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Research is going on, help!!!

 
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Melinda Wu



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Research is going on, help!!! Reply with quote

hello, everyone, I'm a new comer here and I wanna your help. I am a Chinese student majoring in English Education and I am starting a research about the wring problems of the college students. Do you have difficulties in their English writing? What kind of problem do you have, such as the vocabulary, the sructure and the ideas? What have you done to deal with them? I'm very interested in your teaching experiences and it'll help me a lot.
Thanks
Melinda Wu
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Ginny



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:23 pm    Post subject: My opinion in my english writing Reply with quote

Well, I did do a good job in my writing.
I finished my literature review, but the score of that is so low. I made many grammer mistakes in it and some of them are what I don't know, while some of them are what I did with carelessness.
What's more, I think the limitation of the vocabulary can be the biggest obstacles in my writing. Because when I want to write down something what I know, I can not know how to express it.
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Suzanne



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melinda, this is such an interesting question!

I will be interested in seeing what everyone finds to be the biggest problem in writing. I thought it might be grammar, but vocabulary seems to be a challenge as well.

As a teacher, I find that learning sentence structure is the first thing students have to learn. In English, adjectives come before the noun; in other languages, it's the opposite.

Students have a hard time knowing which tense to use, too. Do you also find this?

Thanks for asking this question--I think we will all learn something from it!
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Philo Kevetch



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 564

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Melinda Wu -

How much / often do you (or your students) read?

Have you tried giving them a variety of reading assignments and having them re-write (paraphrase) sentences / paragraphs?

listening is the 'key' to speaking - reading is the 'key' to writing

Philo

btw - '...and I want your help.'
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Anuradha Chepur



Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 932

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from inadequacies in language competence, I noticed that people are also short of creativity, sometimes.
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Bob S.



Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anuradha Chepur wrote:
Apart from inadequacies in language competence, I noticed that people are also short of creativity, sometimes.
Then in continuing in Philo's theme, I propose that curiosity is the key to creativity. Smile A curious person starts by asking why and how, then it is a short step to ask how about and what if.
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
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genlx



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same problem as you, and i need help too!~~~~
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Melinda Wu



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suzanne wrote:
Melinda, this is such an interesting question!

I will be interested in seeing what everyone finds to be the biggest problem in writing. I thought it might be grammar, but vocabulary seems to be a challenge as well.

As a teacher, I find that learning sentence structure is the first thing students have to learn. In English, adjectives come before the noun; in other languages, it's the opposite.

Students have a hard time knowing which tense to use, too. Do you also find this?

Thanks for asking this question--I think we will all learn something from it!

yes, tense is really a big problem because there's no such rules in Chinese, and we dont't have to chang the form of the verb in different tense. And I also find that vocabulary, grammar and other language points are the problems for the primary learners. When their learning have got to certain level, they will have to spend a lot time the idea of the article or the structure of it. Do you agree?
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Melinda Wu



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philo Kevetch wrote:
Hello Melinda Wu -

How much / often do you (or your students) read?

Have you tried giving them a variety of reading assignments and having them re-write (paraphrase) sentences / paragraphs?

listening is the 'key' to speaking - reading is the 'key' to writing

Philo

btw - '...and I want your help.'

Help? I didn't understand it very well.
Yes, I totally agree with you. Reading is so important for writing. What you have input decide what you will output. I don't know whether I have express it clearly. If not , let me know.
I am a university student now and I will start my Teaching Practice next semester. but our professor teach us to write by revising every draft and finally get a relative perfect one. I do think it's really helpful. But it may not be true in middle school teaching.
Recently, I am trying to read English newspapers everyday and I don't think I read a lot, esp. in English, so I think I need to take some action.
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Melinda Wu



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philo Kevetch wrote:
Hello Melinda Wu -

How much / often do you (or your students) read?

Have you tried giving them a variety of reading assignments and having them re-write (paraphrase) sentences / paragraphs?

listening is the 'key' to speaking - reading is the 'key' to writing

Philo

btw - '...and I want your help.'

