Teaching Writing and Writing Well: The Connectivism Way #CCK11 #ELTchat

The written word embraces you, hugs you warmly, calls you friend, calls you writer. (Credit: Google images)

Writing, and the teaching of writing, are two distinct things. I write well enough to express myself, cohesively and coherently, most of the time. I am able to add voice to my writing, nuance, ambiguity, rhyme, rhythm, and when I’m really being magical, even beauty.

Connectivism helps me to do this. And yes, connectivism can help you to do this. We shall return to this, but in a later post, “The Connectivist Writes”. OK? 🙂 Where were we?

You: (Quoting me) You said, “I am able to add voice to my writing, nuance, ambiguity, rhyme, rhythm, and when I’m really being magical, even beauty.”

Thomas: Yes, I remember. Now, how do you go about teaching something like that? How do I do it, and can what I tell you, help you? Let’s talk about writing, OK?

Firstly, did you notice how I wrote that? Do you feel like you are inside my head, sharing my thoughts with me? Yes, you do, right? How do I do that, make you a part of my mind, give you access to my thoughts? I mean, don’t you feel like you are right here with me, now? You do, don’t you?

“How am I doing this?”, you wonder? Now this is getting really good, because now I’m getting your thoughts, and I’m here, and you’re there. 🙂

But relax. Take it easy. I can’t see you. I can’t tell what clothes you are wearing, or not wearing. I can’t tell what you look like. But you must know, I know a lot about you.

“How do I know a lot about you?”, you ask.

Because I’m writing this for you. You are my reader, and my friend. You’re smiling right now, and so am I.

My friend, you are the reason I’m writing this. You are my purpose for writing. I want to share what I know about writing, and teaching writing. And you? You want to know, what I know. That’s what I call “a meeting of the minds”.

Let’s go back and recap what we’ve done so far, you and I.

1. I’m “speaking” to you, directly, in print. I allow you to “hear my thoughts”, to hear my “voice”. I write as if you were sitting beside me, sharing the moment with me, your friend. You know that I like you, because I call you, “Friend”, and I smile from time to time. You smile, I smile. People like people who smile. You like me, I like you, so we smile. 🙂

Writing is love, love is writing for those who write well (Credit: Google images)

2. We have a goal, a purpose, that we share. I wrote the title, “Teaching Writing and Writing Well”. My purpose is to share that with you, the promise I made in the title. The promise of the title is why you are here. To receive what I have promised, this brings you here, accounts for your presence here with me. We both have a purpose.

Are you not surprised that I am not writing about basketball? You’re not surprised, are you? Why not? Because I didn’t promise you basketball. I promised you writing, and that makes you happy when I keep my promise, when I am true to the purpose which brings us together here.

Now, let’s summarise what we have done so far, concisely.

1. Voice
2. Purpose
3. Audience
4. Loyalty
5. Friendship

You have heard my voice, we share a common purpose, you are my audience, I am loyal to you by keeping the promise that brought you here, and I welcome your presence with my friendship.

Is there no wonder that you are still here with me?

You are waiting, wanting more, knowing that we have only begun, and there is more to come, tips, advice, tactics, techniques, strategies, and secrets…

I shall disappoint you not.

Yes my friend, that, and much more, I promise, and you know how special it is for me to keep my promises to you, don’t you? You see, it’s the only thing that keeps you coming back, the fact that you can trust me, to do just that: keep my promise to you.

So, this brings us to the end of the Prologue.

We have set the scene, prepared the traveler for the journey, and before the journey begins, we take time to reflect, that the journey be a long one, and that the value of the journey be not so much in arriving at the destination, but enjoying the voyage, living the moment, of discovery, of how good writing happens, and how it can be taught.

These secrets are to be revealed another day.

For now, reflection calls you, beckons you, whispers your name softly on the wind, and you need to heed its call, for reflection is good for the soul of a writer, and you (my friend), are a writer, as I know you to be, even when you know it not…

Adieu mon ami, good night my friend,


Montmartre - I love you written in 300 languages on a wall (Credit: Google images)


About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Connectivism, Education, EFL, Teaching Tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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