How to Teach ESL Writing Fall 2018 Y1 Week 14

It’s week 14 of the ESL writing class. Time to wrap things up.

ESL Writing Class Hour 1

Free Writing (10)

Take a few minutes and do some free writing. It’s good practice.

Quiz #2 Return (10)

Add a few comments.

Book Report Return (5)

Add a few comments.

Schedule (5)

Week 14 Dec 3 to 6

  • Last week week of regular classes.
  • We will review the final exam questions on the Wed/Thurs class.

Week 15 Dec 10 to 13

  • No regular classes.
  • Writing workshop in my office D570. During regular class hours. Come with questions if you want.

Week 16 Mon Dec 17 and Tues 18

  • Final exam in the regular classroom and the regular class time.

Before and After Return (15)

I will talk to 6 people and return their before and after papers.

ESL Writing Class Hour 2-3

Here are the questions for the final exam. It is a written test.

Question 1: Summarize Complex Ideas

Purpose: show me that you can:

  • summarize a lot of content with a short, complete, clear argument
  • decide what is important and not important
  • write an argument
  • evaluate an argument
  • think logically and critically

Output: maximum 2 pages


  1. Watch this video outside the classroom (we will NOT watch the video during the exam).
  2. Write the argument that describes the story’s main idea.
  3. Write 2 hypotheses that describe correlations in the video.
  4. Evaluate the argument. Is the main idea true, good or right? What do you think? Include details and examples not used in the video.

Use the sentence patterns we studied in class when you write a hypothesis and argument.

Here is the ESL video.

blind from YUKIHIRO SHODA on Vimeo.

Question 2: Tell a story about numbers

Purpose: show me that you can:

  • read and understand charts
  • describe patterns with correlations
  • describe possible cause and effect relationships
  • explain the causes of the change
  • think critically and describe 2 or 3 possible effects of the change (link the change to a new effect)

Output: maximum 2 pages

Don’t just tell the facts in your answer. Put the numbers together into a story.

Remember the story telling exercise you did in the first half of the semester? I want you to use the same kind of writing style.

  • Killer first sentence.
  • A beginning, middle and end.
  • Great flow and organisation.
  • An idea.

What’s different now? There is no picture of a girl or a forest. You have 2 charts instead. The connection between the charts is where you will find the story.

Your answer should be way more than a few sentences about this line goes up and this line goes down.

There are three pack of charts. You choose one that is the best for you.


Your score for this answer will be based on several points:

  • you write well – good organisation, interesting words and sentences, great presentation, paragraphs, few errors
  • your ideas are easy to understand
  • you have argument
  • correct summary with just the right amount of detail
  • your explanations and connections are easy to understand and seem reasonable

Time Requirements

The average student who studies well will, I guess, need this amount of time to complete the exam:

  • Q1 20 minutes (5 min brainstorming, 15 min writing)
  • Q1 20 minutes (5 min brainstorming, 15 min writing)
  • 40 minutes total

Good luck.

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