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Improving Creative Writing Skills at Secondary Level

INTRODUCTION

Most of the students have a natural interest and talent to express themselves. They love stories and poems and have a world of imagination. They want to write for pleasure, for information and as they grow older they want to express themselves through their writings.

For this reason it is important to make creative writing an important part of schools curriculum. These writing should be enjoyable and children should have enough opportunities to chose there subject for writing which will develop their cognitive as well as `communicative skill. The writings of the students and the people show whether they have understood and mastered the concept or not.

In Pak a large number of `students finds many problems while writing in second language. It is because the native speaker never achieve high level of expressiveness even in writing in there native language.

When we compare Pak with other countries we see that no work is being done for the encouragement and improvement of the creative writing there are no special academies or institutions which can produce good writers whereas other countries as America England and Canada have special institutions, large number of projects and courses for the improvement of creative writing. These countries are producing quality work and good writers every year.

The second part of the paper shows that the process of creative writing is not a simple process. It is divided into different stages, the pre writing and writing stage. In creative writing pre writing and writing both are involve and need special attention on the part of teachers and the students.

Students have problems with generating ideas and selecting them. They need to learn how to Create ideas and write them. It requires an intelligent choice of topic critical thinking and observation. They should know that the ability to write any thing is not simply an exercise of knowledge gained like vocabulary but it can be learned in a conducive environment and right situation.

The teacher can assist them by using different techniques as brain storming, conferencing by showing pictures and other activities. Teachers feedback and help is necessary in writing process.

Many students who can speak language perfectly and can write in beautiful hand can not express themselves coherently they fail to write even two sentences to express their feelings the reason is that their teaching is confined to the  role memorization of different essays and composition of individual sentences which can not raised to the next higher stage which is the stage of communication. The teacher can guide the student in using  appropriate structure and vocabulary keeping in view the subject matter and the reader  they should keep in mind the form of writing, for example a descriptive piece of short story, a personal letter and etc. all this need  the mastering of various rules used in language.

Hypotheses is that all students can learn  and they want to express themselves they express themselves in different ways some write essays, some poetry, some dialogues, report and other things. The development of the skill of writing should therefore proceed progressively through different stages  guided by the teacher because the teacher is responsible to develop these skills in their students at school by using various methods and techniques

The purpose of this research is to look at the situation of creative writing in English class room and offer the suggestion for helping students to over come the difficulties they faced in writing clearly and effectively

LITERATURE REVIEW

People in all ages enjoyed the writings of different authors. They not only enjoyed those writings but appreciated and criticized them as well. Most of these authors write to earn there living but other write only for there own satisfaction because when they express their thoughts and emotions they get a relief out of it and readers on the others hand not only enjoy their writings but also get information from them. These writings can be the reflections of reader’s mind as well.

Infect all the people want to express their feelings and share their thoughts and ideas with other people. It is only possible if he communicates with others. And one of the best ways of communication is writing. For this writer should know how to express his or herself in an impressive way. These writings are of great importance. If these are subjective then they reflect the writer’s own mind, and if these are objective then these are source of great knowledge, current and old. Whatever these are, these are a light for the readers and instigating power as well. These writings are not only for one or two proposes due to which several writers have described different types of writings.

Hedge describes different writing types by making a distinction between personal writing, public or professional writing and creative writing (95-96).

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Personal writings and study writings

These writings are for one self as various kinds of aid memoirs diaries, journals notes of students during lectures and summaries for exam revision.

Professional or public writings

These writings relates to the Professional roles needed by business executives teachers engineers and students in these and other fields as formal letters, reports and specialized tents.

Social writings

These writings establish social relation ships with family and friends as personal letters      invitations etc.

Creative Writings

As far as creative writing is concerned it can include poems, stories rhymes drama, all types of writing, which again are mainly for one self but which may be shared with others.

In our country where English is second language most of the pupil find it difficult to communicate in English and they cannot express themselves in writings. They can not even organize their thoughts in Urdu. If they become able  to convey their thoughts in writing  they will become more confident  and can become an active participant of literary world and society as well

Creative writing involves creative as well as writing process by which some thing is made. It is important for a teacher to differentiate between the two. The writing process describes the phase of writing that starts from pre-writing to the display of writing. On the other hand creative process is complex in which students make their decisions about context form structure of language its style and images after which a new meaningful thing is produced.

