(NB. The numbers in square brackets refer to notes in the Commentary.)

Approx. timing


Support Mats


Whole class.

Ask the course participants to think of the last two things they wrote (preferably in their native language).


Write on the board a list of the things they tell you they wrote. [2]


Assuming you have done Unit 5 on Reading Skills, it should now be possible to put the course participants in small groups and ask them what other questions you might want to ask them about their writing. The first question was:

  1. WHAT did you write?
  2. ………………………?
  3. ………………………?

Etc. [3]


Agree on the questions:

  1. WHAT did you write?
  2. WHY did you write it?
  3. HOW did you write it?
  4. What was the RESULT of writing it?

Make sure you include the additional question:

  1. WHO did you expect/intend to read it? [4]

Ask the group to find answers to these questions for the things they wrote. [5]


Ask for additions to your list of text types and collect answers to the five questions for all of them.

In small groups, discuss how often people actually write outside the classroom and put the list of text types in order from the most frequently written to the least.

Feedback discussion. [6]


Summarise the Communicative Profile for a piece of writing:

  • The text type
  • The reason for writing
  • The expected/intended reader
  • The format/lay-out
  • Possible results of writing

Point out and discuss the relationships between the various elements of the profile, particularly that between the text type and the format/layout (HOW you write).




In small groups.

Focus now on the classroom. Discuss:

  • When do your students write?
  • Why do they write?
  • What do your students write?

Feedback discussion.

Compare answers to these questions with what we said about writing in the “real world” before the break. [7]


Small group discussion.

What are the implications of the “real world” understanding of writing as presented before the break for us as teachers of English?

Consider this question under at least the following headings:

  • Why we ask students to write.
  • What we ask students to write.
  • How much we ask students to write.
  • How we make it possible for students to write.
  • How we handle what students write.

The feedback discussion will probably take the rest of the morning. [8]




Organising a writing activity in the classroom.

Small group discussion:

What activities should you include in order to organise a successful writing activity?

Feedback discussion:

Collect ideas from groups.

Offer my suggestions on the Organising a Writing Activity handout. Go through the stages getting suggestions from course participants on how to do them. [9]

Organising a Writing Activity.



Each group selects a Text Type card and creates a complete writing activity based on it.

Allow time at the end of the session or at the beginning of the next for groups to display their work and look at what others have done.

Text Type Cards


Session ends.