Writing paragraphs and essays makes me ill,” says Wendy, a high school student and newly immigrated citizen to Canada. Writing in English takes some work and Wendy was very anxious about her writing skills. Most students are inadequate in their writing skills to communicate effectively and to make themselves clearly understood. They usually begin with weak paragraph structure and move forward to poorly written essays.
Moreover, the amount of practice actually done in class is too little for them to master the basic skills of writing. Wendy’s problem is two fold as she has a second language barrier as well as the lack of adequate training in the subject.
At first, the task of overcoming the basic fear of writers block and empty pages may seem too much for some high school students to face. Their intellectual and imagination faculties are usually in very poor condition. Early in their elementary school training when daydreaming was a student’s favorite pastime, the notion was scolded out of them with threats of punishment.
However, that little faculty happens to be one of the most important gems in the writing process. For example, I was working with a grade five student the other day and asked him to write a simple paragraph about his favorite food. You know, he could not imagine himself eating it and therefore could not describe the feeling. Wow! He had lost his ability to pretend and visualize. Imagination is the most important creative element in writing.
With such problems, students cannot become a good essay writer. Therefore it is the duty of teachers and parents to spend extra time and efforts in this regard.