Benefits and Reasons for Writing to Learn
"For a change [students] are owning rather than renting the language of the classroom. . . .For a change they are applying theory and thinking creatively." ~Larry Levy, Delta College Instructor Emiriti
- WTL promotes active learning.
- Students use their own language to understand course concepts; they "own" rather than "rent" the language and ideas.
- WTL stimulates participation and discussion (/every/ student has a response to the question).
- Teachers discover what students are thinking and learning, what's clear and what isn't.
- WTL creates opportunity for teacher/student and student/student dialogue.
- Students can "rehearse" ideas and strategies before tackling formal writing assignments; they can "practice" before the "big game."
- WTL creates a way for students to reflect upon what they are learning, to think meta-cognitively and personally about their learning processes in the course.
- WTL assists students in discovering what they know and what they don't know.
- WTL gives everyone a stake in the class.
- WTL can be adapted for whole group or small group activities.
- WTL creates opportunities to write for audiences other than the teacher.
- WTL allows for formative (assisting in the process) rather than only summative (evaluating a product) assessments.
Diane Boehm, Writing Center Director Emeritus, Saginaw Valley State University