I am currently preparing for my third Delta observed lesson, which will be on the topic of writing. One of the things that has been mentioned again and again in my reading is the importance of writing for an audience, preferably a real one.
Yesterday I took my students to St James Park, the home of Newcastle United football club. We had a fantastic tour, taking us all over the stadium, including into the dressing rooms:
This afternoon I worked on formal and informal emails with my upper intermediate class. They had the choice of three tasks to consolidate our language work:
- write to a fictional language school asking for information about their courses;
- accept a fictional wedding invitation;
- write to our tour guide from yesterday to thank her, including saying what you enjoyed and suggesting any possible improvements for the tour (which would be emailed to the tour guide).
3 students chose to write the thank you email, 1 the reply to the invite, 1 a completely different email (confirming that he would be attending the Nobel Prize award ceremony!) and the other 6 wrote to the language school.
I find it interesting that, given the chance to write to a real person, most of the class chose not to. I wonder why?