The 21 ESL Writing Tools Project

21 Writing Tools:  Project Outline (a work in progress)

This series of English lessons is designed for teachers who want to help ESL students learn English writing.

These ESL lessons focus on easy to explain, skills-based classroom exercises that improve student performance. The writing skills include sentence structure, vocabulary development, some grammar to improve idea clarity, as well as paragraph organization. (more…)

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#4 Teaching Writing: Words and Categories

Teaching Writing – Thinking in Categories

This ESL activity helps students learn English writing by imaging and creating abstract categories as a tool for organizing information. Known as the Picture Word Inductive Model, this technique is used to help young learners with language development. I have adapted the process to make it suitable as an inquiry based writing exercise for ESL university students. (more…)

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#5 Teaching Writing – Hedges

Teaching Writing – Hedges

Main Idea

This ESL lesson teaches English hedging techniques. Hedging is an important writing skill because it shows ESL students how to express sophisticated ideas and avoid broad claims that, sometimes, can appear clunky. Learning English hedging techniques and vocabulary improves the student’s ability to express reasonable arguments, sound more persuasive and communicate with greater precision. (more…)

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#6 Teach English Writing – Inquiry Approach to Thinking and Writing

Teach English Writing – Inquiry Approach to Thinking and Writing

Main Idea

This English lesson helps ESL students learn specific critical thinking and logical writing skills. The lesson objective asks students to begin with a question, look for relevant evidence, make inferences and draw conclusions.

It’s an inquiry approach to learning and writing because students start with a question and then present evidence and conclusions. This approach is unlike the traditional five paragraph essay format which requires students to begin with a thesis (i.e. the conclusion) before the supporting evidence has been presented.

This lesson produces two benefits for ESL students: 1) it helps them communicate more logically, and 2) it develops thinking and writing skills that are far more meaningful in terms of the way problems are presented and solved in everyday life, both academically and professionally. (more…)

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