30 October 2010

Teaching children functional writing skills

The main purpose of teaching language is to develop communicative skills for both social interaction and business communication.
Children are expected to be able to write meaningful and appropriate messeges in their writings. The teacher's main purpose is to give them lessons which are purposeful and relevant to their immediate environment and the demands of the marketplaces for each writing exercise ,so that each piece can bring real life in their way of education and social experiences.These learners should also have the strong feeling that they are writing for the reader for a specific message to be conveyed.
Inaddition the piece of their writings should appear as a transaction whereby the learners gets something done through the medium of communication.The possible functional writing should composed of:
•Events in the class ,the school an community news ,their work ,at home and in the classroom.
•The writing of scripts and posted in the forums in various sites online on educational issues or when interacting with their peers . The article which can be published in the newspapers,magazines etc.
•They can write small books ,e-books with exciting small stories for others to read online or offline in such a way they build library of such books and always perfecting themselves as they are growing up.
• Leaving messeges on the community or school notice boards for others to read or even post them on the social sites.
Letter writing
Writing letters is now one of the commonest thing done by everyone especially those who interact through social media. The posting of e-mails or writing on the wall is now an easy feature done daily by internetters.Using this communicative approach children can begin by writing short notices to their classmates ,not only in the same classroom ,but also even nationally or internationally ,for example:John, can you work me this problem 100 x96=
Madelene,Tell me about your weather in Zimbabwe? Thambiso.
The response they get can be either in note form or in voice over VOIP . From such activities the children can develop the skills of letter writing and the teacher should later introduce them to write formal letters for business. Take the opportunity to help children to learn appropreate language to different categories of people ,business people,friends,parents,older relatives,peers etc.If possible ,let them write genuine letters and post them off in hope of a reply.
They must be well versed with letters of thanks,requests and of giving an item of news.


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