In “Art of Tesoll’’ Nancy Aropoff says that Writing doe’s not mean to draw symbols in spelling form but in meaningful writings the writer has to select a topic first develop Ideas and then  arrange  them in a meaning full way (233).

It cannot be learned without an organized plan but it needs the handling of the topic an intelligent choice of our ideas what to select and what to omit a selection which should be purposeful and the organization of that selection without which our effort will be meaningless.

In the creative process the writer does his work through planed steps. By this he creates a careful and a complete piece of writing (Speed 1).

When we see the creative writing process in three steps it becomes easy to understand. The pre writing phase – which occurs before writing occurs, the composing phase – which occurs during the actual process of writing and the post writing or editing phase – which occurs after writing and has taken place.

The pre writing phase is the period when students invent and plan their ideas and organize them. During this phase of writing the teacher is most effective in helping children acquiring ideas, in motivating them to ask right questions about their own experience ie,WH questions.

The composing phase is the period when children actually create a piece of writing in the class room. The teacher can help those boys and girls  who have problems  in different areas and provide  help at the time when they will most need it. A teacher is the person who assesses the writing of his pupils.

Post writing or editing is the time for sharing, for assessing, for editing and revising. All pupil need feedback from their teachers, parents or fellow students.

Crimmon and Jams said that some steps are important in writing. first the writer should know his goals and should analyze it before writing. Secondly he should organize it and thirdly he should write it in a proper style (71).

It means that there should be a purpose in writing. The writer should care about the reader’s interest. He or she should have a goal what ho or she wants to convey. As thoughts are not already organized the writer has to organize them. This organization should be careful so that it can lead to a good piece of writing.

Ruggiero in his book “Art of writing” says that in composing the writer works on raw material. He takes it and arranges it like a sculpture who works with his stone and a potter with his clay. Writer arranges the haphazard thoughts in to focused and organized paragraphs (3).

It means that there is need to create something from the raw material. Creative writing is just like a construction which always takes place after planning, writer is a creative person just like a constructor who works on his thoughts, arrange them and produce a work full of imaginations and experience. For this he needs not only the skill but also the material to arrange which his thoughts are. So it is a process in which the writer has to create through planning and all good work comes from good p planning. A careful planning will help the writer to recognize problems faced and to solve them. It creates clear and unified piece

Dealing with students a teachers duty is to develop ideas and organize them in a meaningful writing. In the organization or structuring of ideas a writer has to use various type of knowledge such as story grammar, whether the language to be generated is a narrative, any event or an action. In creative writing one of the teachers job is to develop creative thinking, critical thinking, as well as ideas to display. This need to devise the techniques for developing their thinking power. One of the most successful techniques is brain storming which aims to help students with this important pre-writing stage of generating ideas.

The writer says; “The student himself must ultimately undergo the intense mental activity involved in working out his own problems of selection and organization It he is ever real Gwent to learn” (Aropoff 234).

This pre-writing stage is not repeating stage, not writing stage. It is the stage when the students decide what to say. The student has to generate as many ideas as possible. Many writers give emphasis to self expressions, ideas, feelings which came through thinking, experiencing, observing and sharing.

Ruggiero in “The Art of Writing” says that it is important to broaden our views and thoughts and then make them predictable by focusing and arranging them. One can only develop one’s ideas and thoughts by a mental activity which involves a conscious effort. (24).

Once a person has decided the goals to get through language generation the second step is to select the facts to be expressed. The selection needs a search. The knowledge which helps in the search is based on past experiences, memories and information. Then the writer needs to structure this knowledge to be expressed.

Writer believes; “In construction, an individual decides what to say. This decision is begged on the goals the speaker or writer has for language production. (Malley 38)

The effective writer can be distinguished from the ineffective by his ability to decide what he will write. In Pakistan, where children have difficulty in decision making and writing in English it is teachers duty to help and assist them. The teacher can provide additional help at the time when it can be more effectively used.

Brainstorming can become more effective when students are presented photos and pictures. Students will observe the pictures and will generate different ideas about pictures and the people in the pictures. They will think about them and will be able to organize their irregular thoughts in a chronological or sequential order. The experiences and observations will fed the imagination of students and their writings will become the reflection of   those events.

