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Name : Dena Suar Deni

Student’s ID : 160203050

Teaching Writing for Young Foreign Language Learner

A. Introduction

Four basic language skills are available in English. Teaching writing is the
most difficult of all four skills. As Hermida stated that “Teaching English for
Young Learner has been broadly discussed in many academic writings. Young
learner is closely regarded to have a massive memory which can be potentially
filled by any information. This potential age makes linguist attract to know more
about how a language can be absorbed by children”1. In particular, teaching young
learners to write is a real challenge for educators. It is a language ability that is
imperative and must be learned from an early age. Also as Hermida stated, Many
of the writings have addressed the value of English as an international language,
especially for countries where English is a foreign language. It is assumed,
therefore, that English should be taught from a young age2.

Young learners are not motivated to write, rather they like to speak more in
an EFL class. Students do not have enough opportunity to write according to their
own wishes in our educational system. They have creative writing classes in some
schools where students have the chance to write freely. The goal behind it is to
independence the students and activate their process of thinking. It is important to
choose the right lesson from the teachers ' side and to design it according to the
age group. If the students do not like the lesson, it will be unproductive for the
entire class. Until planning any project, teachers must take care of the enthusiasm
of the student, their writing rate and preferred form of leaming. It's hard to draw

1
Rita Hermida, “Vocabulary Acquisition for Young Learners through Songs”, in Gender Equality
Vol. 5, No. 1, 2019, P. 95.
2
Ibid., P. 95.

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the attention of young leamers and keep them focused for a longer time. To do
this, an educator must adopt certain methods of teaching as well as strategies of
teaching to promote successful leaming.

B. Discussion
a. The Nature of Writing

Writing plays an important role in the language learning process as one of the
essential English skills. The aim of writing teaching is to help students understand
and extract meaningful information for different purposes. Talking is distinct from
writing. The speaker can use the intonation and emphasis to add further meaning
to what they say, but the author needs to think in writing about how to convey
concepts and vocabulary in order to make the reader understand what they mean3.

Furthermore, writing is not an easy, spontaneous activity. Until we find it a


good one, it requires some measure. Composing and designing the text involves
several techniques4. In line with this, as cited in Chamisah, Harmer argued that a
piece of writing, however, with mistakes and half-finished sentences, etc. Would
be judged by many native speakers as illiterate since it is expected that writing
should be ‘correct’5. In addition, Hedge also stated that writing is the result of
employing strategies to manage the composing process, which is one gradually
developing a text. It involves a number of activities: setting goals, generating
ideas, organizing information, selecting appropriate language, making a draft,
reading and reviewing it, then revising and editing. It is a complex process which
is neither easy nor spontaneous for many second language writers.

On the other hand, writing can be used to perform acts and ideas. As cited in
Chamisah, Byrne defined, “Writing is a primary means of recording speech, even
though it must be acknowledged as a secondary medium of communication”.

3
Chamisah, “An Analysis of the Advantages of Cooperative Learning Approach in Teaching
Writing”, in Englisia Vol.1 No. 1, 2013, P. 144.
4
Ibid., P. 144.
5
Jeremy Harmer, The Practice of English Language Teaching 3rd ed, (Longman,
2001), P .41.

2
Writing as described above is a productive skill written to demonstrate the
student's language ability. According to Enre the aims of writing are:

1) Desire to explain or to inform


2) Desire to tell something as it was looked and heard
3) Desire to tell something about something happened
4) Desire to convince someone.

In contrast, writing in the modern world gives a range of functions. This


contributes greatly to human work. It can be a message, an entertainment and
knowledge. Writing is an ongoing process that requires the author to be involved
in writing in order to obtain knowledge.

b. The Nature of EYL (English Young Learner)

Learning English has a trend. English education has begun at an early age.
Since the second half of the century, it has happened. It's also happening as
English is now being used to meet the global demand that stresses the need for
communication skills.

Teaching English to young learners in particular is distinct from teaching to


adults. Young learners have different ways to start later than older learners and
also have some advantages over older learners. As cited in Kusumawardhani and
Nurhayati, Cameron says that: Some differences are immediately apparent: as
pupils, children are more enthusiastic and vibrant. Instead of peer groups, they
want to please the teacher. Even if they do not quite understand why or how, they
will have a go at an operation. We often lose interest quicker, though, and are less
likely to be inspired by tasks that we find difficult. Kids do not find it as
convenient to use language to talk about language; that is, they do not have the
same exposure to meta-language that educators can use to clarify about grammar
or debate as older learners. Children frequently feel reluctant to speak in a new

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language than adults, and their lack of sensitivity tends to help them get a more
native-like accent6.

As cited in Kusumawardhani and Nurhayati, according to Paradis who said


that there are several advantages of an early start, first, young learners acquire
languages with greater ease, especially the sound system, and develop implicit
competence since they can rely on natural acquisition processes7.

c. Developing Young Learners Writing Skills

As stated by Linse, writing tends to be somewhat neglected in the classroom,


but it is an essential part of language development. Good writing skills are based
on good reading skills, you need to recognise words in order to write and use them
comprehensibly8. Many young learners will not have fully developed their own
L1 writing skills, and these strategies may not necessarily transfer to writing in
English.

Writing allows young learners to practise new vocabulary and structures.It


also allows for a high degree of personalisation and creativity, provides young
learners to take risks and try out new language, with more “thinking time.”
Writing skills equip young learners with a solid base for future development and
learning.

