2. Before You Begin

What kind of writing do you do in your daily life? Do you write memoranda at work? Letters to family and friends? Emails to co-workers? Lists to yourself?

More importantly, how do you feel about writing? Is it something you enjoy or something you dread? Why?

Now think about your learner. How do you think he or she may wish to use writing in daily life? What problems might your learner have in writing? How are your feelings similar to or different from your learner's?

Required Assignment

Think of some of your reasons for writing and/or feelings about writing. Do you think your learners and your training cohort have similar experiences and feelings as yours? List some of your thoughts and save your list for a future assignment.

84 comments:

Program Coordinator said...

There are so many different reasons for writing. Writing in the work environment is often used to ensure safety, policy, mission, and to communicate with coworkers. Personal writing can be for pleasure, a means to communicate with family, associates and friends. The most gratifying type of writing is when you feel you have expressed your feelings well through the written word, allowing others to share your experiences.

Queen Of My Castle said...

As the previous poster said there are many different reasons for writing whether it be for communication or for pleasure. I personally am a calendar freak and love writing on a calendar or in a list format. I honestly feel complete satisfaction from either marking something off my todo list or from scheduling on my calendar. In life there is always something to do or somplace we need to go!

tutorgirl said...

Some of the things that I write each day are also calendar posts and To Do Lists.

In doing this online course I am also having to write, compose and check my grammer on these posts. It is a seldom used process for me.

I can imagine the difficulty a student might have with any of these tasks if their literacy skills were low. They are requiring an effort for me!

tutorgirl said...

The free writing portion is obviously important in just getting started. I would think that people who "blank" when asked to write a short paragraph on a job application might freeze up. I do little free writing in my life, but I could see howit might jumpstart "writers block".

Biltz said...

The previous comments cover almost every reason for writing other than construction of a bicycle assembly manual ;-)
I think today written communication skill is more important than it has ever been. Think about how often we send an email or "text" someone rather than picking up the phone and making a call.

Jesse said...

Writing is essential in my daily life. I communicate frequently with co-workers in my position using email. Correspondence with others is a rewarding experience and those who are not fully literate are missing out on this unique experience. Note-taking for memorization is equally important. I would not have made it this far if I couldn't study my own notes and write daily reminders of what needs to be done. If I don't take notes, details will be lost and tasks will not get completed as instructed.

BOC said...

My biggest thing recently seems to be 'TO DO' lists. Having things written down helps me remember and feel a sense of accomplishments as I check off items I have completed. I communicate more and more by email, and need to be sure that I am communicating what I want to.

I don't like writing stories, however. I only write when I have to.

BOC said...

After doing the free writing, I found that it did help me to get my thoughts out and enable me to organize them properly. I think that I will use this approach in the future when I have things to write.

lillian said...

I keep a pen parked over my ear andcan usually find a note pad as needed. I jot down things to do, deadlines, phone numbers, and people to contact. I would be lost without writing.

Gerri said...

I think the writing I do each day is pretty typical of the average mom who stays home mostly and works part time. Emails to family and friends, occasional letters to the kids and lots of lists! My thoughts about writing are that I mostly enjoy the daily writing tasks I do. They help me tremendously.

jack said...

Most of my writing consist of quick E-mail notes. I will write a hand written letter if I have a point that I really want to get across.

jack said...

Most of my writing consist of quick E-mail notes. I will write a hand written letter if I have a point that I really want to get across.

Ms. Ovette said...

My job requires me to produce both a catalog and a newsletter. I enjoy knowing that what I have written has contributed to a sale. A learner will not be engaged in this kind of writing---yet. There's no reason why these first steps in writing should not ultimately take the learner anywhere she wants to go.

demelza99 said...

Lately, I've written a lot of technical 'stuff' for professional reasons (dissertation). There are times I hate the process and it can be very tiring. I would think that learners may have the same kind of feelings about learning to write well.

demelza99 said...

Lately, I've written a lot of technical 'stuff' for professional reasons (dissertation). There are times I hate the process and it can be very tiring. I would think that learners may have the same kind of feelings about learning to write well.

Rob said...

My writing includes a journal and a blog; dozens of emails a day to family, friends, colleagues, and professors; legal memoranda; class notes; and notes to myself. I do not know what I would do if I could no longer write. I hope to instill some of that passion for writing in a learner, who will find that writing can be enormously useful and gratifying.

marcy said...