“In creative writing the emphasis is on personal self expression. Children share ideas feelings, fantasies responses to experiences and relationships in there own unique way”. (Chanfeled 288).

Although spelling and language abilities are necessary for a good piece of writing but these cannot take place of having something to say. The fact again comes that writing is not symbolization of words but organization of expression. Children should be able to write real things and also to write in a personal way of by describing their own feelings.

Most of the students seem to have several problems with motivation to write thinking what to say and organizing ideas before writing.

Chanfeled believes that pictures and photos are effective for stimulating the creative movements and inspiring creative writing:

He says that sometimes it becomes difficult for children to write about their feelings. They can not write their original expressions and feelings at once, by seeing pictures they can find a way to express their emotions truthfully in a more thoughtful manner. (298)

A given stimulus can start students talking, painting, acting or writing. What ever the from of expression is writing may play a part. In Pakistan where most of the students hesitate writing the self expressions and observations. These techniques are useful to encourage them by facilitating their learning.

Children find it easy to write after some experience because after the experience they will think about it and they become able to write more clearly and accurately. Direct first hand experiences are always the best because it is always better to see, touch, smell and climb a tree than to turn to a page with word tree on It only the word tree can not describe the whole story.

The teacher can not produce the actual first hand experience to the students but the best way to do so is to produce the unreal experiences, which should be rich in meaning, enjoyment and imagination like direct experiences. There is a Chinese proverb that speaks directly to that point.

I hear and I forget

I see and I Remember.

I do and I understand.

And this can be done by a role play or drama into the class.

Patricia and Amato are of the view that the forms of drama are experiential tasks and can improve the ability to produce these experiences in their writings:

Story telling, role play and other forms of drama are useful techniques in second language learning. They best illustrate the first hand experiences and can motivate the students. – – – After some time students become able to understand and produce the second language. They become able to narrate their own stories, read and can write. They can also create their own new melodrama. (145)

These techniques are very useful in creating a real environment to get experience from it and then expanding ideas and arranging them in a sequence     because these activities comprise of events, which  take place in a chronological order,

First hand experiences, talks of different characters and sequences of different scenes will automatically improve  their ideas thoughts and skill of organizing the events, because when they will take part in physical activities on a theme or topic they will become able  to write more imaginatively on that.

Some forms of writings are best tackled with a more structured approach from the beginning. Observing and note-making activities are very successful. If the students have trouble in organizing their ideas an outline may be helpful for them even if they have not   used it before.

Bloom asks “In theory, an outline can help you to write more efficiently. It can save you in great deal of time because it shows you where you’re going and how you’ll get there” (64).

Structure or outline can help students to organize ideas to produce more formal piece of writing. Because with the help of this outline students can make a clear structure of main and minor points of their writings. With the help of outline the student will note how they can plan more formal pieces of writing. In this way the writer can add and develop more in that outline. The student will learn to appreciate his plans and will be able to use them in a more flexible way. Student will make sequential organization, which is a commonly used pattern for narration of life stories of others, and ours, real or imaginary. Sequencing is the basic of many interviews, biographies, autobiographies as well as diaries and personal letters and this outline will help them to make a sequential order of their writings.

Sometimes students have confusion to relate their ideas because these are vague and obscure. They want to clarify those ideas for writing. The teacher can help the students by creating a workshop atmosphere into the class room, student teacher conferencing and peer conferencing are such activities which are helpful in this process. Teacher has to help students in process of reflecting on what they really want to say and organizing it before starting to write:

Rivers and Temperley suggest that such group activities with the additional help of teacher are more productive and effective in writing. The students in group can easily produce, elaborate and add more information about a topic in a more focused and detailed manner. They can catch the reader’s attention by a clear introduction and conclusion, which is the result of their discussion. In writing their collective efforts in choice of words, syntactic structure are refined and they can easily correct the mistakes where necessary by getting feedback from teachers and peers (320-321)

The teacher can support the writing process in various ways. They can intervene quietly, questioning and advising in order to help writers, get their ideas down on paper in English, or they can encourage students to read each other’s work and suggest restructuring and revision. Giving help during writing proves more effective then giving it afterwards.

