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Teaching Writing Online

by Catherine Baydar | 26 May 2021
Resource Description: I've put together some of the sites I like to use in my lessons and what I have used them for. They are tried and tested with thumbs up from students.
Audience: Adult, Secondary, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Teaching Tip:

Tip one: Getting students interested and engaged in the lesson content


NEWSELA is a fantastic site full of articles about every topic you can imagine. There are pre-existing questions for the texts and the opportunity to adjust the difficultly level of the text itself. Students can be assigned a text before the lesson to get them thinking about the topic. They can also be encouraged to take notes on the topic to use in the writing task. Another favourite of mine is PLAYPOSIT, which is an interactive video platform. It is great because you can add questions (multiple choice or open ended) to your videos to focus your students’ attention on the important points. After giving the students some input, I find PADLET to be useful when brainstorming with them. It can be used to get students to write responses on a virtual wall for the others to see and refer back to when writing.


Tip two: Creating an interactive environment for the lesson


You cannot beat NEARPOD for engaging students in the lesson. It creates opportunities to do sentence ordering, matching, and brainstorming activities. You can also create polls, brainstorm ideas, watch videos, answer questions (in written form or verbally), and do quizzes. The list just goes on!  



Tip three: Get writing


For instant feedback, GOOGLE DOCS is my favourite. I set students up with their own page or a class page and give them the link. For in class activities, I am able to skip between the documents and give immediate written feedback. For homework, I can make comments and suggestions in order to help them edit their work. For shorter writing tasks, PADLET is also a great option. It’s easy to leave comments on the students’ submissions and encourage them to give peer feedback.


These are just some of the things I do to make my writing lessons more engaging and to facilitate learning. I hope that you will find them useful, too.

Useful Links:


TESOL Interest Section: English as a Foreign Language, Second Language Writing