Targeted Writing Activities for the ESL Grammar Class (Print & Go)

1521324_10154670442465510_2942834477779597238_n(This is an older post that I have transitioned over from an out-of-date Blogger account. I am in the process of switch the Word documents over into Google Docs!)

My colleague Kathy Moulton and I presented at the 2014 VATESOL Annual Conference at Longwood University in Farmville, VA on ways to implement targeted writing activities into an ESL grammar course or lesson. That being said, many of these types of activities would be equally as useful in a K-12 classroom.

The problem: Students can complete grammar worksheets and tasks in grammar textbooks, but they are unable to use structures effectively when writing at length. 

When I first started teaching, this always used to frustrate me. I would feel so confident after a lesson because the students seem to really “get it.” And then it came—a writing task. Within minutes of grading, I would be complaining to a colleague. “They must have forgotten everything!” or “They must have been rushing through their work.” In reality, I wasn’t creating tasks and assignments for my students that allowed them to use the structures I taught in a longer piece of writing.

What research says: 

Focused writing activities with timely feedback help students write more accurately (Polio, 2013).

Conference Materials and Bank of Activities

Below you will find our conference presentation and the supplemental grammar activities Kathy and I have created and/or adapted that you can use in your classroom tomorrow! We would love to hear from you if you do use any of these materials. Leave a comment and let us know how an activity worked in your classroom, or even how you adapted an activity.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Link to Google Drive folder that contains supplemental activities. Please “Make a Copy” of any activity you would like to use. Once you have done this, the copied document will be in your personal Drive account. You may also download any given document into a different file format (note that the formatting may be skewed due to font).


Polio, C. (February, 2013). The relevance of second language acquisition theory to the written error correction controversy. Paper presented at the TESOL/Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference, Greenville, NC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.