope some of the writing activities I share with you will help you to reduce anxiety in your ESL students and increase their language and writing skills.

There is a very important correlation between writing and language development. As students develop language skills, they often develop listening skills first (lots of input they can understand), then speaking (they begin to formulate their ideas in the second language), then reading (they can understand the sound/symbol correspondence of the new language and make sense of the words) and finally writing (they have enough language to express their own ideas in writing). This is not true for 100% of language learners, but it is true for the majority of them. Why is writing often the last skill to emerge? It almost seems that reading would be more difficult because the student needs to sound out words and understand the author's message. It would seem writing might be easier because students are sharing their own ideas already in their heads and simply putting them on paper. However, writing requires a lot more processing of language in order to produce a message.

First the student must have an idea, then think of the appropriate way to say it, then start to write it and spell it correctly, and then create another sentence to continue to communicate the idea. If we add the students' worry that they are making huge, embarrassing errors or that their ideas aren't very good in the first place, then we begin to understand the complexity involved in writing in a second language. In fact, the way we communicate, or the way students put their ideas on paper, is largely influenced by their culture. In some of my classes, my Asian students were very confused when I told them to revise their writing because this was a "first draft." In their experience they had always written an item once and submitted it as "the final," and then the teacher would correct it. The idea that they had to write it over again didn't make sense to them. Students from other cultures may have developed a storytelling style that involves laying out a lot of background information and detail and takes quite a while to get to the point. In most western writing, we expect a topic sentence or a lead paragraph that will tell us what the point is, and then everything written after that leads to a direct conclusion. Many of my students had great difficulty connecting their ideas this way.

With that said, teachers have a big task in improving ESL student writing skills, but the payoff for instructional dedication can be great. A researcher on adolescent literacy at the University of Minnesota, David O'Brien, did a study on improving the reading skills of adolescent students. All of the students were involved in a six week study and during that time they were responsible for creating brochures and other types of communication on computers. They had criteria to input a certain amount of text and graphics to create a final project. This required lots of thought and revisions to achieve the final result. At the end of the six weeks the students took a reading test and the majority of them had improved their reading skills significantly. This was a very interesting result, considering that the teachers had not focused on teaching reading skills. The conclusion was that students used meta-cognition to process language and work with it in a more meaningful way, so that consequently their reading skills improved even though they were mostly working on writing.

(Video) How to modify your writing lessons for English Language Learners / ESOL Strategies

Additional positive academic results have been seen in the "90 90 90 Schools." These are schools that researchers have identified as 90% poverty, 90% students of color and 90% achieving standards. This is a most remarkable combination in the educational world. The researchers examined these schools and found one common denominator among them — they all focused on developing writing skills. Each school had an agreed upon writing curriculum and methodology that was used at all grade levels, and student writing was prominently displayed throughout the building and in classrooms. Students used writing in all content areas to demonstrate academic concepts learned. In the end, 90% of the students in these schools were able to pass state grade-level tests based on the academic standards.

Now that I have hopefully convinced you that all your hard work will pay off, I would like to introduce some effective writing activities. I would like to acknowledge that there are many types of effective writing instruction used in classrooms today, including process writing, graphic organizers as writing planning tools, vocabulary stretchers, etc… and all of those are beneficial to ELL students. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on a few writing activities that I think are particularly useful when working with students with a wide-range of English language skills.

How to differentiate writing activities:

With some pre-planning, a teacher can create a writing assignment that will allow every student to be successful. For example, the teacher may give a writing assignment that has A, B and C levels (or they can be number or color-coded).

  • ELL students at Level A copy a sentence or short passage exactly as it is written. This helps beginning-level students who are not very familiar with the language, but may be able to interpret some of the information as they copy it.
  • Level B students receive a paragraph or two that has blank spaces in the text. The students write the word or phrase that completes the sentence. This allows the student to write an amount that is not overwhelming and helps them comprehend the information.
  • Level C students write on their own, but perhaps they receive paragraph prompts or are allowed to look in a book, but must put the idea in their own words. After some practice with this system and getting to know your students' English language skills, you will be able to create a system that works best for your class.

