Helping with writing exercises

10th Apr 2015

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Longer writing tasks allows the learner to put into practice grammar and vocabulary taught at school and with you. You might therefore want to set regular writing tasks that allow your mentee to draw on a particular set of skills. For instance:

Writing to DESCRIBE – Requires use of adjectives and adverbs, and figurative language like idioms, metaphors, similies; onomatopoeic language and alliteration. Examples include short stories, poetry and songs. A large number of creative writing prompts are available here.

Writing to PERSUADE – Using vocabulary to reason, demonstrate balance, provide evidence and conclude. Examples include opinion columns, political campaigns materials, reviews (films, books), letters of complaint, or advertising.

Writing to EXPLAIN – Using imperatives, accurate and economic writing, avoiding the expression of opinions. Examples include instructions, directions and synopses.

Writing to ADVISE – Uses modals (could, should, may, might). Examples include (suitable!) Agony Aunt columns.

When setting writing tasks, try to make them as precise as possible (eg. their plans for the last day of school), or provide a theme (eg. betrayal) and help the learner develop and plan their ideas.

Learning how to write emails and formal is also useful and students sitting Cambridge ESOL exams may be tested on this.

A range of creative writing tasks are available here.

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