Low Stakes Writing for Fun & Fluency



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Low Stakes Writing for Fun & Fluency

Overview

  • Definition of low stakes writing
  • Why use low stakes writing?
  • Common teacher concerns
  • Low stakes writing tools

What exactly is low stakes writing?

What exactly is low stakes writing?

  • Low Stakes High Stakes
  • <--------------------------------------------------------------------------->
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Why low stakes writing?

Low stakes writing develops fluency & enhances engagement

Low stakes writing reduces anxiety “a safe place to try out new language, to experiment” -Williams, 2008

Low stakes writing allows students to personalize their writing & find their voice in English

Common Concerns

Common Concerns

  • Assessment

Common Concerns

  • Assessment
  • Time (in the term)

Common Concerns

  • Assessment
  • Time (in the term)
  • Time (in the day)

Common Concerns

  • Assessment
  • Time (in the term)
  • Time (in the day)
  • Variety

Common Concerns

  • Assessment
  • Time (in the term)
  • Time (in the day)
  • Variety
  • Level

Think Pair Share

  • Low stakes writing to prepare ideas
  • Think: Ss write for a short time (2-5 min usually) on a topic
  • Pair: Ss share what they wrote with a partner
  • Share: Ss share answers with the full class

Try It!

  • Think / Pair / Share
  • Have you ever used low stakes writing in your teaching? What kind of low stakes writing tools did you use?

Picture Composition

  • Low stakes writing for mixed ability groups
  • Students look carefully at the picture
  • Teacher pre-teaches vocab and asks WH questions to give them ideas
  • High students can write a whole story; low students can write just a few words

Multi-Entry Journals

  • Low stakes writing as conversation with text
  • I Say
  • In this space, put down your responses to the author’s ideas
  • The Author Says
  • In this space, put quotations or ideas from the reading
  • I Say
  • In this space, put down your responses to the author’s ideas
  • The Author Says
  • In this space, put quotations or ideas from the reading
  • I Say
  • In this space, put down your responses to the author’s ideas
  • If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must write it.
  • -Toni Morrison
  • I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with this. I find it inspiring (I could write a book!). But I also find it scary (I don’t know if I can really write a book!) Maybe what Morrison means is that there is a writer inside everyone. We just have to find our ability and motivation.

Try It!

  • I Say
  • In this space, put down your responses to this idea

Dialogue Journals

  • Do you like learning new languages? Why or why not?
  • When you’re finished, pass this paper 3 people to the right!
  • Read your classmate’s ideas. Do you agree or disagree?

Try It!

  • -Write one idea from my presentation
  • -Respond to that idea
  • -Pass your paper to a peer
  • -Read and respond to your peer’s thoughts
  • -Pass the paper back to them

Application

  • Which of these activities do you think would work best for your future teaching context? Do you have any LSW tools to share?

Questions?

  • REFERENCES
  • Alexie, Sherman. The joys of reading and writing: Superman & me. In Dorris, M. & Buchwalk, E. (Eds.), The most wonderful books : Writers on discovering the pleasures of reading. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.
  • Bartholomae, D. & Petrosky, A.R. (1986). Facts, artifacts and counterfacts: Theory and method for a reading and writing course. Portsmouth: Boyton/Cook Publishers.
  • Bauer, L. & Sweeney, L. (1999). The use of literary letters with post-secondary non-native students. Learning Assistance Review, 4 (1), 33-41.
  • Blanton, L. (2008). Speaking of absence: when the connection is not there. In Belcher, D. & Hirvela, A. (Eds.), The oral-literate connection: Perspectives on L2 speaking, writing and other media interaction (pp. 10-25). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
  • Cameron, J. (Producer & Director). (2010). Avatar [Motion picture]. USA: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
  • Christenbury, L. & Kelly, P.P. (1983). Questioning: A path to critical thinking.  Urbana, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communicative Skills and National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Evans, S. (2008). Reading reaction journals in EAP courses. ELT Journal, 62 (3), pp. 240-247.
  • Kreeft, J., Staton, J., Richardson, G. & Wolfram, W. (1993). In Kreeft, J. & Staton, J. (Eds.), Dialogue journals in the multilingual classroom: Building language fluency writing skills through written interaction (pp. 196-221). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
  • Mlynarczyk, R. W. (1998). Conversations of the mind: the uses of journal writing for second-language learners. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Salas, S. & Garson, K. (2007). Chifa: Freewriting within a required curriculum for adults. In Burns A. & De Silva J. (Eds.), Planning and teaching creatively within a required curriculum for adult learners (pp. 239-246). Alexandria, VA: TESOL.
  • Thesen, L. (1997). Voices, Discourse, and Transition: In Search of New Categories in EAP. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (3) pp. 487-51.
  • Williams, J. (2008). The speaking-writing connection in second language and academic literacy development. In Belcher, D. & Hirvela, A. (Eds.), The Oral-literate connection: Perspectives on L2 speaking, writing and other media interaction (pp. 10-25). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.


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