Language Experience Approach

The Language Experience Approach draws on instructional techniques used with younger children who have not yet developed literacy skills. In this approach, the teacher presents information to the students, or they have an "experience" of some sort — for example, a field trip, or acting out a scene in a book. Then the students tell the teacher what to write on the board to explain the experience. This may be useful as an activity for a volunteer or teacher's aide to use with a small group of ESL students during literacy time. Here are the steps.

  1. Experience something — for example, the students have listened to the story, "The Little Red Hen" and then acted it out.
  2. The teacher stands by the board or a large sheet of paper and says to the students, "Tell me the story of the Little Red Hen."
  3. As each student tells a part of the story, the teacher writes it down on the board, just as it was stated. For example, a student might say, "The Little Red Hen work so hard and nobody want help her." This continues until each student has spoken or the story is finished.
  4. Then the teacher tells the students, "Let's read the story together and listen to see if the story makes sense and if there is anything we want to change."
  5. After reading the story, the teacher asks students if they want to change anything. For example, one student may raise her hand and say, "I think it should say, "worked" not "work." The teacher may ask other students if they agree or disagree.
  6. If the suggested change is correct, the teacher offers praise and moves on to the next suggestion. If the suggested change is not correct, the teacher should help the student analyze the suggested change. For example, if the student says, "I think it should say, ‘The Little Red Hen she worked so hard…." The teacher would ask if others agree and see if there is discussion, then the teacher could point out that the Little Red Hen is the pronoun or "name," so in English we don't need to put it in twice. We can say "She worked so hard." Or "The Little Red Hen worked so hard."
  7. When students have analyzed and corrected the whole text, the teacher may either circle a few more spots where students missed corrections and they can be challenged to figure out what the change should be, or the students can be instructed to copy the text with the corrections included.
  8. As a final activity, students are instructed to take the story home and read it to three people and bring it back with signatures.

After this activity, usually even beginning-level ELL students are able to read the story to others because it was their experience, it is in their own words, and they have worked with the text in a meaningful way.

Sentence Auction

This activity helps students analyze common writing errors through a personalized activity since they are trying to buy their own sentences. Once a week or once a month, a teacher can hold a "Sentence Auction." The teacher takes sentence examples from student writing — some of which have errors and some that don't, and writes them on a handout or overhead projector. The identity of the student who wrote each sentence is not revealed. To begin the sentence auction, each student is given an "account" of perhaps $300. The students are told to "bid" on the good sentences. The winner is the student with the highest number of "good" sentences.

  1. The teacher takes on the persona of an "Auctioneer" and opens the bidding at $10.
  2. The teacher reads out the sentence confidently exactly as it is written. "Him want to go to school very bad." Who will give me $10?"
  3. The students take turns bidding until the teacher decides who has "won" the bid.
  4. Some sentences will not sell because students will know they are "bad." Just leave those sentences and move to the next one.
  5. After all the sentences have been sold, the teacher goes through the list and the students say whether the sentence was good or bad. If they agree that it was a bad sentence, then the teacher asks them to explain how they can make it a "good" sentence.
  6. Finally the students can count how many "good" sentences they have (since they may have bought some bad ones) and a winner is declared.
  7. The teacher may want to give a little prize or certificate to the student. In a variation of this activity students can work in pairs or groups to buy the sentences.

Error correction

I have never "corrected" my students' writing mistakes, at least not in the traditional way. I have always told my students, "If I correct your English, I improve my English; if you correct your English, you improve yours." I handled corrections in one of two ways: either I identified what errors I would be looking for in the writing submission or I told them I would only circle five errors in the whole paper. If I pre-set the errors I would look for, for example correct use of past tense, I would only correct past tense errors, even if I saw other glaring errors in the paper. Sometimes this was hard to do, but I wanted to maintain the students' focus on the writing improvement we were working on. If I set a number of errors I would circle, for example, five, then I carefully chose those five and ignored the rest. When I returned the papers, the students were responsible for correcting their own mistakes. If they weren't sure how to do it, they could check with a classmate, and if no one knew, then I would assist. Invariably the students would ask, "Are these the only errors in the paper?" and I would tell them no. They might be disappointed, but they came to understand the value of correcting their own errors when they submitted a piece of writing.

