Beauty in Writing

For a while I have been working on how to teach ESL students not only how to write correct sentences but beautiful ones. In an 11-module course, I teach students how to use simple, short sentences for power and punch; compound and reduced compound sentences for, respectively, leisurely and speedy additions of information; complex sentences for complex content; relative clauses for information “encrypted” into a subject or verb; and aural tools such as the rhythm of prepositional phrases, alliteration, consonance, and assonance.

My observation is that most students, ESL or native language speakers, do not consciously choose the structures of their sentences, so their writing doesn’t exploit the many delightful features of our language.

I found this New York Times article on efforts to teach students to write beautifully and I thought that it considered many of the same concerns that I have. New York Times


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