286.  Re: ESL essay writingDear Madam, I'm doing a project paper titled,"Problems faced by ESL learners in essay writing." I would appreciate it very much if you give me some feedback on this topic.  I would also like to know the theoretical background underlying mind mapping.

ANSWER

THANKS for visiting my Web Sites.   Your question is fascinating.  

The TWO main problems faced by ESL learners in essay writing are:

1.  The experiences "lived" by the ESL learner that provide the basis for writing about a particular topic.

2.  The LANGUAGE --vocabulary, expressions, idioms, etc.-- needed to express the learner's thoughts about the topic.

No one can WRITE about what they have never experienced!!!!  
Thus, ALL essay writing MUST begin with experiences that are provided for learners to OBSERVE, LISTEN to a person talk about what is being observed, TALK about the observations with the NEW words that are being learned through listening, SEE the actual NEW words that have been heard and used in speaking, spelled out or written down, READ a selection about the observed NEW experience, with the NEW words that were heard, spoken and seen spelled out, and FINALLY, WRITE about the experience or topic with full understanding.

Thus, for essay writing, students MUST be provided EXPERIENCES and VOCABULARY through (1) hands-on instructional activities that provide opportunities to observe, listen and speak, PLUS (2) vocabulary development activities that help students see the new words they heard and spoke with about the new experience. 

THEN, the teacher must MODEL how to write the essay by actually writing an essay with the students about the topic.   For this essential step in essay writing, the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projector is the most effective tool.

Mind mapping research --as I understand it-- is a very recent field based PRIMARILY on observations of individuals who have suffered some type of brain damage because they may have been involved in some type of accident, because of birth defects or deformities, or due to health catastrophes resulting in brain damage.   Even more recently, new ways of "imaging" through brain scanning allow research in terms of brain electrical/chemical activity depending on stimulation.   These very recent fields of investigation are so new that I have not had a chance to fully become familiar with the most recent findings.  Thus, I prefer to simply inform you of what I know -- and I do not know at this time the theory behind this new research field. 

THANK YOU for a wonderful and very insightful question!!!!  C.S.S.

 

REPLY:

Re: ESL essay writingDear Carmen, Thank you very much for your informative and prompt reply. I had sent many emails but you were the only to reply. Your help is much appreciated. Bye.

 

 


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