The Secret Passageways of Writing - TOBELTA Reading & Writing Conference

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


There is no doubt that writing is one of the most difficult skills for L2 learners to master. The difficulty lies not only in generating and organizing ideas, but also in translating these ideas into an intelligible text. In this session I’m going to present an activity of reading/writing based on “The Shadow of the Wind”, and show that the teacher is responsible for translating all the writing principles into practice and should constantly record, ponder and analyze what they have done in the classroom, and use their reflective experience as a basis for improving their practices.

Text of The Secret Passageways of Writing - TOBELTA Reading & Writing Conference

  • THE SECRET PASSAGEWAYS OF WRITING Malu Sciamarelli 8th August, 2014
  • Writing The most difficult skill? Generating and organising ideas Translate these ideas into a readable text
  • Planning and Teaching a Course in Writing Which theoretical strands are you going to adapt? What will be the focus of your course? What activities are likely to help students develop their writing skills?
  • Guidelines and Practices Teachers: Record Ponder Analyse Reflective experience basis for improving their practices
  • What approach do you use in teaching writing? How successful have you been in teaching writing? Do you follow any particular approach of teaching process approach or genre-based approach? Or an eclectic approach? Any other approach? What kinds of activities are commonly used? How do you evaluate your students writing? What criteria do you use? And so on
  • The Shadow of the Wind The Shadow of the Wind was written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. He was born in Barcelona in 1964 an moved to Los Angeles in 1994. It was his first adult novel, written in 2001. In the book, Daniel tries to find more books by Julin Carax but cannot. He discovers that the devil is destroying them all and tries to get Daniels copy from him to destroy.
  • 1. STUDENTS MOTIVATION How do you usually choose a book? Recommended by a friend Familiar with the authors work Buy second-hand Borrow from a library Read a review Like the cover Other
  • - A beehive - Platforms and steps - Immense - Pierced by light - Palatial - A high glass dome - A labyrinth of passageways
  • Picture Where do you think this place is? Name the city or country. What is it? This boy is Daniel. What is he doing? Why is he there? How does he feel? How would you feel?
  • Come, Daniel, get dressed. I want to show you something, said my father. Now? At five oclock in the morning? Some things can only be seen in the shadows, he said, with a mysterious smile. We stepped out of the front door into the misty streets. The lamps along the Ramblas marked out an avenue in the early morning haze as the city awoke, like a watercolor slowly coming to life. I followed my father through the narrow streets until at last he stopped in front of a large door of carved wood. Before us rose what to my eyes seemed like an ancient palace, a place of echoes and shadows. Daniel, you mustnt tell anyone about this. Not even your friend Toms. No one. A smallish man with thick grey hair opened the door. Good morning, Isaac. This is my son, and one day the shop will be his. Its time he knew the place. The man called Isaac nodded and invited us in. We followed him through a palatial corridor and arrived at an enormous round hall, the shadows pierced by light from a high glass dome above us. A labyrinth of passageways and bookshelves rose like a beehive, with platforms, steps and bridges that suggested an immense library of impossible geometry. I looked at my father, stunned. He smiled at me and winked. Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel.'
  • After reading the first part What does Daniels father do for a living? Why is this place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books? What happens to a person who visits this place for the first time?
  • Among the librarys corridors and platforms, I could make out a dozen human figures. Some of them turned to greet me from a distance, and I recognized the faces of various booksellers, colleagues of my fathers. To my ten-year-old eyes, they looked like a brotherhood of alchemists in secret study. My father knelt next to me, with his eyes fixed on mine, and spoke in the hushed voice he reserved for promises and secrets. This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirits grows and strengthens. This place was already ancient when my father brought me here for the first time many years ago. Perhaps as old as the city itself. How long has it existed? Who created it? Nobody knows that for certain. I will tell you what my father told me, though. When a library disappears, or a bookshop closes down, when a book has been completely forgotten, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new readers hands. In this shop, we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebodys best friend. Now they have us, Daniel. Do you think youll be able to keep this a secret? My gaze was lost in the immensity and magic of the light. I nodded, and my father smiled. And you know the best thing about it? he asked. I shook my head
  • According to the tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, any book, and adopt it. Thats a big responsibility. He has to make sure that it will never disappear, that it will always stays alive. Its a very important promise. For life, explained my father. Today its your turn. For almost half an hour, I wandered within the labyrinth, breathing in the smell of old paper and dust. Among the titles, I could make out words in familiar languages and others I couldnt identify. I walked through galleries filled with hundreds, thousands of volumes. After a while it occurred to me that between the covers of each of those books was a boundless universe waiting to be discovered, while beyond those walls, in the outside world, people allowed life to pass by in afternoons of football and radio soaps. At that precise moment, I knew that I had already chosen the book I was going to adopt, or that was going to adopt me. It stood out timidly on one corner of the shelf, bound in wine-coloured leather. The gold letters of its title gleamed in the light form the dome above. I caressed them with the tips of my fingers, reading to myself. The Shadow of the Wind JULIN CARAX I had never heard of the title or the author, but I didnt care. I took the book down with great care and leafed through the pages. Once liberated from its prison on the shelf, it released a cloud of gold and dust. Pleased with my choice, I put it under my arm and walked back through the labyrinth, a smile on my lips. I felt sure that The Shadow of the Wind had been waiting there for me for years, probably since I was born.
  • What is going to happen next? Will it be positive or negative?
  • 2. TEACHERS CREATIVITY Books have souls and should be preserved. It is not worth keeping books once you have read them. Nowadays we can download books from the Internet, so we do not need to buy real books anymore. There is nothing like a real book. Reading books is a waste of time. All the knowledge you need is online.
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Writing Write a story based on their own ideas Write the film in words + ideas from the reading passage Write a mini-saga (story in 50 words) using the ideas discussed Poem: BOOK HAVE SOULS After reading the book Review
  • 3. TEACHERS AS WRITERS stories-come-to-life-by-malu-sciamarelli/ Where do your stories come to life?
  • Creative Writers Society Creative Fiction Writers Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. - Arthur Koestler
  • Giving students any form of power over the use of their own words, allowing them to turn everyday raw material into some form of beauty, is a gift beyond measure. -Gloria Ng Asian English Language Teachers Creative Writing Project: The C Group: Website: Email: