Paulina Christiaens: Writing your way through English

Presentation focus

“What do you want me to write?” I say “What do you want to say?” (Guy Allen) Writing, as one of the skills taught while learning English is many times feared both by teachers and students. Students dread writing because they have to reproduce conventional forms. Teachers grunt on the thought of checking those 'productions'. In this workshop we will look at some helpful writing techniques and exercises as well as at the editing and evaluation processes that will empower both the teacher and the student, and turn the dreaded task into an empowered language expression experience.

Why have you chosen this topic for your presentation?

For the last 15 years I have met many teachers who express a concern related to teaching writing in the ESL classroom. I believe that writing has become so linked to exam preparation and evaluation that its real purpose, that is conveying the meaning and expressing ourselves through language has been forgotten, if not lost. I would like to show that writing assignments can be seen as opportunities to learn the language and accomplish something in the process.

What do you want participants to take away from your presentation?

I would like the participants to take away ready-made activities and writing techniques that will help them in the classroom, develop their students' language skills and boost self-confidence in their writing. I will also show evaluation techniques involving editing processes and assessment.


Paulina Christiaens. Graduated from English Philology at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (MA) and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (MA). For many years teacher, teacher trainer and lecturer at the English Unlimited language school and Teachers’ College, coordinator of Language Chamber of Commerce and Industry Exam Centre. Co-author of teaching materials for a national Ministry of Education project developing key competencies School of Success. Co-author of a handbook of activities from the Creativity in Language Learning Leonardo EU project. Lives in Gent where she works as a freelancer teaching English to adults.