Teachers and textbooks for ESL writing often focus on the accuracy of the language and forget about fluency. After all, it’s usually easier to correct errors than it is to get students to speak and write faster.
Doesn’t fluency come naturally with time anyway? Maybe, but maybe not. Keep on reading for ESL writing activities that help students with writing fluency. You will definitely want to try it if you want to improve your fluency in writing.
ESL Writing: Accuracy and Fluency in Writing
For speaking and writing, there are two main ways to evaluate it: fluency and accuracy. Fluency is how fast you are able to do it. Accuracy is how good your grammar and vocabulary are. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the simple explanation!
Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this article about writing fluency activities.
Don’t Forget Fluency Practice
Most English writing classes and textbooks focus on accuracy. It’s much easier for a book or teacher to point out grammar and vocabulary errors than to teach you to write quickly. However, it’s important to work on both.
The good news is that you can easily do this ESL writing exercise by yourself! Here’s how I helped my students with fluency in writing when I taught at South Korean universities.
ESL Writing Activity to Improve Fluency in Writing
Here’s how I set this ESL writing activity up for my students (I teach English at a university in South Korea). Or, how you can do it yourself.
Get a notebook. Use it only for this and not for other English writing practices. Each day (or whatever time interval you decide-twice a week, or 10x a month, etc.), give yourself a topic. For example, “My family,” or, “Plans for the weekend,” or, “Hopes for the future,” or, “My favourite book.”
Then write about that topic for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes once you get used to it). Put away your cell phone and dictionary. The goal is to write papers quickly like experts do online for students. Use only grammar and vocabulary that you know. If you don’t know how to spell something, just guess. It doesn’t matter. Focus on writing quickly!
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 72 Pages - 12/09/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published...
The Most Important Thing in this ESL Writing Exercise
This is the most important thing- your pen should NEVER stop moving. If you can’t think of anything, write this sentence, “I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. I don’t…”
After two or three times, you’ll think of something else! Make sure your pen does not stop moving! Write quickly. Grammar and vocabulary don’t matter for this activity.
There certainly is no need to use a cellphone to look up a word you don’t know. Just find another word to write, or leave a blank space, and you may think of it later. Just keep going. Fluency in writing really is achievable with some practice!
Keep Track of your Progress when Practicing English Writing
Over time, you’ll notice that the amount you write increases! You can make a simple chart to keep track of this. Count the number of lines you write after each session and mark it on your paper. The quick way to do this is to come up with an average word count per line from the first session and then use that number to count lines during each subsequent session.
Remember that the goal is to write more quickly, not to write accurately. You can work on grammar, vocabulary, and structure at other times. If you want to know how to improve fluency in English writing, this is certainly one of the best ways, so give it a try!
Fluency in Writing
It is important to practice writing to improve fluency. There are many ways to help students practice, like training through fun activities that will keep them engaged and enthusiastic. But sometimes, that might not be enough. Another way to be prepared to make writing fun and, therefore, actively practice writing is to have a list of good writing topics.
ESL Writing Topics
These are some of the best ESL writing topics for students to practice and improve their writing fluency.
- Favourite childhood memory
- Your worst memory
- Most recent travel experience
- Describe your best friend
- What’s your favourite thing in your room?
- 3 goals you want to achieve this year
- Describe your dream job
- What do you want to do if you win the lottery?
- Choose a machine and explain how to use it
- Describe your hometown
- Talk about your favourite restaurant
More ESL Writing Tips
If you want to improve your ESL writing skills, you’ll need to check out this book on Amazon: 71 Ways to Practice English Writing: Tips for ESL/EFL Learner. This tip about writing fluently is from that book, and there are 70 more tips just like it.
The English writing tips range from study skills and habits to formal writing to informal writing, where the goal is to just have fun while using English. Emails, essays, organizing your ideas, job applications. It’s all there!
The book is practical, easy to read, and well-organized, and we’re sure that it’ll help you improve your English writing skills. You certainly won’t get bored with practicing writing as the activities are varied and interesting.
71 Ways to Practice English writing is for beginners, intermediate, as well as advanced students. Everyone can improve their ESL writing with consistent practice! Are you ready to improve your skills?
You can get it both in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office as a handy reference guide. Or, take a copy with you on the bus or subway for some quick tips on the go. Either way, it’s a great choice if you want to improve your English writing in a big way.
You can check out this book of writing tips for yourself over on Amazon:
More ESL Writing Fluency Activities
Check out three other ESL writing activities that can help improving your writing fluency.
3 Things: ESL Writing Fluency Activity
Postcard: A Simple ESL Activity
Dictation: ESL Writing and Listening Activity
FAQ About ESL Writing Activities
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about ESL writing activities and tips on how to improve fluency in English writing.
What is writing fluency?
Writing fluency means writing fast and accurately. Better writing fluency means that the writer spends less time and energy on a good piece of writing.
How do I practice ESL writing?
The best way to practice ESL writing is to choose a topic and write about the topic for 5 minutes without using the internet or a dictionary. You have to write only using the grammar and vocabulary you already know. Do not worry about spelling a word incorrectly, just guess. Your goal is to write as much as possible in the limited time. Trying to write quickly helps improve your fluency in writing. Do this activity regularly, and you will see the progress over time.
What are examples of writing activities?
There are five effective ESL writing activities: 3 Things, Journaling, Postcards, Dictogloss, and Application form.
What are the three components of writing fluency?
The three components of writing fluency are automaticity, speed, and the writer’s voice. You can improve these components by doing a simple but powerful ESL writing activity, which is trying to quickly write as much as you can within a limited time. Do this regularly, and you will see yourself improving your fluency in writing.
ESL Writing Activity and Fluency in Writing: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts about this tip for improving your fluency in English writing? Is it what you want to focus on when practicing English? If there is another ESL writing activity you would like to share, let us know in the comments! Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Or, if you have any questions about this exercise.
Also, be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other people learning English, like yourself, find this useful resource.
Last update on 2024-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API