Coherent Writing for ESL Students

Submitted by Adriana White on

My ESL students have been challenged to produce clear and coherent writing on a particular topic, even when the topic is on their own preferred choice. I came up with the idea of using a visual, a graphic organizer, and work step by step toward producing good writing. Dissecting and discussing the paragraph structure, looking closer into each of its parts helped my students understand the purpose of writing – how each part (beginning, body, and ending) contributes to producing cohesive and clear writing. I am happy I tried this writing strategy with my students because the results show significant growth and quality in their writing.

My reflection and data are attached.

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
Attachment Size
awhite-cats.docx 17.48 KB
Assessment of the Month
Average: 4.6 (8 votes)


Peter Turner Fri, 12/11/2015 - 9:52am

Adriana - Great CATS! And graphic organizers are also called "Nonlinguistic Representations" which are a very powerful instructional tool. I like how you were not happy with an end product from your students, tried a new strategy, and were able to document their growth, leading to your continued use of the new strategy. One question, why did you choose this particular strategy? Did someone or some article influence you? Just curious.

Erik Huntsinger Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:03am

Adriana, I love the analogy of the house with the foundation, and it certainly led to the "aha!" moment in the students as indicated by your grade results.  I think I will steal this for my own writing assignments.  This CATS is a great demonstration of the action research cycle. Thanks for sharing!

Bronwen Steele Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:07am

Adriana, this is very good. I too wonder where you obtained the idea to use graphic organizers.Good research cycle.

Olga Tsoudis Sun, 02/14/2016 - 11:34am

HI Adrian, This is an interesting CATS with quantitative information on your results. Thank you for sharing. Olga

Cecilia Rosales Fri, 04/15/2016 - 9:32am

Adriana: I  am a big fan of your work. I like your approach; it makes the task less daunting, more manageable.