Here’s another overview of an FCE Writing lesson:

The lesson is based around the idea of a model text – in this case a “bad” model (which I really enjoyed writing!).

In brief:

(1)  Write the word “REPORT” up on the board and ask learners, in three or four groups,  to think of as many good things to do in a report as possible.  [these will typically be genre features related to layout, organisation, purpose and language].  As a way of getting feedback on this task, learners can board their ideas.  AT THIS STAGE, the teacher doesn’t offer any final feedback, as the purpose of this stage is mainly just getting them to think in the right area.

(2)  Now dictate (or you could print it and give it out) the following task:

Your college has been asked to accept a group of 50 students from another country for two weeks.  You have been asked by your principal to find out what the advantages and disadvantages would be of accepting this group.  Is it a good idea?

 Write your report to the principal.  (Write your answer in 120 – 180 words in an appropriate style.)

NB – this task comes from an FCE coursebook / test book – has been previously published by someone, but I can’t remember where it came from initially!

(3)  Working together in pairs, the learners use the ideas they came up with in the initial stages, to sketch out a plan for an answer to the task.  Don’t offer much in the way of feedback, but provide support where necessary.

(4)  Now give learners a copy of the following “model” text and ask learners to anlyse the model for strengths and weaknesses.

Dear Principal,
You asked me to let you know about the foriegn students coming to our school so here’s what I think.  I think it would be the great thing for our school because then we can know about all things for the other countries which they are coming from.  I think the good things would also be that we be can make new frends as well.  But there is the problems as well.  Fifty people is a lot and what happens when all the everybody wants to use the librabry or go to the lunchtime all together?  Also maybe the foriegn students may be more interested in having fun and not doing to study much which is OK for me but I think the teachers will not like it.  So there you go, I have told you everything what I think.  Now it is for your decision, OK?
Love,  David.

(5) Feedback on the strengths and weaknesses….  The learners can, of course, have fun correcting any of the language errors that they find!  But the main problems with the model involve the layout and organisation:  Headings?  Title? Paragraphs / clear sections?  Ideas?  Answering the question? Register & formality of language?  At this stage, you can refer back to the ideas the learners generated in the initial stage and clarify them or correct them as necessary.

(6)  If you have access to another FCE report task, the learners can plan together in class before completing the task for homework.

At some point I’ll get round to putting all this into a downloadable pdf format, until then, if there are any questions or queries or problems (or you know where that task came from), let me know.