I recently attended a talk on writing, given by Chris Johnson who’s currently based at St. James in Sevilla. He gave some excellent tips on better preparing learners for writing and I decided to use some ideas from his talk in my B1 lesson today. Here’s the plan:
As most learners are familiar with Little Red Riding Hood, I used that story as a starting point, as Chris did in his talk, and asked the group to work in pairs and tell each other what they could remember from the story. We then briefly analysed the story using Hoey’s SPRE formula:
Situation – the where and when, setting the scene and introducing the main character
Ending (originally this is Evaluation, but I felt for the purpose of this activity it would be better to use Ending)
We discussed how this formula can be useful when writing texts and compared other stories in which it has been used.
Learners then looked at two sample answers from the PET handbook in which the candidates had written stories with the title A Lucky Escape and linked each SPRE stage to the text. We discussed how the SPRE formula is a good basis for writing a plan before producing a text and talked about what notes the candidates could have made against each stage to help them construct their texts.
The production stage has been set for homework and learners took away some linking devices to further help them organise their texts.