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Teaching Languages off the Beaten Track

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Edited By Michal B. Paradowski

The 21st-century global linguistic landscape has seen many changes for language learners. New assessments have been made in a host of areas, especially regarding learners’ needs, motives, the target of instruction, and methodologies. The new realities, locales and purposes of communication all necessitate a shift in attitude and a new set of competencies is required of the teacher. This volume comprises a multi-faceted and thoughtful response to these changes in both modern reality and teaching philosophy. It is a study of a few of the other ways to tackle situations outside of norms and routines. The authors of this volume possess many years of teaching experience, and have stepped off the roads most travelled to explore new avenues and find novel solutions in foreign language teaching. This volume familiarises readers with contemporary theoretical debate and new research, and demonstrates how to easily translate these into practical, everyday classroom applications.
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A Text-Based Approach to Teaching Writing in the ESL Classroom

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Abstract: The text-based approach to teaching ESL uses a series of complete texts to teaching writing. Instruction is focused on the three dimensions that create meaning in texts: the ideational, interpersonal and textual dimensions. To be effective writers, students must be aware of the structural, interpersonal and textual features of different text types. This paper examines the impact of text-based instruction on ESL writing in a secondary classroom in Brunei Darussalam, a non-native English speaking country in South East Asia. Altogether, forty student pre- and post- instruction written scripts on report writing were used. The scripts were assessed using a systemic functional grammar scoring system and then compared. The scores were then subjected to Wilcoxon matched-pair test, revealing a significant difference between pre- and post- instruction student performance. The results showed an overall improvement in student writing after instruction in both the higher and lower ability student groups.

In many English as Second Language (ESL) classrooms, writing in the target language remains a challenge for many learners. This is to be expected considering that writing requires not only an abstract knowledge of the language (i.e. structural forms) but, equally importantly, the ability to apply what has been learnt to produce a coherent, and meaningful text. Separating writing from other aspects of language learning (such as grammar or vocabulary) may not help students make the necessary transition from what they know to how to use what they know in their writing. In short, students need to be...

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