21 Writing Tools: Teach ESL Students How to Learn English Writing

21 Writing Tools: The Series 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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#12 See Multiple Perspectives

Teaching Writing – Perspectives

Main Idea

This lesson teaches ESL students a new thinking skill. It shows students how to look at an idea, issue or object from many perspectives. Knowing how to appreciate something from a different angle helps students become better writers and thinkers.

Teach English Writing with Six Thinking Hats

This lesson is based on the Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. There are six hats. Each hat represents a different way of looking at something: (more…)

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#13 Teaching Writing – Fix Run On Sentences

Teaching Writing – Fix Run On Sentences

Main Idea

Run on sentences, a common problem in first drafts, are easy to fix with two possible solutions. Once English students learn the meaning of run on sentence they will be able to find and repair those errors by themselves. Therefore, studying run on sentences helps ESL students develop the skills they need to become independent English writers.

What is a Run On Sentence?

A run on sentence happens when two independent clauses have not been joined in the right way. What’s an independent clause? (more…)

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#14 Teaching Writing – Avoid Choppy Sentences

Teaching Writing – Avoid Choppy Sentences

Main Idea

ESL students can improve their writing style by learning how to notice and fix choppy sentences with combined clauses that create smooth text with an elegant flow.

Choppy Sentences

Grammatically, there is nothing wrong with choppy sentences. Stylistically, they read poorly. Choppy sentences are commonly written by young children and older students who did not learn how to combine sentences with conjunctions. Here are some examples:

  • Choppy:  I like dogs. Dogs make good pets. Dogs are friendly and loyal.
  • Better:  I like dogs because they are friendly and loyal. That’s why they make good pets.


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#15 Teaching Writing – Avoid Wordy Sentences

Teaching Writing – Avoid Wordy Sentences

Main Idea

When ESL students write a first draft of an English text, it is normal to expect wordy and awkward sentences. Heck, native speakers do it all the time. The problem for many ESL students is that they do not know how to improve their text by cutting unnecessary words or tightening sentences (i.e. expressing an idea in fewer words). This English writing lesson helps ESL students develop that rewriting skill with two editing techniques. (more…)

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