The challenges of teaching advanced composition to ESL students

It is challenging to teach American born students solid composition skills let alone ESL pupils who are not only learning a new language, but a whole new culture as well.

From my decades of tutoring and teaching English to high school students – I know that writing is an art. As time moves forward – it will get more and more difficult to teach writing due to several factors.


1) The American educational system has gone to testing rather than academic (subject) achievement.

2) Factor in  the explosion of  the ever increasingly sophisticated video game market.

3) A massive increase in cable channels and shows.

4) Texting is the work of Satan (Or, the Anti -Literacy God if you prefer)

5) Americans have the attentions spans of hyperactive 8 week old puppies.


There are just too many distractions for everyone to focus on something as “no frills” as writing.  By no means do I think writing is boring – however, I am highly biased in this regard!  Almost daily, I find myself telling my ESL students  about words and ideas native English speakers have trouble with. Within the next few weeks I am planning to offer free writing courses to Houston  area US Armed Forces veterans, as well as selected Houston Independent School District  9th graders. I have gone so far as to look at the alphabets of other languages in order to help my students who struggle the most. This past year has been quite a learning experience for me too!

For those  who want to be better writers, I am designing a series of youtube videos to address that concern.




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