Currently my writing consists of rather short journal entries to keep tract of the fleeting days and hours. The 32 years previously I wrote case histories every day on the clients that I saw for counseling. Of course there are daily notes for reminders of appointments, needed groceries, etc. Marcy

Sally M said...

I have several reasons for writing. I sent out birthday cards to family monthly, I write lesson plans weekly, I publish on my blog almost daily and I help my granddaughters to write theiir letters for school.

David H. said...

I find writing to be challenging and rewarding. I feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence expressing a thought on paper. Yet as writing today is not limited to paper, I do a great deal of it online, texting, FB, Twitter, etc. Writing is more unavoidable than ever.

Kristin said...

I write all customer correspondence at work - it's a job I was given because I'm good at it! I also make lists everyday for myself and I enjoy writing stories in my spare time. So I definitely LOVE to write and I would imagine that my learner's experience with writing is going to differ from mine. However, I also love to read and I'm hoping to pass that passion on to them so I hope to pass my passion for writing on as well.

Lia Keston said...

I love to write and I do so in various formats, contexts, and forums for work and in personal life. I find that many of my coworkers absolutely hate to have to write - it seems to be a common point of view in my line of work.

Anne said...

I like writing my thoughts better than speaking them because it gives me a chance to think more and change what I write as I go.
The learners probably prefer speaking to writing since it's more familiar to them and a more straightforward way to communicate.

Mutahara said...

I personally love reading about others, their diaries and daily lives. This has inspired me to start writing a diary but so far I have not started doing that. I think the strongest wayto express your true feelings is to write about them.

Marian said...

I journalize, write an occassional poem, and book report for my book club; not so common. Like most people, however, very important to be able to write grocery lists, to do lists, calendar notes, and especially email; you just about have to have an email account to apply for a job, not to mention being able to fill out the online applications, and/or attach a resume and cover letter.

IJM said...

Being in university, I end up writing for many different reasons, from academic papers to reflective personal writing, and notes to parents, relatives and friends. Writing lists and visually organizing my thoughts tend to be my most common writing exercises. For the most part I enjoy writing, but I can identify a little in having felt put down at points as an inadequate writer, and how anxious that made me as a learner. I imagine learning a new language or learning to write in your own language when traditional education just didn't work could be very discouraging, and I aim to be aware of this and to positively reinforce the reading/writing processes of my learning partner.

Kareemah said...

Journaling and letter writing (including emails and memos) are the kinds of writing I have done over my lifetime, more than any other kind of writing. I write to organize and edit my thinking. I write to clarify ideas in my mind. I write to neutralize charged subjects that I need to address with others. I write to clarify and address difficult communication issues. I write to express warmth and love through cards.
Other uses I have for writing—notes for remembering things as in post-its, or a schedule book or a calendar; notes on lectures. Because of the clarification and sense of order it gives me, I find it a very beneficial and compelling activity. I do not think that writing is this way for everyone. I have a niece who writes because it is a creative outlet, and she has a wonderful imagination that needs a venue. I know others for whom writing is helpful for organization, but experience difficulty in the actual activity of writing, because of limitations in spelling and other rudiments of writing.

Jo L said...

My most frequent writing activities are personal and professional emails. They require clarity, simplicity, logical flow and sequencing, and of course correct grammar. If I write quickly, I have to recheck my work before "sending" it out.I find typos can be easily missed by me, but noticed by my readers rather easily.

Ms. Educator said...
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Ms. Educator said...

I am very excited about unit 3: Teaching Writing to Adults. I love to write. I tend to write a lot professionally and for pleasure. I love to express my thoughts, and put what's on mind, on paper; I find this is very therapeutic. Though, I am hoping my learner will love writing as I do, I know that many individuals struggle with writing. Sometimes it's hard to take what's on your mind, and apply it to paper. I hope to make my learner comfortable enough with writing so they are able to experience the many advantages of communicating through writing.

Kareemah said...

In doing the exercise of free writing, I found that I had much more to say than 10 minutes allowed. But if I was assigned a topic, I guess it might be different.

karenzpt said...