What do you usually read? and do you have any suggestions?
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Philo Kevetch



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 564

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Melinda Wu -

'I want your help' not 'I wanna your help'

The suggestion was to 'paraphrase' (re-write in your own way) various sentences / paragraphs / texts / dialog(ue)s / etc.

not (only) continually 'revise' (edit) your 'drafts'.

Select a 'text' in the style / format you wish to develop / practice.

Texts with a lot of 'dialog(ue)' (not news / magazine 'reporting' style)
will help your students model / practice their 'speaking'.

If you are reading the newspaper...a simple / easy place to start might be the 'Advice Column' (i.e. "Dear Abby"); the 'letters' are short and written in a 'conversational' style.

Assuming that your middle-school students have had some 'basic' English
and they read 'comic books' in their native language (as most seem to) -

try using one of the more popular comics and 'whiting - out' some of the dialog(ue) in the 'bubbles' and have them work in 'teams' to create the funniest / most clever / unusual / etc. dialog(ue)s in English -

not too much correction (at first) - lavish praise and perhaps a 'reward' for the winning team.

Your students will be fortunate to have such a caring teacher - Keep up the good work.

Philo
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Melinda Wu



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philo Kevetch wrote:
Hello Melinda Wu -

'I want your help' not 'I wanna your help'

The suggestion was to 'paraphrase' (re-write in your own way) various sentences / paragraphs / texts / dialog(ue)s / etc.

not (only) continually 'revise' (edit) your 'drafts'.

Select a 'text' in the style / format you wish to develop / practice.

Texts with a lot of 'dialog(ue)' (not news / magazine 'reporting' style)
will help your students model / practice their 'speaking'.

If you are reading the newspaper...a simple / easy place to start might be the 'Advice Column' (i.e. "Dear Abby"); the 'letters' are short and written in a 'conversational' style.

Assuming that your middle-school students have had some 'basic' English
and they read 'comic books' in their native language (as most seem to) -

try using one of the more popular comics and 'whiting - out' some of the dialog(ue) in the 'bubbles' and have them work in 'teams' to create the funniest / most clever / unusual / etc. dialog(ue)s in English -

not too much correction (at first) - lavish praise and perhaps a 'reward' for the winning team.

Your students will be fortunate to have such a caring teacher - Keep up the good work.

Philo


Embarassed , you are right. it should be "I want your help". Thank you!
ya, it sounds interesting about the "comics", in future I may have a try!
I hope my students will like it! Thank you!
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EnglishRaven



Joined: 04 Jan 2008
Posts: 71
Location: Changwon Korea and Melbourne Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Problems with writing... Reply with quote

Interesting topic!

I've been teaching writing to ESL students for more than 16 years, and I've noticed that there appears to be a major gap between what students feel they need to improve their writing and what their teachers believe are the important weaknesses needing more focus.

In particular, learners appear to be fixated on grammar at the sentence level. What I have noticed is that these problems are relatively minor in comparison to students' ability to focus on a topic, explain and support their ideas well, and present their writing in a clear and organized format.

In teaching writing, I focus first on understanding and responding to specific topics, and getting the basic essay format correct. For grammar, I focus first on sentences that don't convey sense/meaning clearly to the reader, with 'nitty-gritty' smaller (systematic) grammar errors being the last area to get in-depth focus.

It's interesting, though. Learners still expect a teacher just to correct every grammar mistake. With a class of university students not long ago, I did this exhaustive grammar correction for a couple of weeks, then suddenly asked them to make a list of errors and corrections that they'd learned as a result. Only about two learners in a class of about 20 were able to remember any of their mistakes. That begs the question: what is the point of having teachers correct all these mistakes if learners are just going to glance at them and not really do anything to learn from them?

Writing in a second language is a huge area for exploration and research. I wish you the best with this project and I hope you'll report your findings here in the forum as well!

Good luck!

~ Jason
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http://global-english.lefora.com
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edison chen



Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello,melinda,
i'm a ESL student in China and i've been learning english for about 7or8 years.recently,i'm prepearing for the IELTS exam ,unfortunately,i do have some problems with the writting part.as far as i'm concerned,the most difficurt part is the sentence structure , vocabulary following.usually, we
have the ideas of what to say,however,we have no idea how to express
it,that's the hardest condition we're frequently in.
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i will persist until i succed
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