For me the most important part of the lesson is when a student gives input – if I am helping a student edit work during a writing conference I am very careful to make sure that the final result remains the student’s words. 
Why? Because for me, it is about helping a student, regardless of age, recognize what is meant by                      “VOICE’.  

       People tend to believe that because they speak a language they are therefore capable of writing in it- and for most exercises this proves true. Then there are times when the more sophisticated approach to writing is called for- Academic English – and other times when the Business English approach is more welcoming…

        Today’s emails require a rather direct approach to the topic, and not the longer, winding, introduction business letters of the past (snail-mail correspondence) used. Many books still show this older style and while such texts can be used to provide a framework for a lesson I tend to encourage students to practice writing by beginning with what they want the reader to learn and bypassing the longer introduction when sending emails. We all receive so much spam, that I think it is important to alert email readers directly about the purpose of a piece.

         Enjoy the snow- mhhm- I think we in Toronto are lucky to have these seasonal reminders about change; A chance to  appreciate something real in nature to remind us that learning, like nature, follows a rhythm that can’t be forced but ought to be respected.  I think I’m going to go make some new footprints…

    best regards,

      from Ali ( Alison)  

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