As a literature teacher, writing is one of the key units that I tackle. Writing forms the backbone of language and all the literature skills that are needed. Writing refers to putting down the relevant knowledge concerning a given topic that one is writing in paper form or even soft copy. There are several functions that writing serves. In English curriculum, writing as a unit is meant to teach the students on ways in which they can communicate their ideas to the readers. Literature students and language students by extension must have all the relevant skills and knowledge pertaining writing (Braine, 2013). In most of the situations, essays which are done through writing are persuasive research papers or literary analysis. This is most common among the junior classes. However, students that are at the senior levels and are doing the course of College Composition and communication also do participate in writing a reminiscence essay. This, therefore, means that writing as a unit in language forms the background to any other unit and course as it is the medium through which the intended information can be put down in either hard copy or soft copy for referred. Reminiscence essay which is the form of writing that is most of the senior students refers to the narrative piece that puts less emphasis on the on rhetoric and formal structure compared to most of other essays that these students have written in their junior schools such as high school which instead, creates for them the opportunity to work in other areas such as the creation of visual descriptions, storytelling, engaging their reader, and also developing their voice. All these are what forms writing as a unit in language teaching. Senior students in their writing can select any experience that has had a significant effect on them and should share the experience as well as the aftermaths of the experience with other people (Urquhart, 2013).
All these requires the students to have adverse knowledge in writing that will enable them to write something that is good, and that will serve them the needed purpose. Therefore, before the senior students who are my students can begin their writing, the students are required to have completed numerous activities and mini-lessons that enables them to practice some skills that are shown in the narrative essay assessment such as punctuating dialogue, practicing how to engage in a well dialogue, using literary devices to express themselves in conversations and also writing with sensory details (Hyland, 2015). All these will be a building step to the students in trying to create them to be fit for the writing unit. Also, before engaging in the senior writing, the students are required to answer some of the prewriting questions such as potential topic choices, brainstorming, a tentative outline of their plot and a description of the potential characters in their writings. All these are very essential for any student before engaging in senior writing.
At this particular time, it is important to have a personal meeting with the students to discuss the directions of their essay and be able to answer any question that I can pose to them at that particular point during the meeting process. When I am done with that, the students are given the time to write down their first draft, peer reviewing their initial work and submit the drafts once they are done. This must be done within a time frame as writing goes hand in hand with time. After the students have been given the right score according to what they wrote in the draft, they have the opportunity to write the paper before they can be given the final score and are fit to study writing.
In summary, writing as a unit in language cuts across other units and courses as it is the medium of expression in other courses too. Writing unit requires the students to pass through a lot of stages. The students must be critical thinkers (Dickins, 2014). Depending on what one is writing, there are a lot of things that one is considering. For instance, if one is writing about opinion concerning a given topic, one is required to go and research deep over the topic so that during writing, the person can be able to put down the information or if one is writing about scientific report, one is considered o write down facts the research or the experiment that have been conducted. Besides the type of information that is part of the writing unit, one should also consider the formats of what is being written. Different writings have different formats. Students are exposed to various styles of writing. Therefore, the unit gives the knowledge and the skills that are required for these students to write down the different formats. Writings have different formats because each piece of writing has specified information that is being communicated and can best be understood through a specific format. These formats are unique to particular pieces off writing. However, a basic writing should have an introduction, body and a conclusion. However, there are some writing formats that do not totally adhere to this rule.
The need for the assessment
Assessment of writing as a unit serves a lot of functions. Due to the roles that writing serves in literature/language, there is a big need for its assessment. The first need for assessing writing is to gauge some of the possible challenges that students are facing in writing. Through identifying of these problems, it becomes very easy to offer solutions. This also forms the bridge to provide means that can make writing the best among the students. The second need for assessing the unit is to find areas that need adjustment. The learning system is not rigid. It is flexible to accommodate the many changes that do happen to the system or the general community that impact writing (Urquhart, 2014). Therefore, through assessing writing, it becomes possible to identify these particular areas and make the necessary reforms. Another need for assessing the unit is to gauge the progress of teachers in their teaching. There are teachers who do not perform to the expectations that are needed. For this reason, the assessment of the until will help to know the teachers that are not performing and in turn set a foundation for taking the right measures against these teachers who are not performing. Assessment of writing is also needed so as to boost the unit in general. Just as any other unit, writing requires maintenance. Maintenance to mean that it remains within the original principles that guides writing and that there is no going against the writing principles.