In fact writing process describes the phase of writing a project with which all students are expected to become familiar. The teacher can encourage students to adopt some habits that will make their writing better and comprehensive. In the writing process after creative process student see writing as something that is developed through exploration, research consultation, revision and sharing their work with others.

It means that conferencing and discussion are important at all phases of writing process. In pear conferencing student can discuss about their ideas and topics. They can freely write and can make the draft of their writing with the help of teachers.

These conferences can make the students bold enough in making decisions about their work and can also lead to the small project, competitions and even the publications at school level. These can also motivate them to take other innovative steps.

Project works make students competent and give them opportunities to show their talents.

Hedge says “A project can be described as an extended task involving integrated Skills work in witch writing of a more exclusive nature can take place” (68).

Teacher can regulate the project work into the class as the writing of Magazines. He or she can hold the competitions in the class or at school level. Competitions on poetry are very use full in improving skills because in this students will use both sides of their brain, witch are concerned with linguistic as well as creative and critical skills.

These projects can be extended to “In house academic Publications” in school. These publications are very use full in motivating the students to read more and more. These publications motivate students to read and then write for their schools and even for the others.

Mehreen says; “They provide them interesting information and opportunities to discuss on current issues. These can motivate some student to write and to take it as a hobby”. Dawn Sunday. Sep. 26. 2004.

Although colleges and universities of other countries have daily newspapers they take out publications daily but it is not a norm in Pakistan. Many institutions published their writings after a term or even a year but it is obvious that the more frequent writings will attract the readers to contribute and write on their own. These publications contain articles, stories and creative writing like poems from students also on campus events, with some separate feed back section. For writing students should kept in mind that the most common reason for their writing is to share their thoughts with others. The thoughts which were personal and private now become, public and open to all such writings require attention to details, careful organization, correct use of language and a good style. To meet this goal students need to correct their errors and develop these skills, which can only be, attain by the sincere help of the teacher in classroom at school.

In fact the writer writes for reader and it is not necessary that the reader is only the teacher but is can be any person as

Hedge believes that writing can become unreal if it is only for teacher or one person in the class but if they will think of other imaginative readers they will become able to write for real audiences as other students, visitors, people etc (61).

And for this students should be confident enough that the over all impression of their writing is good so they should revise their material, add and delete and edit their work. They should make sentence structure appropriate and way of their communication should be clear not only in thoughts but also in sentences, which clarify these thoughts. This is the editing phase when all pupil need feedback from their teachers parents or fellow students.

In Pakistan where English is a second language there is a danger of wrong sentence structures, because first language L1 inter fares in second language L2 and students need the assistance of teacher to correct them. They should be helped by the teacher from the beginning to acquire confidence in writing directly in the target language.

River says that the students should be taught to convey their thoughts naturally into paragraphs. These should be logically developed explained and combined to show the internal relationships of thoughts, which are clear and accurate (322).

Students should be encouraged to break down complex ideas and sentences in to simple sentences which represent their meanings and then to rebuild all these. The students can learn these techniques if they are getting enough feed back from their teacher.

He also says that feedback is very important to the improvement of students work and its rate of improvement:

He says that feedback plays important role in motivating further learning and to make them confident about their writings. It ensures the students that they are gradually getting fluency in their written work (143).

Students need feed back to become aware of their strengths and weakness and for teacher it is important to know how their writing is developing and can be further improved. It is important to draw student’s attention on some important errors during learning process but with this. Teacher should encourage them in a positive manner so that they can reduce their hesitation in writing English so it is a double process, which should be handled by teacher in to the class.

The purpose of writing is conveying of the message to the reader so the idea should be important aspect of writing but there are often aspects of writing which need attention

Penny Ur is of the view that “the writer should pay attention to primal aspects, neat handwriting, correct spelling and punctuation as well as acceptable grammar and careful selection of vocabulary. (163-164)

It is because good language is normally demanded in writings which needs a careful construction and more precise and varied and accurate vocabulary. This demand time and attention to format aspects. One of the teacher duty is to teach students to keep a balance between their content and the type of writings which type of vocabulary they should use.

Only on style or only general type of words can not full fill the requirement of all writing. Whatever type of writing is it should be clear, interesting and its style and words should be appropriate with a good diction.