A focus on writing tasks in the classroom creates variety and caters for
different learning styles. Teachers can diagnose learners’ strengths and areas to
develop in terms of vocabulary, structure, spelling etc. Focusing on this area can
instil the joy of writing from an early age.

d. Theories to Consider

6
Paramita Kusumawardhani, and Nurhayati. “ The Analysis of Teaching Writing to English Young
Learner (EYL) through a Movie: an ICT Perspective”. In Jurnal Wanastra Vol. 11, No. 1. 2019.
7
Ibid.
8
Linse, C.T. and Nunan, D. Practical English Language Teaching: Young Learners. New York:
McGraw-Hill ESL/ELT, 2005.

4
Much of the theory behind L2 writing is based on research into the
development of L1 writing skills. Two main approaches have emerged out of this
research: writing as a process and as a product.

Writing as a process involves:

1) Thought-showering or ‘brainstorming’ notes, ideas, words and phrases


about a topic
2) Categorising and ordering the ideas according to the task requirements
3) Writing a first draft
4) Revising the first draft by improving content and accuracy
5) Implementing the improvements in the re-written text

e. Writing as a product

The end goal is an authentic task e.g. writing to inform, to thank etc. Success
is gauged by the accuracy of the content and accuracy of the text.

Accuracy focuses on:

1) Grammar and vocabulary


2) Spelling and punctuation
3) Legibility and appropriate genre conventions

Content focuses on:

1) Conveying information successfully to the reader


2) Providing enough detailed information
3) Logically ordering ideas
4) Using appropriate register
5) Originality of ideas
f. Considerations for classroom writing

Encouraging more engaging writing tasks for young learners needs some
proper instructions to be implemented by the teacher with their young learners.

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Teacher can employ these some instructions with the young learner groups in
writing class :

1) Encourage collaboration between young learners and provide opportunities


during thought-showering, making notes, planning, revising etc
2) Provide visuals, or ask the learners to draw their own pictures to provide
the content for the tasks
3) Topics should be engaging for your young learners e.g relatable and
intrinsically motivating. Write about what they know e.g. games, friends,
favourite activities etc.
4) Look at writing tasks from a different perspective e.g. rather than writing
about their daily routine, they could write about their pet’s daily routine,
their pet’s favourite activities, food etc
5) Let young learners choose their own characters to write about
6) Set challenging but achievable tasks
7) Have extension activities available for fast finishers
8) Encourage pride in the presentation of their writing e.g. young learners can
draw, annotate etc.
9) Respond to written ideas, not just language
10) Mark positively and give feedback on areas of content as well as language.
Encourage learners to value writing.
11) Give clear and simple criteria and encourage self/peer correction of written
tasks. Using a range of smileys can encourage young learners to record
how they feel about different writing tasks.
12) After pair/group work, make time to share writing as a class e.g. read out
good examples of writing (but don’t name names!).
13) Include presentation of learners’ work. This depends on the task type, but
work could be compiled into a short books, displayed in the classroom,
school message boards etc. Young learners get a motivational ‘boost’ by
seeing their written work ‘on view.’

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g. Particular Relevance to Primary Teaching

As cited in Kennedi and Jarvis, Hugh Leburn defined that content writing
serves as a facilitator of the learning process, is valid at any level, but for a
number of reasons it is particularly suitable at the primary level. First of all, the
younger the students, the more critical it is that they are familiar with materials.
This does not suggest that there is no space for fantasy and creativity, but
materials should represent the commonplace in the world of the child that can not
be replicated in commercial content. Second, confidence in active language
learning at the younger age level is crucial. The material must be at the right level,
again something in industrial products that can not usually be done. Since there
are reasons for providing a textbook, even a manufactured commercially, there is
at least a strong case for the availability of locally produced services or support
materials.

We need to be confronted with stimuli and situations around which


language can be used at the development stage of young learners. Many of these
would be given by teachers in any circumstance of teaching. Book is another
excellent source of such sensations, but it can be complemented by using the
teachers ' creative skills. Speaking and writing images, tape recordings of sounds,
stories, conversations and realia are all an advantage here. Using music, games
and drama falls within the same group. All of these can be planned by teachers on
the spot more appropriately9.

C. Conclusion

It is the teacher’s responsibility to develop writing tasks for young learners that
are enjoyable, full of practice, meaningful, purposeful, social and supported (Reid
1998). Challenging the learners and exploiting collaborative opportunities all
combine to provide a learning environment where writing is both valued and
enjoyed.

9
Chris Kennedy, and Jennifer Jarvis. Ideas and Issues in Primary ELT. Hongkong: Thomas Nelson
and Sons Ltd. 1991. P. 105.

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References

C.T., Linse, and D., Nunan. (2005). Practical English Language Teaching:
Young Learners. New York: McGraw-Hill ESL/ELT.
Harmer, Jeremy. (2001). The Practice of English Language Teaching 3rd ed.
Longman.
Kennedy, C, and Jarvis, J, (ed). (1991). Ideas and Issues in Primary ELT.
Hongkong: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.
Chamisah, (2013). An Analysis of the Advantages of Cooperative Learning
Approach in Teaching Writing. Englisia Vol.1 No. 1. https://jurnal.ar-
raniry.ac.id/index.php/englisia/article/view/143
Kusumawardhani, Paramita, and Nurhayati, (2019). The Analysis of Teaching
Writing to English Young Learner (EYL) through a Movie: an ICT Perspective.
Jurnal Wanastra. Vol. 11, No. 1.
https://ejournal.bsi.ac.id/ejurnal/index.php/wanastra/article/view/5065
Rita Hermida, (2019). Vocabulary Acquisition for Young Learners through
Songs. Gender Equality Vol. 5, No. 1. https://www.jurnal.ar-
raniry.ac.id/index.php/equality/article/view/5381