Writing to Read – Playful Computer Writing
With all the positive experiences that I had gained from the first trial, I was now very eager and motivated to start implementing this in an International School setting with a very high number of EAL students in the classroom. My hypothesis was that playful computer would enable and benefit these students becoming more aware of how letters and sounds are connected by them producing their own content in their own context.
I started creating a similar environment that I had before. