20 April 2016

Writing Bytes

Increasingly I find that creativity and learner autonomy are two of the most challenging skills to develop in education. Both are intrinsically connected with social environments which complement the educational scene. If, for instance, children are encouraged from a young age to solve problems rather than have a maid or someone else do things for them, it is no surprise then that the child will grow up with a more active attitude to problem solving, being creative and autonomous. Being autonomous includes a sense of responsibility and accountability -  neither which are simple to foster only in classrooms. These are characteristics which require a whole society to value and cultivate at home with children. 

 In learning cultures where repetition and regurgitation are still the norm, with the aim to achieve success in exams, it is even more challenging to then later ask learners to be creative in their learning. 

Attitudes towards creativity and learner autonomy, will of course, influence writing skills in language classrooms. Writing is hard. Full stop. Writing in a foreign language is even harder. However, writing is a skill that in no way is going to fade away, despite all the visual media we now have. 

For busy teachers, reaching out to inspirational writing activities to introduce in class, can be draining after months of teaching as well. It's at those moments when dipping into shared resources online really help. 

offers writing prompts and ideas which are both challenging and fun - and which don't require hours of outlining and agony to write a full blown essay.

which is useful for both K12 and even ELT/ESL.

Creativity, inspiration and the will to write don't come easily.

They require constant practice.

Rather than constant requests of long essays, writing in smaller bytes may be an encouraging approach to make students enjoy writing. 

How do you foster a more positive approach to writing in your classes?

Further Suggestions:

Creativity and Writing

A Writing Resource For Everyday of the Year

Writing Prompts, A Story Dice and Book Creator

60 Things Students Can Create To Demonstrate What They Know

Release Your Inhibitions - Writing Resources

Student Interactives - by READWRITETHINK - A rich source of inspirational activities to engage learners

Ma'agalim - Jane Bordeaux from Uri Lotan on Vimeo.

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