I have to type up many professional reports for my job and communicate a great deal by email. I get a sense of satisfaction when I communicate well in written form. I am sure it is daunting for people with limited literacy skills to tackle writing as a form of communication. The LEA seems to be a great way to start as an "ice breaker" so to speak, giving the learner a chance to communicate from personal experience.

Lynn said...

I love and hate writing. It's most challening at work, especially when I try to be as succinct as possible in emails. People are so busy and want to read as little as possible.

neg said...

Writing has become difficult for me.I have small motor control problems.

Meghan said...

I think most clearly when I'm writing, and I find that I communicate best through the written word. In my professional capacity, I write e-mails, memos, research summaries, and short descriptions for museum objects. I certainly agree with the above poster who said that written communication is becoming ever more important with our use of the internet, text messages, etc. For adult learners, figuring out what language register to use in different writing circumstances may be a challenge.

SNelson said...

I enjoy writing,but enjoy reading more. I found this lesson to be helpful to me in my own writing. I believe everyone has a lot to say and is not always comfortable saying what's on their mind, I believe for students this will give them a voice.

Danielle said...

I love writing and literally write ALL the time. I blog on a regular basis and while doing so writing helps me reflect better when trying to make decisions. I believe writing can always be improved even I as a tutor have much to work on in my own writing. It is very gratifying when I teach someone certain writing techniques that results in a polished set of writing!

Carissa Priebe said...

writing is a wonderful way to express ourselves, abd to organize our thoughts (it MAKES us make sense of our thoughts because in order to write them out, we have to think about them and make the effort to put them into an order that pleases us on paper)

Carissa Priebe said...

free writing helps sometimes especially for people who over think things, who take up so much energy trying to make things fit into place. I think It is good to be able to simply let go of your element of control over writing and let your ideas lead the way

Martha said...

I write daily in emails and am currently a student, therefore I also write papers for my classes. Personally I enjoy writing, however I can understand the difficulties and challenges writing would present to an individual with low literacy skills.

Lynne B said...

The days of writing to exhibit my knowledge on a subject are long past. For me writing is a means of communicating daily details such as the calendar or projected plans. The written word is my means of staying in touch with friends and family. Little time is devoted to compiling my thoughts and giving them a voice.

Megan N said...

I write daily, it may be for school, when I write on sticky notes to remind myself of something (or lots of things!) or it could even just be doodling. I love writing.

Linda A said...

Linda A. I write notes to myself, make lists and have been writing papers for college. I love when the proper words all come together to clearly express what I want to say. I realize it must be frustrating for someone who is not able to express themselves in the manner that they want.

Linda A said...

Linda A. I write notes to myself, make lists and have been writing papers for college. I love when the proper words all come together to clearly express what I want to say. I realize it must be frustrating for someone who is not able to express themselves in the manner that they want.

Kenneth Zen Bodhi said...

I would have to say that those I will be tutoring have many reasons to write as I do. I look forward to assisting them.

Teiji Epling said...

Some of my reasons for writing:
•Communicating with family, friends, and coworkers through emails, social media websites, and letters
•Writing memos and to-do lists to myself so I don’t forget things
•Writings things out on paper to organize my thoughts

I definitely think many people share these and more uses for writing on a daily basis. The need to organize thoughts and to communicate with others are two essentials for the modern world.

Mindy Mauldin said...

I love to write because I tend to be very word-oriented in how I think, so writing is a great way for me to organize and develop my perspective on things. Conversely, though, I tend to sometimes avoid writing if I don't need to do it or if it isn't a priority in a particular situation, because writing takes critical thinking to generate. I guess that a lot of adult learners probably feel similarly about writing. But many of them may have a different perspective than mine. For instance, many adult learners many not be word-oriented in their thinking, so writing may not be as enjoyable to them. Also, they may not be very comfortable or confident in their writing yet due to their beginner status, so writing might be more of a chore than a joy for them.

lynette ohalleron said...
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lynette ohalleron said...
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lynette ohalleron said...

I write for so many different reasons throughout my day..I rarely write for pleasure any more..life seems to be to busy. I have recently gone back to college and spend A LOT of time taking notes. I can imagine how difficult and frustrating it must be for a person ..to not be able to write at a level that they can clearly communicate their thoughts and ideas on paper.

