Create5 -tip 3, creative writing for English learners

  • If you add creativity to the learning process it increases the I in interest.

The following tasks are twofold beneficial, namely it helps gather the interests of the learners and therefore adds some glue to their bonding, as well as providing a source for a portfolio memento.

1/ “DisLike” task (possible for learners)

  • get  a group of learners together.
  • brainstorm synonyms for   “like”    and    ”dislike”.
  • write some lines for each word e.g. I like spicy food etc.
  • edit this into a short poetical text.
  • if possible get someone with a good eye for editing, or a native English speaker to help you edit it.

Here are, to quote others, some examples from a portfolio I put together for one of my first courses re-training the unemployed :

“Carola likes the falling of red, yellow and, orange and brown leaves and the scent of soil”.

“Eva doesn´t like people who can not look over their own horizon”.

“Jeanette…she loves this line in a song;

´ever wonder why I am never truly content, although my eyes are open´.

“Marco likes the scent after the rain”.

“Reiner….he fancies taking a trip by car alone, without a destination”.

“Stew likes the weightlessness and the quick reflex actions of cycling against the traffic”.

Uta doesn´t like fusspots , but sometimes she is a fusspot herself”.

2/ “Working life” task (for trainers).

  • use the Business Spotlight “My Working life articles as a model.
  • either write one about yourself so you can be introduced to a new group OR  get the participants to read an article (* note useful to give articles to them as reading homework unless more than 2 X 45 min lesson).
  • present yourself or get the students to introduce the person they have learnt about to the rest of the group.
  • split the group into pairs or threes, get them to decide on categories to ask questions about, model some choices on the board/flip chart as examples (taking some from the Business Spotlight articles).
  • the students interview each other, as you walk round the room listening to them and taking feedback notes.
  • from these notes get them to introduce their partner if a new group OR to share with the rest of the group the thing that was the most interesting, unusual,  surprising OR a similiarity that was discovered.
  • set homework for the group to write up an article similar to the “Working Life” or as a transcript of their interview. (* make sure to give them a deadline of two weeks before the end of the course to give yourself sufficient time for collation and editing).
  • collate the articles and review some of the common mistakes in lessons.
  • peer edit (giving the articles to other pairs or threes).
  • set a deadline for final collation.
  • if possible equip yourself with a camera during the course and take photos to add to a portfolio at the end.

Don´t you sometimes find it a shame you have nothing to remind you of that great English course you ran?

  • then put together a portfolio to hand out at then end of the last lesson.
  • digi- publish to a self publishing website such as scribd (* ask for permission to make public: this is useful if any students miss the deadlines and you want to add them so the learners can reprint the portfolio).

3/ “Like minds” task

  • Find someone who has similiar interests.
  • Conduct an interview, recording/ typing the transcript.
  • edit this into a short transcript between the participants.
  • if possible get someone with a good eye for editing, or a native English speaker to help you edit it.

Note for trainers: all these tasks can be adapted to suit extensive or intensive courses, and provide a treasured memento for after a course finishes.

Here are some examples of portfolio mementos of my previous courses.

Trainers: How do you encourage creative writing in your courses?

Learners: How do you explore creativity in your English writing?

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