I've just found a cool new tool for students who don't really like writing or who at least are not very good at getting started. It's called Write or Die and it gives you a box to type in and if you stop writing it starts to delete words you have already written as a kind of punishment. So you set a number of words that you want to write and then you can decide what speed you want to write at and how forgiving you want the program to be with you. It's really motivating to get you going with writing. In fact I am writing this blog posting in Write or Die now. That's why it may not be my best blog posting but, hey, it gets it done quickly. Of course I will have edited what I'm writing by the time you get to read it. (I bet my spelling is awful - no time to check). What do you think - would this help your students to write? I find that it's difficult to work on editing, spelling and other aspects of spelling if my students don't write anything but I think this could motivate them to. Phew, made it to 200 words.
By the way, I got this link from one of Nik Peachey's wonderful blogs:
Perhaps I should use Write or Die myself to speed up the process of finishing my forthcoming book "How to Teach English Spelling" (hopefully out by the end of the year).
If you use Write or Die, or if you have encouraged your learners to use it, please post a comment about the result. I'd love to hear.