D.J Colinson says that clear and good language is necessary for good style and unnecessary words spoil it:

He says that stereotype phrase and needless use of wrong words some times give a bad impression of the writers and cannot make a good style. Simple words can only be used when they can completely convey an idea. These words always do all the work required in language. They can diminish the beauty of language and also the meanings of words. (89-95)

Good style can be achieved by avoiding bad habits and common errors. A poor writing is difficult to understand. Students should avoid carelessness over the meaning of word to acquire a good style.

Apart from good style the students should be taught to improve their spellings. Spelling mistakes are serious problem for students in Pakistan .in fact English spellings are irregular and it is necessary for teacher to advise and assist them in improving their spellings. Wide reading and the use of dictionary can help them to correct their spellings.

Bloom believes in extensive use of dictionary:

He says that careful listening and extensive use of dictionary not only improve their vocabulary but also correct their spelling. He says that the best ways to learn vocabulary is to listen carefully, read widely and use a good dictionary, which also corrects your spelling, meaning and a large varied vocabulary (150).

Often wide readers can spell the word correctly because they see the word many times. If they write a wrong spelling they find something wrong with it and then their visual memory helps them to correct it, and the use of dictionary and listening students will become able to use varied words in their sentences.

With this they also need to know about grammar. A bad grammar can make the writing vague and confused. It is without rules and without arrangement of words, their plurals, tenses and this can lead to an unclear writing. The teacher should make this a tradition in to the class if he really want to improve the slandered of their written language.

In Pakistan a teacher is often overloaded by the work due to the large classes. He or she cannot give individual attention to the students. He cannot regularly evaluate all students due to which the improvement of learning is restricted. The easy and best way to continue evaluation and improvement is the self-evaluation of the students.

Dr. A.R. Saghir says; that petty and Jensens recommended the students evaluation for improvement:

He says that teacher must encourage the self evaluation in students. It will help both in their strengths and weaknesses they will reduce their grammatical and mechanical errors also spelling and capital words because in working and correcting each other they will know how to correct their mistakes and they will become able to adopt suitable strategies for learning language (53).

The self-evaluation technique is best for Pakistani schools but it should be under the supervision of the teacher.all these techniques of creative writing are productive only if the teacher is able because an able teacher knows to teach these skills gradually and step wise to the students in a Pakistani classroom so that they become able to write creatively in a presentable style.

METHODOLOGY AND DATA ANALYSIS

Two questionnaires were developed. One for teachers and one for students. A three day workshop was conducted.

Analysis of Teachers Questionnaire

Teachers were asked the questions, different options were given to them.

  1. In response of the first question it was found that 55% of teachers were teaching three forms of writing. 10% were teaching more than three forms, 5% were teaching more then five types and 30% teaching only two forms mainly essays, letters and stories.

45% were most interested in story writing, 40% were more interested in letters and essay writing where as others are interested in report writing, dialogue, and poetry.

In Pakistan The emphasis is on teaching of essays stories and letters where as other forms are being neglected. It is because most of the syllabus contains. These three forms in our secondary schools and teachers blinding follow this conventional syllabus not paying attention to the other forms of creative writing.

  1. In response of second question the teachers reported that 5% wee very good, 50% were good 45% were average and 5% were blow average.

The 5% which were bellow average belong to rural areas where no proper teaching is available and English teaching starts after  the 5th class, due to which students are unable to write even a single sentence without memorizing it.

  1. It was reported by the teachers that 60% of the students found difficulties in spellings, generating and organizing ideas, grammar and vocabulary. 25% found problems with organizing ideas. 10%  found difficulties with organizing ideas and 5% got  difficulties with developing ideas.

Majority of students face difficulties in writing the right language because English is not their native language and they find it difficult to use varied vocabulary exact sentence structure and accurate spellings.

  1. When they were asked about the way of teaching students the answer was that 20% of teachers were teaching  through verbal  explanation. 30% teaching through activities. 10% were  using audio visual aids  and 30% were teaching through activities. 10% were using  audio visual aids 30% were teaching through more then one way.

Most of the teachers were teaching only by one way because they have no proper facilities to use more innovative methods. The do not have the facility of video and net at school. The use of which can improve students’ creative as well as writing skills.

  1. It was found that 70% of the teachers prepare their activities, 5% do not prepare and 25% prepare them sometimes.

It is better to prepare the activities properly to get a better improvement level otherwise the efforts will be use less and students will not give response to the teachers.

