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ERIC Number: EJ923465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Using Progressive I-Can Statements to Promote Learner Confidence in Writing
MacDuff, Fife; AlHayki, Khadija; Linse, Caroline
English Teaching Forum, v48 n4 p2-11 2010
The challenges of teaching writing and encouraging students to write are many. However, one of the most difficult issues to deal with is students' reluctance to write in any language, even their home language. Because of this reluctance, being asked to write in English as a foreign or second language can feel like a double burden. Learners of English often are not confident that they have the basic writing skills or the language skills needed to compose a piece of writing in English. This article suggests ways to build students' confidence in their ability to write in English. One way to address the issue is by creating opportunities for students to state what they perceive they are able to do. The statements students produce about their perceived abilities can be referred to as I-can statements, such as "I can write names of foods in English" or "I can write about daily activities in English." This approach is most effective when students are given a target so that even before they begin, they have a sense of what they are expected to accomplish. In this article, the authors present a series of basic writing activities that demonstrate how I-can statements can be used. While the activities are appropriate for young learners, they can benefit students of any age who are in the beginning to lower-intermediate stages of learning English.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A