Approaches to teaching writing
Шукурова С. О., Тураева Д. М. Approaches to teaching writing // Молодой ученый. 2015. №4. С. 807-808.
Teaching writing we must find different approaches how to teach writing. There are as many approaches as there are many teachers and teaching styles, or learners and learning styles. If someone wants to produce a piece of writing he or she has to deal with some features of writing. What are they?
Syntax, context, grammar, mechanics, organization, word choice, audience, purpose, vocabulary and so on. Which features are the most important for teaching writing? How is writing learned? How is writing taught? Many ideas are given to these questions and many approaches are also given to them. One of the approaches is the controlled –to -free approach in writing is sequential: students are first given sentence exercises, then paragraphs to copy or manipulate grammatically by, for instance, changing questions to statements, present to past, or plural to singular. They may also change words or clauses or combine sentences. They work on given material and perform strictly prescribed operations on it. With these controlled compositions, it is easy for students to write a great deal yet avoid errors. Because the students have a limited opportunity to make mistakes, the teacher’s job of marking papers is quick and easy. This approach stresses only three features which are given below: grammar, syntax and mechanics. It emphasizes accuracy rather than fluency or originality. We have been using this approach for a long time. This approach has been effectively used by Russian researches. The books which were written by Russian or Uzbek teachers stressed this approach more than any other approaches. I don’t think we should avoid this approach. By using the controlled-to-free approach we can have our students writhing by making few errors. The quality is important in this approach. We have been using the books which were published in Russian press or Uzbek publish houses for example: «Учебник английского языка»,Н. А. Бонк, «Практический курс английского языка» В. Аракин, Пособие по английскому языку для поступающих в вузы Т. Ф. Кованова, Н. П. Сикорская Our students used to be taught by these books. Using these books we teachers used to teach by limited approaches.
To avoid using traditional approaches for teaching writing we are going to present the free writing approach which is effectively used by teachers all over the world.
The features of free writing approach can be seen by many factors. Some teachers and researches have stressed quantity of writing rather than quality. We can use the free writing approach only after reaching a high intermediate or advanced level of proficiency students are allowed to try some free compositions, in which they express their own ideas. The free writing approach prefers to teach writing freely by any given topics with minimal correction of errors. The teachers don’t correct these short pieces of free writing; they simply read them and perhaps comment on the ideas the writer expressed.
Some teachers begin many of their classes by asking students to write freely on any topic without worrying about grammar and spelling for five or ten minutes. At first, students find this very difficult. They have to resort to writing sentences like, «I can think of anything to write». As they do this kind of writing more and more often, however, some find that they write more fluently and that putting words down on paper is not so frightening after all. The teachers don’t correct these short pieces of free writing. They simply read them and may comment on the ideas the writer expressed. Alternatively, some students might volunteer to read their own aloud to the class. Advantages of this approach are «audience» and «content» are seen more important than any other approaches. Another advantage: students are easily interested in and feel freely while writing.
Nowadays using computer technologies, internet service, mobile phones are willingly used by everyone. The development of computer technologies leads teachers and learners to different teaching and learning methods. Teaching writing the communicative approach is more lively than other approaches. The communicative approach stresses the purpose of a piece of writing and the audience for it. Student writers are encouraged to behave like writers in real life and to ask themselves the crucial questions about purpose and audience:
— Why am I writing this?
— Who will read it?
Traditionally, the teacher alone has been the audience for student writing. But some feel that writers do their best when writing is truly a communicative act, with a writer for a real reader. Teachers using the communicative approach can extend the readership. They extend it to other students in the class, who not only read the piece but actually do something with it, such as respond, rewrite in another form, summaries, or make comments — but not correct.
Students can write letters, messages, post cards, birthday cards, advertisements, cookery recipes, dairies, memos and so on.
The above mentioned approaches have been used by Uzbek teachers for a long time. After getting its independence Uzbekistan has greatly improved it’s educational system. Universities, colleges, schools began using our Uzbek books and American, English books. By using these books we have learnt more. Uzbek teachers have been using different techniques in teaching English. Teaching writing used to be the weak point of our teachers. Thanks to the government of Uzbekistan, we teachers are delighted to teach by being encouraged by the government. On December 10, 2012 President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a decree «On measures to further improve foreign language learning system». However, analysis of the current system of organizing language learning shows that learning standards, curricula and textbooks do not fully meet the current requirements, particularly in the use of advanced information and media technologies. Education is mainly conducted in traditional methods. Further development of a continuum of foreign languages learning at all levels of education; improving skills of teachers and provision of modern teaching materials are required. In order to increase teaching standards in distant rural areas, the higher educational institutions are allowed targeted admission of people living in distant areas to foreign language programs on the condition that they will oblige themselves to work in the acquired specialty at their residence area for at least 5 years after graduation. The decree also envisages 30 % salary increase for foreign language teachers in rural areas, 15 % increase for those in other areas. Having been encouraged by the decree we teachers are trying to develop teaching methods. Teaching writing also needs to be improved by creating different approaches considering modern — thinking young generation’s desires. To carry out these tasks we have to create new textbooks are composed of all teaching and learning styles. In order to vary teaching writing approaches we are looking forward to hearing your comments on our article.
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