  1. The teacher reported that 35% teachers suggest their students to write on their own. 15% were conducting drama and role play activities. 10% were using pictures and same number was conducting groups activities. 30% were using more then one activity.

It is better to write on their own but drama, role play and picture showing provide a great help in improving imagination and organizing ideas. These are not being used in our schools due to which students find it difficult to write in a more realistic way.

  1. The analysis shows that 95% of teachers provide help in their work. 5% provide them help but not always.

It is necessary for a teacher to provide help in their work because with out the help of teacher a student cannot write and organize properly. They need help in vocabulary, spellings and grammar. That is why teachers think it necessary to provide them help in their work.

  1. 65% of teachers were using all the techniques to improve their writing. 20% help them by sharing there ideas. 10% were encouraging them and 5% check and correct their work.

Most of the students need help in more then one aspect of writing and teacher  has to use all the techniques to improve and correct them. Teacher has to encourage them check, correct and share their ideas.

  1. 90% of the teachers like and 10% tolerate the students discussion and correcting errors in their written work because while teaching the large classes it reduces the burden of teacher. In this way students first correct themselves in groups and can also take help of the teacher if necessary.

 

Analysis of Students Questionnaire

The question were asked from the students and different options were given to them.

  1. 78% of students were learning three forms mainly essays, letters and stories. Some of them are also learning poetry, 19% were learning more then three  forms 4% are learning more them five forms of creative writing.

This ratio describes that most of the students are being taught by the conventional syllabus emphasizing on stories letters and essays, because teachers find it easy to follow the old methods rather then being innovative. They find it difficult to introduce other forms as dialogues reports and drama at secondary level. It needs more time and attention as most of the students at secondary level are not familiar with them.

  1. Analysis of second question shows that 40% were inserted in writing stories35%like to write letters and essays where as others were interested in more then one form of writing especially in letter writing.

Most of the students are interested in story writing because it takes less time and they can  use their imagination in their stories

  1. 39% of the students write only for pleasure 30% want to express their ideas and  feelings and 7% write for information, only 16% write to contribute and complete. Where as 8% write  for different purposes.

Majority  of students  say that they write for pleasure and to express themselves but it  is  seen that they write only when they  are given an assignment. The analysis shows that  a very small number of students write for competition or to contribute because our schools do not encourage them to compete and show their talent.

  1. 59% said that they were good writer,4% were bad and 37% were  slow writer

It shows that  most of the  students  think that  they  are good  writers  and  can  write  easily what they  want . they have talent to improve  themselves in a  good way. Very small no of  students  think  them bad . these students are those  who hesitate to  write in  English  and most of  them  belong to Urdu medium schools.

  1. When they were asked about the problem it was found that 50% of students find problems in more then two areas particularly in their spellings, grammar sentences  structure and vocabulary. 36% have problem with developing organizing and generating ideas. 14%have problem in selecting topics. The problem regarding to writing are common in students because  English is not their native language and due to the less exposure to English and lack of practice they have problems in writing right English
  2. 39 % were learning writing  through  activities  53% learn  rarely through activities and 9% were learning without activities. The ratio shows that although most of the    schools are conducting activities but the ratio of improvement is not encouraging. May be it is due to the reason  that most of  the activities are not innovative and  appropriate to the form of writing. They may be boring for students.
  3. 84% of teachers  were  teaching only one  type  of  activity 11% were  teaching more  then  1 and 5 % were   conducting  more  then  two types of activities.

All type of students are not improving  through these  activities  as most  of the students need more than one way to understand the content and to improve their skills.

Those who were learning from these activities  found it useful because through activities as drama, role playing and conferencing, they find it easy to develop and organize their  ideas and write them.

  1. 75% students think and organize before their writing 6% do not and 10% of them  organize some times.

Most of the students think and organize before writing because they know that without  thinking and organizing them they cannot  convey their messages.

  1. 40% of students share and exchange ideas with their teachers. 36% got help from  their teachers to correct their work. only 19% were encouraged by their teachers.

Ratio of  students  encouraged by teacher is  low  but   encouragement  is necessary  in  learning  process without which a student cannot  get confidence.

