Writing is a complex task, particularly writing in a second language. Advanced students in our classes have a variety of different backgrounds that impact their writing: some received limited formal writing instruction; others have not been successful writers in their first language; many struggle with dividing their attention between language, organization, and the formulation of original ideas. It is important to address writing strategies and the process of writing with the entire class. And yet most likely students will need more individualized feedback. Therefore working with students one-on-one might be most fruitful.
How do we encourage our students to take advantage of workingwith us in office hours and/or meeting with Language Coaches in the Language and Writing Studio in UH 1650?
Recommended teaching technique:
- Consider making one or two meetings (with you or a Language Coach) mandatory by assigning a small percentage of the final class grade for the meeting, or by allowing such meetings to count as extra credit.
- You can restrict which aspects you want students to seek help with from writing coaches: drafting, organization, revision of argument, vocabulary use, grammar. Language Coaches are trained to focus on individual issues and will not simply “proofread” the entire paper for the student.
- You can provide a checklist for students to take to the tutoring hour, or request that the Language Tutor collaborate with you to create one for your class.
- Consider taking the printout of the tutoring hour schedule to your class at the beginning of the semester (or more often) and asking the students to sign up for a specific time slot.
- Consider inviting the Language Coach to your class to introduce her/himself and to explain the benefits of working one-on-one with a language coach.