What About Writing?
The English Language Centre at the UTAS-Ibri hosted a webinar titled, What About Writing?, on January, 26, 2021. Professor Stephen Krashen shared many interesting views from “ Secrets of Writing,” a paper published in Research in Language and Education: An International Journal (RiLE).
Prof Krashen has published 540 articles on a wide range of topics related to language acquisition, neurolinguistics and bilingual education. He is the most frequently cited scholar in the field of language education. Many of his publications are available for free download at sd.krashen.com and some of them are posted on ResearchGate. He is best known for the Comprehension Hypothesis, which states that one cannot acquire language by speaking or writing or by studying grammar rules but by comprehensible input, that is, through listening and reading.
He shared various secrets of writing with the language teachers. He confessed that he owes the wisdom he retains, to the great writers like Peter Elbow, Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Simon, Ernest Hemingway, Irving Wallace, Robert Boice and many others. He expressed his interest in sharing his wisdom with a profound belief that it will contribute to the knowledge base in Research in Language and Education.
Some of his research-based observations like more writing will not result in better writing form; writing form results from reading, writing can help us solve problems and make us smarter revision is the core of “the composing process;” recognizing that something is wrong is the invitation to revision and progress. Encourage incubation. : Daily regular writing, which means daily regular blocks and progress, made the audience ponder their teaching styles and methods.
The speaker believed that those who read more, write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, better grammar and more acceptable writing style. He was of the profound belief that writing made people smarter and mentioned that revising should be given utmost importance as it forms the core of the composing process.
He highlighted the importance of encouraging incubation and was in line with Wallas and Poincare that incubation requires “ the working of the subconscious mind” and explained how creativity results from engaging in the composing process and progress. He labelled the different phases as: write, block, break/incubate/dissolve block, and then write some more and run into more blocks.
Prof.Krashen concluded with a thought-provoking observation that stated that the “regular” aspect of daily writing is a good writer's secret. He responded to many interesting queries and appreciated the interest showed by the audience.
The ELC staff was thankful to Professor Krashen for introducing them to the secrets of writing and were expressed their interest in knowing more.
The ELC head of Centre appreciated the efforts of Professional Development Committee for organizing the event that had many takaways for the ELC staff.