As our teachers only teach in class they do not give importance to the psychological aspects and cannot get the required  output

  1. 86 % of the student improved their writing with the help of teachers where as 13% improved to some extent.

It was found that the help of  teacher is necessary for students from the very start of the  learning process. Without  the help of teacher students cannot correct them. Teachers guidance in form of feedback is necessary for students.

  1. 44% of the students always discuss and check  each others work 32%  sometimes  discuss and  4% do not discussed at all. Those who like to discuss find it interesting  and  helpful because they enjoy to work with peer. It make their work easy to do.
  2. 45% of students always correct and checked  each others work 33% check sometimes and 10% do not check at all .

Checking and correcting give them a lot of confidence because in this way working with  partners they can correct  their mistakes and can improve easily. Shy students  get more  benefit from this technique and they can improve easily.

Analysis of Workshop

A workshop was conducted in a high school, using the given activities. A test was taken before conducting the activities to analyse the existing performance of the students and then one test was taken to analyse the improvement of their writings after teaching them.

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS BEFORE WORKSHOP:

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary LevelImproving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

The chart represents %age ranking of students awarded before the workshop.

PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS AFTER WORKSHOP:

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

The chart represents %age ranking of students awarded after the workshop.

 PERCENTAGE IMPROVEMENT ANALYSIS:

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

Result:  Overall Improvement was 20%

  

CONCLUSION:

From all this study it was concluded that almost all the students want to write in an  expressive way. They try to write different things and there purpose of writing is different. Some  write for pleasure and others  for information but in our  school students are not  motivate to write for competition and cannot show their talent. Most of the students find problems with their language as they have spelling grammar and vocabulary. They also have problems with ideas development.

Activities are being done in class room but these activities are not showing good results, because teachers themselves are not trained and prepared to conduct  these activities. Most of the activities do not fulfill the requirements of the form.

Teachers conduct only one or two types of activities which limits the improvement.

The encouragement of teacher is necessary for learning but in our schools teacher do not  encourage them at all the students are only thought  the conventional syllabus and teachers do not  bother to familiarize them with various forms of creative writing.

The  students who are being  taught by an organized and planned  way find it useful and they think that they can improve in this way. Students like to work with  their parents  and  they like to get feedback from their teachers because it gives them confidence and  they  can correct their mistakes in this way

Result of the workshop show that help of the teacher, cooperation of teacher and students is important in learning process. As it not only improves their skills but also encourages and motivate them to write. For big projects. For example for any written competition in a news paper or magazine. Our schools are not encouraging the students  for this purpose they only prepare them for exams.

Problems

Students have many problems with their writing which inhibit their writing. They are expected to express what they know about different things but if they are unable to develop certain skills, they will be unable to write. They face such difficulties which are a trouble with motivation.

  • Attention problems
  • Special ordering problems as organizational problems, uneven spacing and misspelled words.
  • Memory problems create poor vocabulary bad spellings and bad grammar.
  • Language problem as inappropriate use of colloquial language.
  • Higher-order cognition problem as trouble with generating ideas, difficulty with creativity and critical thinking. (minds)

Most of the students have spelling and grammar problems as compared to the other problems. It is, because English is not their native language they found problems with sounds and unpronounceable syllables. These problems make them hesitate to write and express themselves. It is important for a teacher to tell them the rules of spellings and grammar and to help them in organizing and generating their ideas.

Suggestions and Activities

There are no specific rules for creative writing but some general suggestions that are for all types of creative writing. The teacher can use these rules for creative writing.

  • Obey the rules of grammar and punctuation teacher should ask their students to be careful in their grammar as tense agreement etc.
  • Writers should make their language concrete and specific.
  • Maintain the style appropriate to the form and character.
  • While writing fiction and drama plot should be well sequenced and there should be an action in the story.
  • While writing poetry theme and use of appropriate diction is important.
  • Most stories and novels are in past tense. It seems natural when we use past tense to narrate a story.

Apart from these general rules for students there are some suggestions for teacher and teacher can assist them in light of these suggestions.

