Building a regular writing habitWriting is one of the many professional activities with a significantly high degree of complexity with a myriad of aspects that are attributed to writing. It is, therefore, prudent to address writing and teaching people how to write from a divergent of perspectives. Before writing, it is prudent to account for the objectives that the writer upholds in relation to purpose, role, audience as well as text form (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). This paper posits to address the significance of writing in the English as a Second Language, ESL in lower or upper secondary classroom.
It is crucial to acknowledge the fact that, English language is the main language that is widely used by foreign countries. The English language, therefore, serves as an elemental language in the majority of the global nations (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). English is also the applicable formal language not only by the United States of America, the Great Britain as well as many other nations that were initially under the colony of Britain, but also an official language in the European Union. The global leading organizations also makes use of English as an official language for business purposes. English is the third most spoken native language in the world (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). Statistics released by the United Nations showed that English has become so popular that it has even become a requirement for one to work in certain professions or fields such as the field of computers or medicine. The positive repercussions are that over one billion individuals across the globe all speak a minimum basic level of English while the negative repercussions is that it has led to a reduction in the use of other native languages (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). English is the international, global or world language because of its broad application. English as a Second Language is also currently being taught the most and in countries that are non-English speaking, in contrast to other languages such as French and Spanish among others (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). This scenario is based on the understanding that majority of the literature books, articles, journals, magazines and newspapers all around the world are written in English language, the widely used computers are programmed in English and most operations use English words and sounds, scientific works, and experiments are recorded in English even though most of them are the works of non-English speaking scientist.The purpose of writing is a crucial consideration. A writer may have several purposes of writing including the following: Informing, explaining, describing, expression and reflection Inquiry and exploration Understanding, learning and remembering Analysis, evaluation, judgment, entertainment and interpretation Persuasion, statement of opinion, convincing, taking a specific point of view and arriving at a common ground Keeping in touch with other people and upholding friendly contact.Building a regular writing habit in English is crucial and can effectively be achieved through offering opportunities to students to write various forms of texts in diverse contexts in the course. However, the initiative of starting the process of writing is associated with significant challenges, especially among students. The duty of the instructor is, therefore, to assist the students in recognition of the purpose of writing any text that they are instructed to write. Acknowledgment of the purpose makes the process easy for the students (Beck &McKeown, 2007). The knowledge of the intended audience is also an important consideration in writing. An understanding of the texts that have been written by the professionals, also called real-world texts, is resourceful for understanding the purpose and audience of writing for the students (Beck & McKeown, 2007). Understanding the real-world texts serves as a mentor text as well as models to the students. The role of the writing during the practice is very important, writing as oneself or someone else differentiates the perspective of text presentation. Recognition of structures, genre conventions as well as patterns are an important consideration in writing.Building a regular writing habit helps students do well in school and for the future to extend their career options. In school, they need to write well to demonstrate how they understand course content. They solidify their interpreting of problematic theories by writing. Writing about difficult-to-grasp issues can alleviate them to remember the subject over time. While writing about a topic, students will work to formulate the topic, to focus on what is essential, which will help them be more aware of what they do and do not understand. "...writing...serves ...to clarify our thoughts" (Drew, Srheim, 2009). Out of school, later in their lives they will need to write well to accomplish a variety of documents, including compelling email, job application materials, evaluations, and proposals. If they have management positions, in particular, it will crave ample communication skills because managers must often write to evaluate and instruct people who note to them and their bosses. Gallagher writes in his book Teaching adolescent writers about a report written by the National Commission, where the studys findings are: Writing is a threshold skill for both employment and promotion, particularly for salaried employees. Half of the companies indicated they take writing into consideration when hiring.People who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired and are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion. (Gallagher, 2006)Future college or university students and specialists will write to take part in an academic or professional community. It is clear that specific disciplines have distinct conventions for developing knowledge. For example, sociologists rely on case studies and observations. Geologists will develop mathematical models to analyze ground-water flow. Computer scientists conduct bench studies. Besides, reading and writing texts can help them become a member of these professional and academic communities, facilitating them to make substantial inputs. Due to the Internet, they can communicate with many people all over the world who share their interests and sentiments. When people make decisions, they count on what they view. We live in a society of information. Crucial documents are written down, and people who can communicate well have influence and get the appreciation from others. the act of writing itself creates new thinking, and changes direction midstream, pulling (the) brain into new territories. writing requires (us) to think, and the thinking generated by writing opens the door to new thinking.(Gallagher, 2006)Furthermore, learners can realize their creative potential by writing. As they write, they will make remarkable relations among ideas, and the act of writing will help them spawn ideas. While writing, the writers can imagine concepts and ideas, and that they otherwise might not consider. In this line of thinking, building writing habit contributes to personal growth. By writing, a person can reflect on how to react to various situations and people. Writing can help them understand and realize their personal visions. Writing can also help them set schedules and manage their writing processes. Gallagher claims "...writing is a good place to sort out your thoughts when the world seems to be crashing down" (Gallagher, 2006)
In conclusion, therefore, important considerations before actual writing must be taken into account. They include the reasons behind writing, the audience of the text, shall other people read the text, either a particular person or a group. The audience may be peers or the public (Baumann, Kameenui & Ash, 2003). When writing, it is also important to acknowledge whether the writing is in the first person or third person, i.e. writing as oneself or as someone else. The type of writing involved is also worth consideration. What type of writing are the writer doing and the specific genre of the text?It is crucial to identify writing and the writing process as the long-term benefit. Thus, learning to write well now will lead to astonishing professional opportunities. Writing well empowers more efficient and broad learning of the academic material, as well as shrewd and productive learning about persons themselves, their everyday thoughts and emotions, and how these facets affect their quality of life. Moreover, as Gallagher asserts"... a time will come in (students') lives when they will need to use writing in order to persuade."(2006)Strong research and writing skills prepare them for a professional career. Writing enriches their life. Moreover, writing is not only being able to make a grammatically correct sentences but it is the mighty way to develop and distribute creative ideas.These are the most important considerations in building a regular writing habit as a tutor as well as a student.References:Baumann, J. F., Kameenui, E. J., & Ash, G., (2003).Research on vocabulary instruction:Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts 2, pp. 752785). Mahwah,NJ: Erlbaum.
Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G., (2007).Different ways for different goals, but keep your eye on the higher verbal skills. Vocabulary acquisition:Implications for reading comprehension. (pp. 1824).New York: Guilford Press.
Drew, Ion& Srheim, Bjrn. (2009)English teaching strategies. Methods for English teachers of 10 to 16-year-olds(2 ed.). Oslo:Det Norske Samlaget
Gallagher, Kelly (2006)Teaching Adolescent Writers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers