K. Tekin, Z. Selimoglu

Atilim University (TURKEY)
The importance of the role of writing in second language acquisition is indisputable. Compared to other skills, such as reading, listening and speaking, writing has a unique place, for it is a creative and productive stage of second language learning. It has been observed that almost every student has difficulty in writing. Students struggle to write even a solitary sentence let alone a well organized, coherent and accurate essay, which is a prerequisite for English Preparatory School students and for freshman students of English Language and Literature departments.

The aim of this presentation is to show how supposedly “boring” writing courses can be made attractive, enjoyable and at the same time productive to students. To this end, we provide our students with an atmosphere wherein creativity, enjoyment and above all, learning can take place. Our chosen medium in the construction of such a learning environment is poetry. This presentation consists of two sections: the first is the theory section, which is about the function of literature. This section also includes a number of poetry definitions and the advantages of using poetry in writing courses. The second section focuses on practical activities to demonstrate how poetry can be applied to improve students’ writing skills. The second section proceeds in three subsections entitled “pre-writing”, “writing” and “post-writing”. The overall aim of these activities is to integrate the two receptive language skills, reading and listening, and the two productive skills, writing and speaking.

In conclusion, this presentation is an attempt to turn a negatively perceived writing class into a student-friendly activity.