North Hills Member said...

I write emails to friends and non-profit colleagues. One of the non-profits involves so much (to me) technical, engineering detail or legal discussion that my challenge remains just hitting the highlights. I am aware that it does not matter how accurate and well-organized it is. The bigger questions are: Was it easy to read? And did it make the point? Usually not. Yet these are things I need to teach learners, too.

Genevieve McCall said...

There are so many reasons for writing. However, in my daily life I regularly write emails in both my business and personal life. I write in my journal fairly regularly, which is a safe private space to express thoughts and revisit them. I imagine the learner might want to utilize this tool as well. I write down directions, and recipes. I keep track of appointments by recording them in a calendar. These are things that most people would find most useful, I believe.

John Lynch said...

Most of the writing that I do day to day is of the brief, e-mail variety. I also greatly enjoy creative writing and have written a number of poems and short stories. Creative writing, like many creative endeavors, can be very gratifying when completed but difficult to start. I think most students will experience a degree of the same satisfaction in being able to convey their thoughts and feelings as in a personal letter.

Pamela Johnson said...

Before becoming a tutor I was a Journalist so writing was my career. Currently most of my writing has been e-mails, social networking, homework, and resume writing. However, as a Journalist it was easy to convey my thoughts to others. I think students may have a difficult time in finding the words to convey their thoughts so writing is a stressful task for them. Just as many may worry about what people may think about them because they can not read, they may fear writing just as much because of what they fear people may think about them.

Pamela Johnson said...

Before becoming a tutor I was a Journalist so writing was my career. Currently most of my writing has been e-mails, social networking, homework, and resume writing. However, as a Journalist it was easy to convey my thoughts to others. I think students may have a difficult time in finding the words to convey their thoughts so writing is a stressful task for them. Just as many may worry about what people may think about them because they can not read, they may fear writing just as much because of what they fear people may think about them.

Rosa Solano said...

Some of the reasons I write are emails, updating my resume, making to-do lists, and papers when I was in school. I dread writing because I usually get writer's block and it takes me a while to organize my thoughts and put them on paper. I would think it would be even more difficult for someone that is just learning to read in another language to also write it because they are not use to doing it all at the same time.


Dan said...

Writing allows for expression and communication; however, adult learners may have never developed writing skills or learned to write. That is the challenge. The learner has different experiences than I did.

Ajfae said...

I can't imagine life without writing. It's how I express myself. Lists, journals, poems, stories, anything and everything. Writing is one of the most important things in my life. I can't live without it. -
Audrey

Tana said...

I often write as a way to vent and then for enjoyment in my personal time. Writing is a big part of my life. In a professional setting, writing is very important, just for communication alone. I would imagine as a learner, communication would be a big part of wanting to learn to read and write articulately. Even though I use writing as a tool for enjoyment, many others don't; therefore, one would have to consider many different needs and wants of each individual learner

Carol Garibay said...

It wasn't hard. I keep a journal, like writing.

Carol Garibay said...

It wasn't hard. I keep a journal, like writing.

Drew Beverly said...

I believe writing is great for expressing opinions about subjects, but it is tough to know the right words to say when you are writing them down.

lisakay said...

I like writing -- mostly as a way to keep in contact with others or request information from them. It must be isolating to not be able to put your thoughts into words. Now with Facebook, texting, email, etc, someone who can not write reasonably well must struggle to keep in touch and to get needed information about everything from their phone bill to directions.

Lina Visinia said...

I enjoy writing because I feel I express myself better this way than speaking. English is my second language, therefore, I have problems at times in expressing my views when I speak. In writing however, I take time to put my thoughts together, write, edit (if I have the time) and re-write.
My learners/students mostly do not like writing because it is their second language. They have problems with verb tenses especially and some adult learners had bad experiences in writing when in schools, hence, this impacted on their attitude towards writing. In doing assessments, some would get really frustrated when they could not find the right words to express themselves. For those who enjoy writing, they are at an advantage but one area which they need focusing on and I feel is critical in learning is critical writing and/or reflective writing.

Kelli Nicholson said...

There are many different reasons why the participant will want to learn how to write. One of the main reasons is to help them further advance in their career or be able to send emails to friends or family. Writing is something I do not particularly enjoy and, like my student, is most likely reserved for necessary times.

