Design of the Project
The writing intervention program was an extended remedial program offered to the academically weak students participating in the S1-S3 vocabulary and grammar intervention programs. As a pilot process writing program, it only enrolled 20 S2 students and was conducted after-school on a voluntary basis. Altogether, there were 7 90-minute sessions over a period of 7 weeks.
Features of the Project
- Understanding that learning to write in English causes problems to the second language learners as it involves learning language and writing simultaneously, the teacher reduced the linguistic demands of the writing task in the writing intervention program by revisiting the language items targeted in the vocabulary and grammar intervention programs so that the writing program could focus more on the writing skills.
- Seeing that factual genres are more straightforward than expressive genres, the teacher asked students to write factual descriptions in the project which involve simpler structures compared to reports and explanations.
- Because actually getting started is one of the most difficult and inhibiting steps in writing, idea-generating is particularly important as an initiating process (Ron White and Valerie Arndt 1991). This is especially true to the struggling writers and thus, emphasis was put on the pre-writing stage in the writing intervention program to help students generate and plan ideas.
- In order not to scare the students in their first attempt of doing process writing, only focused revision and focused editing were tried out in
the revising stage.