Assessment of writing
The assessment of writing is done to fulfill the English Language Arts Common Core Standard. It was meant to enable the students to be able to write imaginative experience, develop real narrative experiences or events using effective technique, well-structured event sequence, and well-chosen details. These skills in writing are very important as they form the core of writing. They not only form the core of writing but instead form the best medium that can be used by students from any other course to express the information they are having in the right form. Writing standard done in this unit cuts across various skills including the use of narrative techniques like incorporating vivid description and pacing and also the skills of engaging their readers in their writing. All these have been covered in writing, and this makes the assessment success.
The whole of the unit assessment majored around the standard: Learning various formats of writing and the concepts that are required during writing. Therefore, the unit looked into the concepts that a student must have before joining the literature class. They included the critical thinking, gauging the potential characters of your writing and knowing how to put down the right content before writing the paper. To fully attain the set goals of writing, there were some procedures that were done. Firstly, the students were passed through the vigorous system to train them on how they can be better writers. Afterward, they were graded and then allowed to revise on their writing that was part to test them if they were fit for the writing classes. After this, the students were allowed to learn the various concepts that are in writing. They were taken through the units topics one by one. Finally, the students were given some tests to examine whether they had acquired the required skill and knowledge that will enable them to write well any paper (Hyland, 2014). Being that the students were senior students, they were subjected to more complex and technical writing. They were tested from writing imaginative narrative experience to real life experience. They were taught on how they can write different formats for various essays. Also, the lessons majored so much on what the students can do to boost their writing as writing is the backbone of language and other courses too. To ensure that the students were fit, they were also given a lot of min-tests where they were required to write sample essays. These gave the students the grounds to learn how to write different kinds of essays. After the mini-tests, they were allowed to view peer paper of other students. This made them identify some of the strengths and weaknesses that are in writing. Also, it gave them the opportunity to learn among themselves on some of the methods that they can use to write better. Being that other students do learn well when they are corrected by other fellow students and explained some concepts by other students, these avenues gave them the opportunity to learn better in an environment that is best for, them. To deepen the understanding, I allowed the creation of groups among the students. I then chose the student who was ahead of them to be the group leader. I used the criteria of choosing the student who has been performing well in the previous three mini-tests as this was an indication of consistency in the performance (Whiteman, 2014). After creation of the group, I introduced inter-group competition where the created groups were to compete among themselves and the winning group be awarded. By doing this, there was a creation of teamwork during the study, making the study more fun and also availing motivating factor to the groups to work hard and win the price.
The final assessment for the unit was in the form of essays quiz to the taught topics. The first quiz on the assessment (Appendix A) focused on ways that one can use to be a good writer of any given paper. For instance, the question, what are the important factors to consider before writing requires the student to brainstorm on all the materials and the mental preparedness before writing any paper. The second quiz (Appendix B) focused on writing different forms of essays. These essays were to be marked, and corrections are made to the students. They could then see the mistakes that they have made during the learning process and be able to correct them in their future writing. This shows one of the sure ways to ensure that the students have fully understood the required skill and concepts for writing. During the teaching of the unit, the students were given several homework assignments that they were required to do and submit by a given deadline. These provided avenues for the students to go and research more on the topic. I indeed used all that it requires assessing the students to find out whether they came out of the course successful.
Braine, G. (2013). Non-native educators in English language teaching. Routledge.
Dickins, P. R., & Germaine, K. (2014). Managing evaluation and innovation in language teaching: Building bridges. Routledge.
Hyland, K. (2015). Teaching and researching writing. Routledge.
Urquhart, A. H., & Weir, C. J. (2014). Reading in a second language: Process, pr...
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