ERIC Number: ED334853
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
The Development of Composition Skills via Directed Writing.
Rahilly, Leonard J.
To alleviate problems associated with free composition as a method of foreign language writing instruction, the directed writing method was adapted for use in a college French composition course. High-quality French texts, often of only a page or two and written by native speakers, are used as a basis for grammatical analysis and discussion and a model for translation. Selection of subject matter is less important than selection of appropriate language level. A Jules Verne passage used for a third-year course illustrates the technique. The text is first translated into English and idioms, misunderstood constructions, and ambiguous vocabulary are discussed. Second, students analyze grammatical and syntactic problems using one or more reference books. Specific questions on two grammatical problems, tenses and reflexive verbs, and more general questions focusing on other areas of possible confusion offer bases for discussion. Third, students are required to find, in the text, French equivalents of words, constructions, and idioms on a list provided. The fourth step involves correction of two English translations written by the teacher, one corrected in class only and the second submitted to the teacher and corrected in class. The approach has been used successfully in second- through fourth-year courses at Michigan State University. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages and Communications for World Business and the Professions (9th, Ypsilanti, MI, April 5-7, 1990).