Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Helping students prepare a work plan

In the first school, the students come to class with an index for the text to be produced, and the teacher helps them narrow down the subject, define a focus and the main idea, relate concepts, and think of the structure of the text in different sections with the corresponding subsections; in short, the teacher helps them prepare a work plan, asking questions and pointing to the need to plan which ideas should be driving and organizing the work. In the second meeting, the teacher reads the drafts and asks the authors to define the main problem they faced while writing, making relevant suggestions, but never losing sight of the hierarchy, selection, and organization of the concepts to be included. The teacher stresses the need to create an autonomous text, and for them to think like producers, since the reader should be able to reconstruct the author's thought through the clues left in the text; the teacher indicates problems in the cohesion and coherence of the text (conceptual leaps that need to be marked with connectors, with transitional sentences or separate sections); the teacher questions the relevance of certain segments in relation to the whole; the teacher proposes relocating some ideas, he or she suggests cutting other parts that make the text weaker, and teaches the students how to use a paragraph as a unity in subject, etc.
The goal of this situation is to promote the experience of writing as rewriting, to promote the planning and reviewing of the major aspects of the text -its content and organization- several times during the process, providing a procedural model, from an external reviewer, who observes the text from the perspective of the reader, not the author's, so that the students can gradually incorporate this perspective. In fact, the teacher shares with the students his or her own experience when writing, and admits that he or she still faces difficulties that are intrinsic to all form of writing that involves rearranging what you already know in order to make it clearer, more understandable, founded, and more solid. 

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