1. Before they start writing:
- Always talk first.
- Does your mentee know WHAT they are writing and WHO it is for?
- Discuss the key vocabulary they need.
- Help with ideas – use YouTube, pictures, your own examples.
- Record ideas as bullet points or in a brainstorm:
- – Spider grams are useful.
- – Go for 5 main points and then brainstorm details for each point, interesting vocabulary and language features.
- – Each point can make up one paragraph.
- – Depending on your mentee’s level, you might scribe this, or get them to do it.
- First draft – just start, if worried in rough, and then edit it later!
- You can provide sentence starters if this is needed.
- Language needs: possibly identify key grammar at this point (worksheet or your own examples)
- You may want to get your mentee to write the first paragraph with you and set the rest for homework.
- Alternatively, write your own piece containing deliberate errors for your mentee to correct, while they are writing theirs.
- Identify mistakes (choose one or two areas to focus on which will help them to progress). Never use a red pen!
- Use notes like p for punctuation, sp for spelling, ww – wrong word, or underline, to then get your mentee to say what they think is wrong.
- Self-correction – after pointing out one area, e.g. full stops, ask them to find the rest themselves. Never try to correct everything in a piece of work – it is too demoralising!
- Editing and redrafting (possibly for homework) – this is often a useful exercise as schools do not have time for it.
4. Final version:
- PRAISE and reflect on what your mentee has learnt for next time.