I’ve been doing my collaborative writing exclusively with advanced students, preparing for IELTS. Here are some ideas for other student groups.
Some teachers tend to avoid writing in class, perhaps feeling that as it is something which learners do individually and in silence, it is better done for homework.
However, when writing is done as a collaborative activity, it can have many of the same benefits of a group speaking activity:
Discussing the writing process obviously provides more opportunities for learners to interact in English, a benefit in itself.
It can also help learners to develop their communicative competence by forcing the negotiation of meaning. As learners try to express their ideas to each other, they will have to clarify, rephrase and so on. The process should also help them to actually develop their ideas.
According to Vygostsky’s theory of ZPD (zone of proximal development), working with others can provide the opportunity for learners to work at a level slightly above their usual capacity, as co-operating with others who…
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