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Are Your Students Ready?

StudyDo.asia has released a new book, Bridges to Academic Writing.

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This book uses uses the same successful StudyDo design as the original book. It’s designed to be easy for teachers to use, even if they’ve never taught academic writing before.
However, no matter how great the materials, no course will be easy to teach if the students are not developmentally ready for it.
How do you know if your students are ready?
You know by observing the current proficiency of your students. This is not as simple as it may sound.

Let’s use the Bridges books as an example:

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Like the original Bridges: Activities for Thinking, Speaking, & Writing English, readiness for Bridges to Academic Writing is not based on age or standard or grade level.
Contrary to what you might think, it’s not based on spelling or grammar or general knowledge of literature or marks in previous grades.
These books are “bridge courses”. They are used to transition from one stage of ability to the next.

It doesn’t matter what age or standard the learners are. The only thing that matters is where they are in their language learning. The activities have been used by bright upper primary school students, by first year college students, and by new research scholars in graduate programs.

Because they are bridge courses, choosing which of these books is right for your students is a great example of how to assess where your students are in their language development.

The vocabulary in both Bridges books is controlled so that students at the right level will find plenty of ideas they can understand throughout the lessons.

In order to use Bridges to Academic Writing, students should already be able to read English at a low intermediate level. For example, if your students can understand 8th or 9th standard school books when they read them alone, they can read well enough for Bridges to Academic Writing.

However, reading is not enough for Bridges to Academic Writing. Students should also be producing some English. This means students should be able to speak and write at least at a beginner level.

This student speech and writing does not need to be grammatically correct or to use a large vocabulary.

It’s ok at this stage if your students make errors when they use English, as long a they are beginning to use English to express their own ideas.

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In other words, students who can only mimic memorized lines of English are not ready for this text, even if their mimicking sounds good to you, but students who produce simple sentences with grammatical errors that express their own thoughts are ready.

Students who can read and understand spoken language, but who don’t feel comfortable speaking or writing, can use the original Bridges: Activities for Thinking, Speaking, & Writing English to bring their production and use of language in balance with their comprehension. When students begin to express their own ideas in English, they can move up to Bridges to Academic Writing.

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