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The Solutions Writing Challenge #3: “It’s hard to find enough class time for writing”




Solutions-Writing-Challenge-logo-WEBElna is a CELTA tutor and teacher trainer based in Istanbul. She has a lot of experience working with teachers in a variety of contexts and countries. Ahead of Elna’s webinar on 22 and 24 April, she gives us a short preview of what she will be talking about…

I could have been rich, really rich by now…if I had only received 1USD for every single time I have heard the following: ‘’Oh that is such a good idea, but it will take too long…I have to finish the syllabus!’’ Now right from the start I have to say that this is the reality. However, from an educational point of view it is worrying that we feel rushed when it comes to teaching and learning.  A separate issue for another day, possibly with a double latte in hand!

The add-on:

Nevertheless, this is also what happens to writing lessons. They get treated like an extra add-on – only to be brought out when all other lessons have been completed. A shame though, don’t you think? We talk about preparing our students for the world of the 21st century in which digital literacy is key, but we find it challenging to allow time for doing those writing lessons. Those writing lessons  that could combine all the 21st century skills (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) and in addition, can prepare our students for a world in which we express ourselves more and more frequently in the written form. Think about it: are there some days when you actually write more than speak?

How to support the writing lesson?

We are treating the writing lesson badly because:
– writing lessons are time consuming;
– students do not enjoy writing, and
– giving feedback on students’ writing also takes time.
So we have to find ways in which we can do more writing, help our students develop their writing skills effectively and do all this without taking up too much of our precious class time. A challenge indeed! In the upcoming webinar we will look at ways that we can work with the writing lessons from Solutions and we will see if we can come up with ideas to be more effective with our time management.

I think we all agree that developing our students’ writing skills is important; we also agree that we need to include more writing in order to prepare our students for the 21st century and offering our students a variety of tasks is essential.

How to do this? Join me to explore some answers to these questions.

Register for the webinar


  1. It’s a great idea indeed and we as teachers have compromised on it as it’s time taking. But I believe it’s the only skill that reinforces all the other language skills. Hope we could have a portion of class time devoted to it at the end of every language class.
    Many thanks for highlighting its value.

    • I agree with you – writing really combines all the other skills and should be a part of our normal class time! Thank you for adding that…

  2. There’s no substitute for writing like writing. With my young learners, I have become a fanatic about daily journal writing. They moan and groan but as time goes by they become more accustomed to the physical act of writing. Each week I try to give one pointer about how to write better, usually a common error being made by a majority of the students. I also gradually increase their writing requirements. It puts the odd nose out of joint, but it works.

    • Thank you Mark, for your interesting idea…how old are your young learners? I agree that it is a good idea to work on only one aspect at a time – that makes writing more manageable.

      • The children I was speaking about just started grade three a couple of months ago.

  3. […] was just catching up on my reading at the OUP ELT Global Blog when I came across an interesting primer for an upcoming webinar titled, “It’s Hard Enough to Find Enough Class Time for […]

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