The ability to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively
in writing can be considered the highest form of human communication. Unlike spoken English, the writer cannot rely on gestures, nuances of voice and
facial expressions to communicate their message. Writers can rely
only on their ability to effectively organize
their thoughts and adhere to the
and mechanical conventions
of our written language.
In today's world, with our
ever-increasing reliance on computers, e-mail, and instant messaging, the
ability to write clearly and concisely is critical for success.
In teaching composition, I provide clients with a
structure for following the writing process from brainstorming through drafting,
revising, editing, and publishing. We work together to develop an
understand of the need for precise, descriptive language that offers facts to
the reader rather than opinions.
The mechanics of writing, the ability to use punctuation
correctly, to identify the beginning and ending of paragraphs, and to write
grammatically correct sentences is taught to clients from two directions.
Skills are first taught in isolation and then transferred to the students own
writing. Skills taught in one session are reviewed in subsequent session
to ensure mastery and transfer to settings outside of the tutoring sessions.
Spelling is part of both the writing and reading
programs that I utilize. Through the use of multi-sensory
techniques as described by Nanci Bell in Seeing Stars: Symbol Imagery for Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words, and Spelling, and by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness in
Reading Reflex, clients are taught to remember common
spelling patterns for the many sounds in written English, and to apply this
knowledge both in isolation (initially) and as a part of the writing process.