Quick Write

One of the challenges for ELL students when they approach writing is their anxiety about writing their ideas correctly and writing a lot of information in English. This may feel overwhelming when a student is assigned an essay. In order to get students comfortable with the idea of just putting ideas on paper and not worrying about mistakes, we do regular "quick writes." For "quick writes" I give the students a topic and then tell them to write as much as they can for five minutes. They need to keep their pencils on the paper and even if they can't think of anything to write or they are worried about how to spell things, they are supposed to keep writing. At the end of five minutes, the students count how many words they were able to write and they keep track in a log. The objective is that they will see progress in the amount of writing they are able to do in five minutes' time and hopefully apply this fluency to their essay writing.

(Video) Tips for Supporting ELL Students in Writing

Cinquain poems

Cinquain poems offer great flexibility in working with ELL students of a variety of language levels. The basic Cinquain formula is as follows, but teachers can modify it as needed according to the student language level.

One noun
Two adjectives
Three gerunds (words + ing)
A short sentence.
A one-word summary

An example of a Cinquain a student might write:

Warm, happy
Loving, welcoming, helping
People you love.

There really is no wrong way to do a Cinquain, students can put key vocabulary words together any way they like to create the message they desire. Teachers may want to use Cinquains to reinforce new content vocabulary and concepts as well.

With these writing activities to try in your classroom, the only thing left is to buy a few boxes of pencils, hand them out to your ELL students and help them discover the possibility of joy in writing. Teachers who use a variety of activities and strategies to help ELL students become comfortable with expressing their ideas in a new language and finding success with small writing tasks, will give their students' confidence for a lifetime of self-expression. I offer this Cinquain poem to sum it up.

Fun, creative
Thinking, sharing, revising
Lots of ideas.

Hot links

The TESL Reading and Writing Forum

A forum to share teaching tips, handouts, syllabi, lesson plans and more!

Make Beliefs Comix

Make Beliefs Comix, created by acclaimed "Make Beliefs" author Bill Zimmerman, allows kids to create their own comics in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Latin.

(Video) Writing a paragraph with high school ELLs

LD OnLine: What is Dysgraphia?

This article from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, featured on LD OnLine, discusses dysgraphia and its warning signs, as well as strategies for addressing it for different age groups.

Reading Rockets: Writing Webcast

Reading Rockets webcast featuring Dr. Steven Graham, Dr. Louisa Moats, and Dr. Susan Neuman. These three renowned reading and writing experts address why writing is important, what the latest research tells us, and what educators and parents can do to support our children's development as writers.

Reading Rockets: Teaching Plot Structure with Picture Books

Use picture books to teach young writers how to organize plot logically. This article includes examples of basic plot structures, along with picture books that use those structures.

Reading Rockets: An Introduction to Letter Writing

This article from My Child Magazine, featured on Reading Rockets, offers samples of different styles of letters (from thank-you notes to letters to Santa) and style guidelines that children can follow.

ESL Writing Wizard: Handwriting Practice

(Video) The Three-Step Roadmap to Teaching English Learners

This site lets you create your own handouts of words that students can practice writing. The paper is lined and the word is outlined in small dot print. Good for ELL students developing initial literacy skills.

ReadWriteThink: Comic Creator

ReadWriteThink offers a variety of fun, interactive writing activities, including the Comic Creator. Students can fill in comics with their own words and storylines.

PIZZAZ: Cinquain poems

A poetry site designed to assist instruction of ESL students in poetry and other creative writing forms. The site has links and detailed information on poetry such as Cinquain, Diamante, Haiku and Limericks. It also has further information on other types of creative writing and tips for instruction.

TeacherVision: Language Arts Graphic Organizers

These graphic organizers can be used to prepare for a five-paragraph essay, organize sentences in a paragraph, map concepts and events, compare topics with a Venn Diagram, organize notes for a presentation, create a double-entry journal, and much more.


You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Colorín Colorado and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact [emailprotected].

(Video) 40: Supporting English Language Learners in the Art Classroom


Why is process writing an effective strategy for ELL students? ›

Process writing focuses on allowing students—especially young learners—to write with plenty of room left for error. Standard correction begins slowly, and children are encouraged to communicate through writing, despite limited understanding of structure.

