ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System

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Writing Instruction for Adults

Why teach writing?

If students are to make knowledge their own, they must struggle with the details, wrestle with the facts, and rework raw information and dimly understood concepts into language they can communicate to someone else.

In short, if students are to learn, they must write.

(from the National Commission on Writing) 

In Minnesota ABE programs, writing is taught in many different contexts and for many different purposes. One thing is for certain: Teaching writing is complicated! 

To assist MN ABE practitioners in providing effective writing instruction, ATLAS provides a variety of services, including workshops at various regional and statewide conferences and now a growing online Writing Resource Library.

As we plan professional development around writing, we keep in mind these principles, articulated by the National Council of Teachers of English:

  • Everyone has the capacity to write, writing can be taught, and teachers can help students become better writers
  • People learn to write by writing
  • Writing is a process
  • Writing is a tool for thinking
  • Writing grows out of many different purposes
  • Conventions of finished and edited texts are important to readers and therefore to writers
  • Writing and reading are related
  • Writing has a complex relationship to talk
  • Literate practices are embedded in complicated social relationships
  • Composing occurs in different modalities and technologies
  • Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgment
From the Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee, November 2004. See full text >>