Teaching Young Learners to Write:
From Handwriting to Free Writing.

Elena Osetrova
Teacher of English
Lyceum 3, Krasnoyarsk

The significance of writing as the skill taught at school is now recognized by many teachers as it became part of the UNE. Therefore we have to understand when we are supposed to start teaching our pupils how to do the necessary written tasks such as letters, essays, and compositions.

The earlier we start developing this skills the better – if possible in the kindergarten – by means of making things from paper, drawing or when the children play with the sand or clay in this way they start developing their fine motorics which will help them in future to master the handwriting.

The situation in which teachers of young learners find themselves and have to deal with is the following: they start teaching their pupils when they have already mastered (or not) the handwriting at the lessons of Russian. The quality of this depends on the way they were taught by their class teacher of Russian, if the pupils are good at it they will be more successful in mastering the English graphical system, if not their English teacher will have to spend more time to cope with this task. In case both teachers skip this stage in teaching , their students produce ugly scrolls by the day they leave school, unfortunately they can not use the computer to type the written part of the UNE and poor handwriting can influence their results.

Coming back to the early stage of teaching to write it is necessary to draw attention to the fact that some pupils (even those of the 10th and 11th years) write the letters their own way – replace b with d, t with f, q with g. More and more students recently started having problems with the size of the letters or do not observe the line on which the words are written.

To avoid these problems do the necessary exercises to practice the skill during the first half year of teaching English to YL. Of course...

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