Getting Students Ready for Academic Writing

Getting Students Ready for Academic Writing

There was plenty of talk about academic writing during the American Association of Applied Linguistics conference. This article gives a quick summary of the most interesting things discussed.

Focus on Academic Literacy
In order for students to be able to do academic writing, they need a lot more than just good spelling and grammar. Several people talked about Academic Literacy, or understanding the academic conventions of a given educational system. Anastasia Riazantseva, for example, cited academic literacy as a key area of importance for long-term college success. …

For writing teachers, this means spending time on the reasons why different essay types are used. It also means that we should explain to students that mainstream instructors will expect them to use the full writing process ”including brainstorming”and will often ask for a first draft of course papers. Language students often believe that their ESL teachers are the only ones who care about the writing process (and that it is only to help them learn English), so we must show them how important it will be for their later studies.

Controlled Practice is Critical
Another issue that came up was controlled practice in academic writing. If students don’t have much experience doing academic writing in English (or their L1 for that matter), then we can’t expect them to master writing skills like topic sentences or supporting details with just a few exercises. On the contrary, the more opportunities students have to improve these micro-skills, the better they will be able to handle the larger skills of cohesion and defending a thesis.

A Writing Series to Help
Ready to Write, now in its Silver Edition, helps students develop academic literacy and spends more time on controlled practice than any other writing series. If your students are new to academic writing, if they need extensive practice every step along the way, then consider adopting this series for your classroom.

Contact your Pearson ELL Specialist for more information. You can also request a sample copy here.



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin


Recent Posts


Explore our eCatalog

Explore our eCatalog
On Key

Related Posts

Build Self-Directed Learners

Build Self-Directed Learners “One hour.” The answer is heartbreaking. More fortunate teachers and students say “Three hours,” but it’s still disappointing. Both are answers to

What It Really Means to Know a Word

By Christina Cavage What It Really Means to Know a Word As ELT educators we often build our lessons around reading, writing, listening, speaking and