30 October 2010

Types of formal writing exercise in the classroom

In the recent previous article we discussed the importance of functional writing in developing the writing skills in in life like for letter writing ,e-mailing ,texting and other forms of sending message by writing symbols and numbers.
Formal exercises are very essential in the communicative approach ,hence the teacher can base them on developing language points that children find difficulties in hindering their communication.
In the classroom ,the teacher can employ the use of substitution tables to practise sentence structures,plan lesson with filling in blank spaces.Children are provided with choices of words covering the whole exercise ,for instance a set of 6 words for 6 sentence ,above or below the sentences themselves.Then children provide a choice of 2 or 3 words for the gap in each sentence.The teacher can also put the base form of a verb next to the sentence and the children change it into the correct tense form to fill the gap.
Other exercises children can do are:
Multiple choice questions which can be in different ways that's comprehension,structure or vocabulary.
Children can construct sentence following the model sentence provided by their teacher.
They can convert sentences to another ,for example ,verbs can be change into past tense or nouns and pronouns in to their singular or plural forms.
The children can also taught to synthesise two sentences into one without changing the meaning ,according to the teacher's demostration.
Punctuation is also one of the most important skills children should develop inorder for their writing to make sense to the reader.The teacher can give them exercise to copy for panctuation . This can be used to use punctuation marks or how to use capital letters correctly .After the teacher present the lesson can then give children exercise of quotation marks ,an unpantuated passage . Thereafter they should be told how many marks are required altogether ,before they copy it out putting them in the correct places.
Groupwork activities:
Working in their groups in the classroom set up is also a way of developing their skills and improve on personal and business interaction.When they are given a task to write in their groups. The teacher can divide them in groups to write short summary of the passage read.The other groups can be given different tasks like,write comprehension answers,which already prepared orally,the next group may list animals,objects or people mentioned in the passege.The last group if there are four groups can be tasked to draw pictures related to the passage and write simple sentences below the pictures.
In conclusion functional writing prepares children to communicate through writing script in both the classroom and their life long situations after formal education.

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