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Effective Practices in Teaching Writing.

Effective Practices in Teaching Writing

Shaun Hawthorne with Jennifer Glen

NZATE (New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English)

ISBN 9780473181208

A4 103pp & DVD 104.00 [pounds sterling]


Not having fully appreciated that this book was from the southern hemisphere, I approached both the book and the DVD with some scepticism. In fact the book is highly readable and I found myself book-marking pages for future reference. The series is designed to 'reflect current research and practice in the teaching of English'. The book starts with a history of English teaching in New Zealand and moves on through a review of effective practices, curriculum links, classroom examples and an appendix of lesson plans.

I liked some of the acronyms. STOP for persuasive writing. Suspend your judgement, Take a side, Organise your notes and Plan as you write. Then SEXY for paragraph writing. Statement, Explanation, eXample and whY.

I am always proclaiming the mantra, 'write about what you know' when teaching teenage boys, so I like the fact that the research endorses what I have long believed; that high levels of topic knowledge have a positive impact of the quality of narrative writing in students. There is a good section on research that shows that students learn best when they can connect new knowledge and learning to things they already know.

The accompanying DVD is pretty much what you would expect to accompany the book. The New Zealand accents are all that separate it from much of what is shown in an average English INSET session. I found it quite watchable; it reminded me of what teaching could be like in a school where students are keen to learn. Consumed by problems resulting from poor behaviour in the bog-standard secondaries, we all need reminding about good practice from time to time. Well, I do anyway!
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Author:Bamford, Ruth
Publication:NATE Classroom
Date:Sep 22, 2011
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