Becoming a tutor (5)

Why Writing Can Be Taught
Writing, especially creative writing, is viewed by some as an art, and therefore, the teaching of it might appear to be almost out of the question. Yet it is not necessarily so. The teacher's role is that of a stimulator, and acts as a 'learning environment provider'. In this teacher's classroom, what is done is not instilling in students the contents of their articles, nor limiting them within some set framework. Rather, students are encouraged to interact with others in classroom, via a series of meaningful activities. Thus they are given opportunities to communicate with others using what they write, and can later make corrections according to advice and comments offered by others.

Writing is also a science. Certain styles and structures simply need to be introduced to students, so that they learn, for example, what a formal letter or e-mail message consists of, and how to write a self introductory statement to better represent oneself to his/her future employer or supervisor, etc. Concerning this aspect, I have observed that students are extremely motivated to learn such transferable skills, and very often they only need sufficient demonstrations of sample writings. A good teacher for this kind of class would need to be a good reviewer too, because effective teaching here means a good selection of teaching materials, according to an understanding of students' needs. It is essential that teachers do not bury students back in the writing patterns of the past examples, but students are learning to equip themselves for the future.

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