Teaching TOEFL and IELTS essays – a technique students love

There has been a great  discussion of a problematizing approach to correcting students’ grammar on Scott Thornbury’s blog (An A-Z of ELT). Well – this post has little to do with the debate itself, but one commenter there mentioned a problem with written assignments: it is hardly useful for the learner to receive the corrected paper full of red marks and crossed out words. Not only is it immensely discouraging,  but it is also very brain-unfriendly. It’s doubtful that the student will benefit at all.

This remark made me think I could  write this post describing an approach that:
– teaches how to write better essays without intimidating or discouraging the learners
– is far more brain-friendly that the conventional “red ink method”
– results in significant improvement of the essays
– is loved by the students.
– does not require too much preparation to produce a good 2-hour lesson involving all 4 skills.

If you are too busy to read the notes below, you can simply download the file with all the 4 stages of the approach 🙂 The detailed notes are under the ‘more’ tag.

Continue reading