Why is writing so difficult for ELL students? ›

One of the challenges for ELL students when they approach writing is their anxiety about writing their ideas correctly and writing a lot of information in English. This may feel overwhelming when a student is assigned an essay.

How can I improve my learner writing skills? ›

  1. Explain that writing is hard work. ...
  2. Give students opportunities to talk about their writing. ...
  3. Encourage students to revise their work. ...
  4. Explain thesis statements. ...
  5. Stress clarity and specificity. ...
  6. Explain the importance of grammar and sentence structure, as well as content.

How do ELL students engage in writing? ›

Here are some things you can do to get the writing process started.
  1. Ask questions. Ask questions to help elicit vocabulary or grammatical structures from your students. ...
  2. Create a Word Bank. ...
  3. Draw Pictures. ...
  4. Graphic Organizers. ...
  5. Preliminary Research.

What activities can improve writing skills? ›

14 Activities To Improve Kids' Writing Skills
  • Read Up. Regular reading is a stepping stone to better writing and helps kids' strengthen their writing skills. ...
  • Make it Fun! ...
  • Create Writing Worksheets. ...
  • Try Different Materials. ...
  • Write Letters. ...
  • Encourage Journalling. ...
  • Create a Writing Space. ...
  • Invest Time.
30 Nov 2016

What are the 4 stages of writing development? ›

There are four stages that kids go through when learning to write: preliterate, emergent, transitional, and fluent. Knowing which stage your child is in – whether he's scribbling in the preliterate stage or using "dictionary-level" spelling in the fluent stage – can help you support his writing development.

Which program model has proven to be the most effective for ELLs? ›

Pull Out Model

This program model is especially effective for beginning ELLs who need to develop “survival” English skills.

What are some effective learning strategies to use with ELL students? ›

End of newsletter promotion.
  • Cultivate Relationships and Be Culturally Responsive. ...
  • Teach Language Skills Across the Curriculum. ...
  • Emphasize Productive Language. ...
  • Speak Slowly—and Increase Your Wait Time. ...
  • Differentiate—and Use Multiple Modalities. ...
  • Incorporate Students' Native Languages—and Don't Be Afraid of Technology.
12 Apr 2019

What difficulties do ESL students face when writing? ›

Some of the challenges that are faced by the ESL students are lack of vocabulary, poor grammar, poor spelling, students' readiness and lack of exposure to books and reading materials. The challenges faced by the students' have made it challenging for teachers to teach writing skills.

What are the challenges faced by learners when writing? ›

Attention Problem
  • difficulty getting started on writing assignments.
  • easy distractibility during writing tasks.
  • mental fatigue or tiredness while writing.
  • inconsistent legibility in writing.
  • uneven writing tempo.
  • many careless errors.
  • poorly planned papers and reports.

How do you teach ESL students to write sentences? ›

The simplest way to begin teaching sentence structure to English students is to provide pictures of people or objects and pictures of actions and have the students put the two together. Note: once the students get this (which usually does not take a lot of time), you should also do a lesson on personal pronouns.

What are the 5 basic writing skills? ›

Basic writing skills: These include spelling, capitalization, punctuation, handwriting and keyboarding, and sentence structure (e.g., learning to eliminate run-ons and sentence fragments). Basic writing skills are sometimes called the “mechanics” of writing.

What are the 7 strategies of writing? ›

Elaboration: 7 Writing Strategies
  • Describe a Place in Detail. ...
  • Use Specific Words to Paint Pictures. ...
  • Show How Something Feels, Smells, Tastes, Sounds or Looks. ...
  • Compare Two Different Things Through Simile or Metaphor. ...
  • Use the Exact Thoughts or Words from a Person. ...
  • Describe How Someone or Something Moves.

What is Ell in writing? ›

What does it take to help English language learners (ELLs) become successful writers? This section offers a number of ideas and resources from veteran educators and researchers for students of all ages and proficiency levels. For examples of student writing projects, see our Student Voices section.