  • It is important for teachers to make the students familiar with the creative process.
  • Read the writings of different authors and ask your students to find different writings and then discuss them in your peers.
  • Students do not know how well they have written. Teacher can help them by pointing their good work, and telling them about the writers who worked in the same way.
  • Routinely ask them questions about their work and decisions they have made.
  • Many students do not know that writing creatively involves constant reflection and decision making. By asking questions teacher can draw their attention to their decisions and let them know how important these are.
  • Encourage students to think about process and keep a journal to take notes. Thinking will help them to build.
  • Ask them to take the risk to write every thing they want, regardless of the fear of failures. From failures they will learn, and taking risk and making decisions are the part of creative process.
  • Assess and evaluate students engagement in the creative process. Teacher can design their own testing instruments to check their improvement. It is important to check the quality of their creative experience, how much interest they are taking.
  • There are always individual differences by which unique work comes out. Teacher should assure them of the value of individual differences.
  • In conferencing teacher should give clear instructions about the group and about their work.
  • Teachers positive and negative feedback is necessary for their improvement. And teacher should tell them how much they have improved. (Process)

Creative writing Activity # 1

Objectives

  • To enable the students to get ideas together.
  • To improve their imagination by thinking.
  • To elaborate their ideas.
  • To motivate them to write about their ideas.
  1. Write down as much memories as you can.

(Do not worry about language) (pair work)

  1. After writing your ideas discuss them with your partner.
  2. Choose one of the memory you have jotted down and write down notes about the circumstances related to that memory.

Creative Writing: Activity # 2

Objectives

  • Students will be able to describe any event.
  • Students will be able to focus on different elements.
  • Students will be able to produce and construct ideas.

Topic = An interesting scene

Time = 30 minutes

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

Each student will be given a picture. Student will look closely on the picture and will describe the picture in one or two paragraphs. After writing the first draft students will review their work and will write the second draft.

Creative Writing: Activity # 3

Objectives

  • Students will be able to imagine the conversation.
  • Students will be able to express their thoughts and feelings
  • Students will be able to describe an event

Time = 25 minutes

Topic = Any topic which you want to describe.

Group work

Improving Creative Writing Skills At Secondary Level

  1. Look at the picture and write a dialogue between the two characters.
  2. Describe the situation in a paragraph.
  3. Discuss your work in your group and correct your mistakes.

(You can also take help of your teacher)

Creative Writing: Activity # 4

Objectives

  • To motivate the students to write.
  • To enable them to think and to say.
  • To enable them to give information.

Look at this family tree

  1. Think about these characters and give as much information about them as you can
  2. Write an essay an any one of the following, using this family tree.
  1. My family
  2. My relatives
  3. My loving people
  4. My parents

BIBLIOGRAPHY;
  • Hedge, Tricia Writing New York: oxford university press 1988
  • Aropoff, Nanacy The art of Tassel Washington D.C. International Commission Agency, 1982.
  • M James and Crimmon writing with a purpose the river side press Cambridge, 1950.
  • Ruggiero,vinceut. The art of writing New York: Alfered publishing co, 1981.
  • O Malley, Micheal. Learning strategies is  second language acquisition  New York: Cambridge university press, 1990.
  • Cherfeld, Mimi. Teaching language  art creatively  Chicago: Harcourt brace Jovanavich, 1978.
  • A, Patricia and Amato , Richard. Making  it happen New York: Longman,1988.
  • Bloom Lyrrnz strategic writing New York: Raudom house inc 1983
  • Rivers, Wilga M. and Temperleg , Marys. A practical guide top the teaching of  English  as a secondary  or  foreign language New York: Oxford  university press, 1978.
  • Lyons, Liz Hamp and Heasley. Study writing London Cambridge university press, 1987.
  • Ur penny A course in  language  teaching practice and  theory New York:  Cambridge  university  press, 1996
  • Coolinson, D.J writing  English. London Panbool Ltd. 1982.
  • Toola, Micheal. Language in Literature an Introduction to Stylistics. London: Hrdder Heading, 1998.
  • Klammer, Enno. Writing Reading and Advice. USA: Harcourt Brace, 1984.
  • Saghir A. R. Teaching of English Shahid Shah, Islamabd: AIOU. 1993.
  • Freedman, Pringle, and Yalden. Learning to write First language/second language. Canada: Longman Group, 1983.
  • Ali, Mehreen. In house publication Dawn 26 Sep. 2004: 23
  • Teacher Information The Creative Process 6 October. 2004

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