Module 4: Effective Writing

Welcome to Module 4 — Effective Writing

The skill of writing is one of the most effective tools of communication. It helps to develop imaginative and critical thinking abilities, and is often the sign of an education. It involves the ability to write effectively and creatively. Writing is more permanent than speaking, and requires more careful organisation. It is also less spontaneous because it involves a process, from organising ideas in the mind to setting the final document on paper. Like speaking, writing can be both formal and informal, depending on its purpose. For example, the language of a formal invitation to a party is very different from that of an invitation through a text message from a mobile phone. Since specific contexts require special vocabulary (words and phrases) and grammar (sentence structures), teaching the skill of writing involves familiarising your Junior Secondary School (JSS) students with various formats of informal and formal written texts. Also, teaching writing includes taking students through a process — a series of steps — such as brainstorming for ideas, organising and sequencing them, revising and editing the draft and so on.

This module provides you with some learner-centred strategies and activities through which you can help your JSS students develop their writing skills. It gives you some resources to explore ways of encouraging your students to express themselves creatively.

Is this module for you?

This module is intended for teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) at the JSS level.

Module objectives

The objectives of this module are to:


  • promote the teaching of writing in English using personal experiences,

  • develop skills for teaching effective writing through controlled and guided activities,

  • enhance JSS students’ ability to communicate effectively in writing in a variety of situations,

  • promote interactive techniques of teaching effective writing across the curriculum, and

  • promote creative writing skills amongst JSS students.

Module outcomes

Upon completion of Module 4Effective Writing, you will be able to:


  • use students’ personal experiences in guided/controlled activities to develop their writing skills,

  • develop your students’ ability to write effectively to communicate in a variety of situations,

  • teach effective writing across the curriculum, and

  • stimulate your students’ interests in creative writing.

Time frame

How long?

You will need approximately 15 weeks to finish this module — eight weeks for formal study and seven weeks for self-directed study — to complete all the activities recommended.

This is a distance learning programme, thus the time frame is flexible and largely self-directed.

Study skills

Study skills

As an adult learner your approach to learning will be different from that of your school days: you will choose what you want to study, you will have professional and/or personal motivation for doing so and you will most likely be fitting your study activities around other professional or domestic responsibilities.

Essentially you will be taking control of your learning environment. As a consequence, you will need to consider performance issues related to time management, goal setting, stress management, etc. Perhaps you will also need to reacquaint yourself with such things as essay planning, coping with exams and using the Web as a learning resource.

Your most significant considerations will be time and space; that is, the time you dedicate to your learning and the environment in which you engage in that learning.

We recommend that you take time now — before starting your self-directed study — to familiarise yourself with these issues. There are a number of excellent resources on the Web. For example:

The “How to study” website is dedicated to study skills resources. You will find links for tips on study preparation (a list of nine essentials for a good study place), taking notes, strategies for reading textbooks, using reference sources and coping with test anxiety.

This is the website of Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs. You will find links to tips on time scheduling (including one called “Where Does Time Go?”), a study skill checklist, basic concentration techniques, how to take control of your study environment, note taking, how to read essays for analysis and tips on developing memory skills (“Remembering”).

Another “How to study” website with useful links to learning about time management, efficient reading, questioning/listening/observing skills, getting the most out of putting your knowledge into practice, memory building, staying motivated and developing a learning plan.

The above links are our suggestions to start you on your way. At the time of writing these Web links were active. If you want to look for more go to and type “self-study basics,” “self-study tips,” “self-study skills” or a similar combination.

Need help?


Contact your Google Group support email, SMS number or your tutor.

Group email:




  • Each unit of this module consists of a self-assessment activity. The assessments are for self-development purposes and need not be submitted to anybody. The goal of the module is to develop your teaching-learning skills, not to test you.

  • Assessment is also meant to encourage you to think about and devise some innovative teaching practices that could make your teaching more exciting and relevant to your students.

  • All assessments are to be completed at the end of every unit. You may cross-check your answers with your colleagues.