Teaching Writing: An Analysis of Writing Activities in Touchstone 1
The teaching of writing is a very complex process, yet it is a core part of English language teaching since writing involves many different kinds of skills and knowledge in order to produce a meaningful text. Teaching writing is not only about teaching the mechanical and communication aspects of writing to learners, but also it is about identifying how these aspects are presented and outlined in books prescribed for the students. The present study is a comprehensive investigation to highlight some basic issues in teaching writing in general, and identify the writing tasks offered in Touchstone 1 (both the Student’s Book and Workbook) in specific since Touchstone 1 is used to teach the non-English major undergraduate students of level 1 at King Khalid University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our study found that this textbook is replete with a lot of word-level and sentence-level writing activities in the forms of vocabulary exercises and grammar points along with some text level writing activities. In addition, these text level activities do not seem to provide the technical know-how, sufficient practices, proper formats and organizations through which students can easily grasp them. This study also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the writing activities presented in this textbook and later comes up with possible recommendations.