Essential writing tips for Japanese ESL students -- Mar 20
International students that are learning English have several techniques available to them to increase their efficiency. For instance, when it comes to listening, teachers frequently let students listen to songs or watch movies.

Similarly, reading exercises are abundant within ESL curriculums. However, there is one skill that sorely overlooks within the ESL arena.

I'm talking about the writing of course. These days, there aren't many opportunities to express you via book, save for emails or chat messages. The problem with these formats is that they don't cement the English language within the mind of the student as the internet lingo is void of grammar and spelling.

Today, we'll be going over a few tips that you as a teacher or student can use to increase your writing skills in English.

Why is writing important?

The other two skills (listening and reading) helps the student to better their conversation skills. While this is important, writing provides a different perspective by letting the student carefully select the words they will use to express themselves. They have to use more critical thinking, and the tactile experience of writing down creates a deeper connection with the words itself.

It means that every time you write, you will become better in reading and in listening because you'll have a more intimate understanding of the words used.

Find the right motivation

Unless you're a born writer, most people don't like to sit down and write unless they have a purpose. Thus, it's essential that we find the right motivation to keep us engaging in the activity. For instance, business ESL students might need to work on proposals, briefs, memos and so forth. Perhaps, they need to carefully craft out an email that will send to potential investors.  

Based on the demand of their vocation, align the writing exercises around their sector of interest. Let them write dummy proposals and briefs. Practice writing regular emails utilizing the most vocabulary possible.

When a student sees the inherent value of this skill, they will be self-motivated to become better.

Make a habit out of it

The adage "practice makes perfect" couldn't be more accurate than when it comes to writing custom assignments. You need to cultivate a habit of writing. Furthermore, a book takes more time than the other skills such as listening and reading.

You'll have to keep on hammering in the lessons to make it become a natural response. After all, English speaking people have had at least 12 years of this from first grade until their senior year. Not to mention the extra practice they got in college.

Thus, as an ESL student, you will need to make it a habitual activity you do at least once a week. You can try different writing styles, genres and so forth to keep it interesting.

Have an official guide

If you're studying by yourself, you will need to have someone check your work. It won't matter if you practice all the time if you're exercising wrong. Have an English teacher or a fluent English speaker guide you periodically.

They will help you hone your skills, correct your mistakes and keep you on the right path. If you're the ESL teacher, you'll have to be their guide.

Don't instruct, but let them figure out what they are doing wrong and make the correction themselves. If a student discovers his or her own mistake, they will hardly ever make the same mistake again. Thus, guiding them is the key and not instructing them. They need to discover the answers for themselves.

Learn with a little help from your friends

In most cases, people learn ESL in groups. Peer review is a great way for everybody to help cement the concepts, learn from everyone's mistakes and makes the job more comfortable for the teacher. It is most accurate in Business English; it allows the student to feel in control of their learning, which is fundamental to becoming a better student.

Keep it a positive experience

The reason why most people stay away from writing is that throughout their academic career the idea of a book was associated with "big projects" There's a lot of stress related to the activity

If you keep the experience positive, you'll not only motivate the student to enjoy the activity; you'll make learning a more fun experience as well.

Writing is a brilliant skill and no matter how much technology changes; the book will never go out of style. It's one of the oldest technologies of humanity and allowing ESL students to understand the importance of dominating this skill will help them advance in all areas of their lives.

News source:
Oct 17
Police in Hiroshima, western Japan, are investigating graffiti found at 3 places in the Peace Memorial Park. The park is home to the landmark Atomic Bomb Dome, which was damaged in the 1945 bombing. (NHK)
Oct 17
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has dropped for the first time in more than 5 years as natural disasters prompted many tourists to cancel trips in September. (NHK)
Oct 17
A Tokyo court has begun questioning 3 former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company about their involvement in the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. (NHK)
Oct 17
Tokyo police arrested on Tuesday some members of a fraud group for allegedly attempting to register a land ownership change using fake documents, in a high-profile case that led Sekisui House Ltd. <1928> to lose billions of yen. (Jiji)
Oct 17
Keisuke Fukuchi, the 2018 world champion of the Othello board game and the youngest ever at 11, was congratulated and surprised while on his return flight to Japan after the competition in Prague as the pilot revealed via intercom that he was the previous record holder. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
Gunma Prefecture says its helicopter that crashed in August is suspected to have been flying in violation of civil aviation laws. (NHK)
Oct 17
An unmanned store using artificial intelligence instead of cashiers is set to open on a trial basis at a station in Tokyo. (NHK)
Oct 16
Showa University in Tokyo admitted Monday that its medical school has been rigging entrance examination results in favor of first- and second-time test takers, while putting former students' children high on waiting lists to fill vacancies. (Jiji)
Oct 16
The Imperial Household Agency said Monday it will jointly excavate Japan’s largest ancient mounded tomb with a local government for the first time. (Japan Times)
Oct 16
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Facebook has informed the government that its recent massive data leak could involve Japanese users. (NHK)