What are five ways in which teachers can improve learning for ELL students? ›

Five Things Teachers Can Do to Improve Learning for ELLs in the New Year
  • Increase ELL students' English language production and peer interaction. ...
  • Explicitly teach English language vocabulary and structures. ...
  • Build on ELLs' Background Knowledge to Increase Comprehension. ...
  • Increase ELL Parent Involvement.
22 Jul 2014

How do I teach ESL academic writing? ›

How To Teach An Academic Writing To ESL Students
  1. Teach Key Words For Understanding Standardized Test Prompts. ...
  2. Let Students Write With A Transition Handout. ...
  3. Dynamically Introduce Academic Vocabularies. ...
  4. Let Students Complete Scripts Of Academic Routines. ...
  5. ...
  6. Introduce Summary Frames. ...
  7. ...
  8. Be Supportive.
21 Sept 2022

What is the fastest way to improve creative writing skills? ›

5 Tips for Writing More Creatively
  1. Learn from the best—but don't copy them. ...
  2. Create a character based on someone you know. ...
  3. Use the snowflake method to brainstorm. ...
  4. Find an environment that encourages creative flow. ...
  5. Try freewriting.
25 Aug 2021

What are the 3 patterns of development in writing? ›

Description details what something looks like and its characteristics. Exemplification provides typical cases or examples of something. Narration describes what, when, and where something happened. Persuasion describes an issue and your position or opinion on the subject.

What are the techniques of development writing? ›

These four methods of development—cause and effect, problem-solution, chronology or narrative, and comparison and contrast—are just a few ways to organize and develop ideas and content in your essays.

What are the 3 basic writing processes? ›

Writing is a process that can be divided into three stages: Pre-writing, drafting and the final revising stage which includes editing and proofreading.

Which strategies are most effective for helping ELLs build their vocabulary? ›

Help ELLs build vocabulary by providing books with tapes in a listening center on one side of the classroom. By hearing and seeing the word in context at the same time, ELLs pick up its meaning and also gain prosody, and oral fluency.

What are the five areas in which ELLs must develop skills in English? ›

By. In this article, Kirstina Robertson highlights ELL instructional strategies based on the five components of reading as outlined in Teaching Children to Read by the National Reading Panel (2000), phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

Which method or approach is the best when teaching ELLs? ›

Communicative language teaching is perhaps the most popular approach among the methods of teaching ESL today. CLT emphasizes the students' ability to communicate in real-life contexts, and students learn to make requests, accept offers, explain things, and express their feelings and preferences.

What are some of the strategies supports that can be used to help ELLs gain proficiency in social studies? ›

Some strategies for accommodating ELL students in social studies include building background knowledge, pre-teaching vocabulary, promoting interactive reading and peer interactions, and using supplemental materials during instruction.

What strengths do ELL students bring to the classroom? ›

Unique Strengths of ESL Learners
  • Grammar Knowledge. ...
  • Different Cultural Backgrounds. ...
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Willingness to Take Risks.

What are the factors affecting writing in ESL? ›

Writing difficulties occur because of poor command of English tenses and grammar, lack of inventive ideas, teachers' unproductive teaching methods, inadequate vocabulary, weak sentence structure, inexperienced teachers, inappropriate use of vocabulary and rhetorical convention.

What are the biggest challenges today's ELL students face? ›

What challenges do English language learners face?
  • Their self-esteem may suffer. Being unable to communicate with their teachers and peers can cause the student to feel isolated or even make them a target for bullies. ...
  • They become demoralized and disengaged. ...
  • They're misplaced in an academic setting.

What is the hardest part of teaching writing in the English classroom? ›

Staying on topic. Understanding what is being asked of them. Maintaining stamina. Applying the “rules” of writing to their ideas.

What are the barriers of writing skills? ›

7 Common Obstacles to Writing
  • writer's block.
  • writing anxiety.
  • procrastination.
  • lack of confidence.
  • lack of productivity.
  • lack of motivation.
  • perfectionism.
21 Feb 2017

What are the common factors which affect the writing skills? ›

Darling-Hammond and Sclan( 1996) contend that teacher induction, support, evaluation, retention and job satisfaction have a strong influence on writing skills of students.