Cambria said...

I love writing, but its sad that now everything is computer based. Penmanship used to be a big deal, now it all about fonts. I normally write out lesson plans and notes like shopping lists

Rebekka said...

I write every single day- personal letters or to-do lists, notes during my classes, or reports at work. Sometimes it can be enjoyable, but it is also a necessity. Honestly if I didn't write so much, I'd probably forget half my day!

Rebekka said...
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Courtney Houser said...

Writing is a tool, it's used everyday! I do think ,however, writing can be a challenge for everyone at some point such as "writer's block". But other then that writing is a necessary skill that everyone should have.

Allison Smith said...

I write emails, personal journal entries, and to do lists every day. I find writing therapeutic and it also helps me get organized. I imagine that my students may not necessarily feel the same way about writing -- they probably find it a bit frustrating due to low reading or literacy skills.

Roger Innes said...

I write emails to friends and write lists of things I need to do each day. I do not write letters anymore. The emails I write are mostly social. The lists I write are so I get things done around the house or office. I would think that writing is the most difficult skill a student will have to learn.

Melanie Beard said...

I write a lot of email, to do lists, and book lists. I am always concerned that the mechanics of my writing are flawed. I believe many people feel the same way I do.

Janet said...

I write numerous emails each day, social media posts, meeting notes and agendas, to do lists, etc. I can't imagine how challenging it must be for someone who lacks literacy skills to communicate in writing - it's something I take for granted.

Stefanie Craig said...

In my daily life, I am constantly reading and writing emails, writing down to-do lists, taking notes during meetings, and communicating with written word when using social media. I enjoy writing because I am good at it and able to complete writing and reading tasks easily. I believe that learners in my program do not typically have the same experiences and feelings about reading and writing as I do. Many of my learners have dropped out of high school whereas I have a graduate degree. It is important to remember the differences that exist between myself and the learners I help.

Lucie-Gabrielle Jolicoeur said...

I love writing because I seem to think better on "paper". When communicating with others, it gives me the time/ability to order my thoughts with better coherence. I also find great pleasure in playing with language and its rhythms.

mayjason84 said...

I found that the free writing activity gives me the ability to come up with ideas for an essay by allowing me to put my thoughts down on paper non stop. It also frees me up from having to worry about my grammar. However, it can give you one major cramp. I feel that free writing is a great way for participants or students to learn to have fun with writing.

Wallace West said...

I write to express my feeling on paper, so that I can remember certain events, and to stay sharp because this (txtn) generation is making it harder for me to remember proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation at times.

CLC Program Manager said...

I write emails, notes, lists, thoughts, essays, and even quotes that I like, to name a few.
I use my iPhone apps (like "notes," messaging, etc.), MS office products on my computer, and good old fashioned paper. I cannot fathom what life would be like without writing. Writing helps organize my life.

Regina Cook said...

I am constantly communicating via written word: professionally, personally, and for academia. I don't want to predict what my learner's sentiments will be or will not be, but I do believe that identifying his or her goal for writing will be helpful.

Pamela Lee said...

Since I moved in the past year, I write letters to friends and grandsons. I enjoy being informative and making a letter interesting to the reader.

I also use email to stay in touch with friends. I make lists for preparedness and make notes on accomplishments/situations to use as a reference. I track on a calendar, events, etc for organizing.

I am highly organized and like being prepared, so writing is essential.

MSTATEN said...

I enjoy writing. I would assume that my learning partner may not feel as strongly about it. However, I think with me being comfortable with it will motivate them to feel more at ease.

Jacob Doyle said...

I think that the practical forms of writing, such as completing bills or grocery lists, is probably as enjoyable from one person to the next. However, I am a little different in that I graduated from college with a degree in English and, therefore, actually engage in recreational writing and enjoy it quite a bit.

Kristi Lisech said...

I write for practical needs in my everyday life. For students who do not have writing skills, I'm sure their lives and opportunities are greatly limited.

Carol R said...

I write all the time. I used to write as a Physician Assistant, writing chart notes and prescriptions. Now I write emails all the time and I also am working on writing projects in my free time.

Tina Boster said...

Most of my writing is for practical purposes such as emails, notes to families, etc. I am usually direct and to the point when I write.