Tag Archives: free writing

“To Sasha from A.V. Start writing!”

This is another short ELT post of today, inspired by the original short post by Kevin Stein and his mention of Sandy Millin.

I read Sandy’s Writing journals with students in November 2013 and I liked it very much, like so many of the things she writes about. I also remembered that I attended the session where this idea came from together with Sandy:) And I had it [idea] in my notes all the time, so I was happy to be re-inspired for some action.

Unsurprisingly, my university students, Physics majors, are not at all all keen on writing, that’s why my choice was a teenage girl I teach. She’s dreaming of becoming a journalist, writes short stories and articles in Russian and her English is, well, unsure. In a certain way she reminds me of myself in my teen age.

And because it’s a short post, here’s the end of the story: I presented her a notebook for her birthday and wrote a message for her in it with some questions she’d naturally wish to reply to. So she did, and wrote 3 pages, and asked me questions. And so the story goes on… Mistakes? There were many. I decided not to correct them, yet. You may think/ say it’s my teacher responsibility and what kind of teaching that is.. But for now I’m watching the girl’s confidence appear and grow strong. I see her notes on my messages (translation of words she didn’t know), I see it takes her time to write, she has all the time she needs and then I read her “letter” and catch a phrase or grammar pattern I’d used in my previous message.



That’s the story. I was thinking of us being connected teachers. Let’s remember to keep this type of connection alive, too.

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