How do you make ESL writing fun? ›

Here are some tips on how to bring out the fun in writing in your ESL class.
  1. Don't overcorrect their writing. ...
  2. Encourage them to guess at spelling. ...
  3. Work together to write things. ...
  4. Let them write about their interests. ...
  5. Avoid giving too many writing assignments. ...
  6. Use Mad Libs. ...
  7. Incorporate drawing or coloring.
22 Jun 2015

Which skill should ESL learners learn first? ›

Reading - Reading is an important part of learning a language and it's among the first skills you acquire in a foreign language school.

What is the best way to improve writing skills? ›

6 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills
  1. Make Writing a Daily Exercise. Practice really does make perfect! ...
  2. Read, Read, and Read Some More! ...
  3. Be Succinct. ...
  4. Never Underestimate the Importance of a Thorough Editing Session. ...
  5. Develop a Clear Message. ...
  6. Sit Down and Write!

What are the 7 traits of good writing? ›

These standards focus on revising, editing, and publishing work using technology- all seven of the traits: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation speak to these standards.

What are the 6 essential components of writing skills? ›

The Six Traits of writing are Voice, Ideas, Presentation, Conventions, Organization, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency.

What are the six principles of good writing? ›

This research reveals that all “good” writing has six key ingredients—ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

What is the 70/30 rule in writing? ›

The 70/30 and 15% Rules: The 70/30 Rule says that approximately 70% of the written content should be original words and ideas from the student writer, with up to 30% from outside sources. The 15% Rule is that student writers should never use more than 15% of direct quotes from sources.

What are the two A's of effective writing? ›

ans - Accurate and Affirmative

What are the 4 types of writing techniques? ›

The four main types of writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive. In this blog post, we'll briefly explore the defining features of these four writing styles.

How do you help students with difficulty writing? ›

Suggestions for addressing handwriting difficulties
  1. For students learning to print/write, teach letter formation in a methodical method (ie. ...
  2. Have the student practice copying for short periods of time and then increasing the time as fluency increases.
  3. Encourage the use of pencil grips and/or large mechanical pencils.
9 Jul 2015

What can schools do to promote ESL children's writing? ›

Teachers need to provide time for writing on a regular basis; they need to encourage ESL children to write; they need to promote writing by responding to the content of the text rather than to the form; and they need to provide multiple opportunities for writers to engage in writing for reasons that are real and ...

What are 3 writing strategies? ›

The 5 most popular and successful prewriting strategies are:
  • Brainstorming.
  • Clustering, or mind-mapping.
  • Freewriting.
  • Outlining.
  • Looping.
10 Mar 2017

What are the causes of poor writing skills? ›

Writing difficulties occur because of poor command of English tenses and grammar, lack of inventive ideas, teachers' unproductive teaching methods, inadequate vocabulary, weak sentence structure, inexperienced teachers, inappropriate use of vocabulary and rhetorical convention.

How can barriers to writing skills be overcome? ›

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Written Communication
  1. Do Sweat the Small Stuff.
  2. Get the Target Meaning.
  3. Consider the Nonverbal Aspects of Your Message.
  4. Review, Reflect, and Revise.
  5. Key Takeaway.
28 Jan 2015

What are 4 strategies used for English language learners? ›

End of newsletter promotion.
  • Cultivate Relationships and Be Culturally Responsive. ...
  • Teach Language Skills Across the Curriculum. ...
  • Emphasize Productive Language. ...
  • Speak Slowly—and Increase Your Wait Time. ...
  • Differentiate—and Use Multiple Modalities. ...
  • Incorporate Students' Native Languages—and Don't Be Afraid of Technology.
12 Apr 2019

How can teachers help learners to develop their language skills such as reading and writing? ›

Encourage participation and collaboration.

These may include practices such as peer tutoring, cross-age reading, speaking partners, or book club discussion groups. Such interactions encourage the learning of social and academic language, and help build a community in which all participants learn from one another.


1. The 5 Pillars of Equitably Grading ELs
(SupportEd, LLC)
2. Brainstorming for Success: Freewriting and Looping
(Completed Researches SGS-SAG)
4. The Writing Recipe: Essay Structure for ELL
(Newton Miller)
5. Hacks for Writing Instruction - Techniques to Encourage Writing Improvement in Your Students
(Aspen University)
6. Comprehension: Helping ELLs Grasp the Full Picture
(Colorin Colorado)
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