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Get your professional development certified with iTDi

For certificate of completion: Take your contributions to the forums and copy-paste them into a 'word' document. Change or edit as you wish, add any further reflections or critical comments you feel appropriate, and present them as a four-section final paper (about 500 words).

For certificate of accomplishment: Select up to five topics that were discussed on the course and that were new to you and you feel gave you interesting and useful insights. Write a 500 to 800-word paper summarizing the topics in your own words and explaining how they can contribute to your own professional knowledge and skill.

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iTDi Advanced Course

Teaching High School Students to Enjoy L2 Writing
with Steven Herder

Writing is an acquired skill. Anyone can learn to improve their writing, and everyone has something to express whether they initially realize it or not. A fluency-first approach for new writers can provide the initial seeds of confidence needed to begin a virtuous cycle of motivation. As students see the fun in expressing themselves, sharing ideas and opinions with classmates, and acquire fluency skills, most of them then want to take on the challenge of improving either accuracy or complexity next. Teaching an active writing class can allow teachers to better connect with students through their writing, and also finish with a greater sense of satisfaction as a teacher.

  • Monday March 7th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Monday March 14th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Monday March 21st – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Monday March 28th – course participants only (60 minutes)

Time: 12:00 - 13:00 GMT

Enroll in the entire course for only US $59

Course + Evaluation + Certificate of Accomplishment only US $89

Questions? Contact support@itdi.pro

If you are unable to join the class without scholarship support from iTDi, please apply using the form here

In many EFL contexts, high school teachers don't enjoy teaching writing classes, and students hate doing endless sentence-level translations and grammar or vocabulary activities. This course will share the many lessons learned from pedagogical research of a two-year high school writing course that took a fluency-first approach before introducing accuracy and complexity expectations to students. Teachers will explore ways to motivate, inspire and lead students to develop writing skills in a classroom that quickly changes from teacher centered to student centered.

Week 1: The L2 Writing Research Study

•    According to the literature

•    Input / output in EFL

•    10-minute writing and the honeymoon
Error correction; Writing genres; Use of L1; Activity
variety; Testing and assessment)

•    Quantitative and Qualitative results

Follow-up assignment: 10-minute writing once a day, plus tracking data (1-7 times).

Week 2: Fluency Approach Considerations

•    The Fluency Tree

•    Obstacles and ongoing challenges

•    Student expectations

•    Teacher centered to student centered classes

Follow-up assignment: 10-minute writing once a day, plus tracking data (8-14 times).

Week 3: Six Issues in L2 Writing

•    Fluency writing vs. process writing

•    Corrections - Who/what/when/where/why

•    Genre approach - How many genres?

•    Use of the mother tongue (L1) in class

•    Balance of individual, pair, and group work

•    Assessment and testing

Follow-up assignment: A collaborative writing assignment.

Week 4: 50 Ideas for High School Writers

•    Narratives develop trust and interest

•    Expository writing leads to confidence and clarity

•    Persuasive essays show competence

Follow-up assignment:A formative feedback assignment.

Steven Herder profile photo

Steven Herder, Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts

Steven has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for over 25 years at the elementary, junior and senior high school level, and now as assistant professor in the Department of International Studies at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto Japan. There, he teaches TOEFL iBT preparation, and a 3rd / 4th year seminar on Exploring Leadership.

He is an author and editor of two Palgrave Macmillan teacher resources, Innovating EFL Teaching in Asia (2012) and Exploring EFL Fluency in Asia (2014). Since 2010, he has been working with Suken Publishing on the high school textbook series Big Dipper Series I, II, III as well as writing various workbooks and graded readers.

He co-founded MASH Collaboration in 2007, believing that "Collaboration creates just the right amount of tension to get lots done" and over the years he has come to realize that, "being a teacher means a never-ending commitment to learning".

In 2012, he and a network of like-minded educators co-founded the International Teacher Development Institute, an online community for teachers by teachers, with over 5000 members and a growing global reach into over 100 countries.