Writing Class Week 9

The exam is over so now it’s for the students to continue learning how to write English text.

Podcasts for ESL Students

This week, I will introduce a couple of podcasts which can help my ESL students learn English.

The Memory Palace is a story telling podcast. The stories are well written so they podcasts can help student appreciate the art of story telling, the beauty of descriptive text and the art of completing a story with tidy conclusion. Great for short trips on the bus or subway, the stories are usually about 5 minutes long.

Wiretap is a 25 minute podcast from Canada. It’s a humor program with stories that are sometimes insightful and moving. Sometimes it’s just weird. The official website has one or two new stories per week. This website has links to many more episodes.

ESL Writing Activity#1: So and Because

Look at these sentences.

  1. We needed some fruit so I went to the supermarket.
  2. She studied all night because she had an English exam the next day.

Now look at these sentences. What is the difference?

  1. I went to the supermarket because we need some fruit
  2. She had an English exam the next day so she studied all night..

Write sentences with SO and BECAUSE for each of these prompts. Be creative.

  1. I had to get up early.
  2. I’m thirsty.
  3. She wants to speak German.
  4. My family needed a vacation.
  5. They’re going to visit me tomorrow.
  6. We went for a walk.
  7. My student won one billion won in the lottery.
  8. He bought a Smartphone.

ESL Writing Activity#2: While and During

Part A: While is used when writing about two actions happening at the same time.

While is used with a subject and verb.

  1. While I was playing with my cat, my brother was doing his homework.
  2. While we were playing poker, the CD was playing.
  3. My father doesn’t like the TV on while we are eating dinner.

Part B: During tells us when an action is (was) happening.

During is used with a noun/pronoun.

  1. My students are really busy during the week.
  2. He was sleeping during the party.
  3. The electricity went out during the storm.

Part C: Write 5 sentences each with while and during.

ESL Writing Activity #3: Write a Story with Progression

Progression is a writing skill. It uses words and sentences to move a story from the beginning to an ending. There are many ways to show progress. You can show the movement of time or the change of places. When you can with a style that shows progress, your writing will be clearer and more interesting.

Part A

  1. Listen to the story called Missed Connection.
  2. Here is the script for the story.
  3. Here is a story about Missed Connection.

Let’s analyze the story by:

  • making summary
  • describing some of the ways the writer used words and sentences to show progress

Part B: Extension

Now write your own story which demonstrates progression.

ESL Writing Activity #4: Video Summary Writing

In this writing exercise, you are going to write a long summary. Here is the process.

  1. Watch the video.
  2. Work with a partner and discuss the comprehension questions.
  3. Write your summary.


  1. Where did they meet?
  2. What did he notice about the girl?
  3. What happens when the guy wants to talk about the problem?
  4. Why did she leave him?
  5. When she leaves, what 3 things does the man do?
  6. Where do they meet again?
  7. What happens when they meet?
  8. Who is to blame for the breakup?
  9. Why does the title Focus mean?
  10. Why does the video director put some things out of focus?
  11. In the end, the narrator says, “You question your focus.” What does that mean?

Focus from Ari Kruger on Vimeo.

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