Identifying gaps in academic writing of esl students

But identification can be influenced by many factors—and too often is not happening early enough.

Identifying gaps in academic writing of esl students

identifying gaps in academic writing of esl students

Teaching writing is not only the job of the English department alone. Writing is an essential tool for learning a discipline and helping students improve their writing skills is a responsibility for all faculty.

Let students know that you value good writing. Stress the importance of clear, thoughtful writing. Faculty who tell students that good writing will be rewarded and poor writing will be penalized receive better essays than instructors who don't make such demands.

In the syllabus, on the first day, and throughout the term, remind students that they must make their best effort in expressing themselves on paper.

Back up your statements with comments on early assignments that show you really mean it, and your students will respond.

Regularly assign brief writing exercises in your classes. To vary the pace of a lecture course, ask students to write a few minutes during class.

Some mixture of in-class writing, outside writing assignments, and exams with open-ended questions will give students the practice they need to improve their skills. Provide guidance throughout the writing process. After you have made the assignment, discuss the value of outlines and notes, explain how to select and narrow a topic, and critique the first draft, define plagiarism as well.

Don't feel as though you have to read and grade every piece of your students' writing.


Ask students to analyze each other's work during class, or ask them to critique their work in small groups. Students will learn that they are writing in order to think more clearly, not obtain a grade. Keep in mind, you can collect students' papers and skim their work.

Find other faculty members who are trying to use writing more effectively in their courses. Pool ideas about ways in which writing can help students learn more about the subject matter.

See if there is sufficient interest in your discipline to warrant drawing up guidelines. Students welcome handouts that give them specific instructions on how to write papers for a particular course or in a particular subject area.

Tell students that writing is a way of learning, not an end in itself. Also let them know that writing is a complicated, messy, nonlinear process filled with false starts. Help them to identify the writer's key activities: Developing ideas Finding a focus and a thesis Composing a draft Getting feedback and comments from others Revising the draft by expanding ideas, clarifying meaning, reorganizing Editing Presenting the finished work to readers Explain that writing is hard work.

Share with your class your own struggles in grappling with difficult topics. If they know that writing takes effort, they won't be discouraged by their own pace or progress. One faculty member shared with students their notebook that contained the chronology of one of his published articles: Give students opportunities to talk about their writing.

Students need to talk about papers in progress so that they can formulate their thoughts, generate ideas, and focus their topics. Take five or ten minutes of class time for students to read their writing to each other in small groups or pairs.

It's important for students to hear what their peers have written.


Encourage students to revise their work. Provide formal steps for revision by asking students to submit first drafts of papers for your review or for peer critique. You can also give your students the option of revising and rewriting one assignment during the semester for a higher grade.students dropped on the Writing STAAR while performance for our economically disadvantaged students went up on all tests.

Intervention strategies will be implemented to reduce the performance gaps in the area of writing. Students new to a discipline may find that starting with an overview or review of relevant research in books and journals, is the easiest way to begin researching a topic and obtaining the necessary background information.

Postgraduate students should also be guided by the faculty in enhancing their academic writing skills.

identifying gaps in academic writing of esl students

This can increase self-efficacy to deter plagiarism in line . Identifying Similarities and Differences. The most usual kind of question that can be found in part 1 is a contrast question which requires the students to identify the similarities and differences.

The paper reports on a case study conducted to identify critical gaps in academic writing standards among ESL students in a foundation studies programme.

The study employed a pragmatic case study approach, drawing on qualitative methods as deemed appropriate. Identifying gaps in the literature is a critical part of a review As with all research, it is important to formulate questions that need further investigation and identify gaps .

Identifying Struggling Students - NCLD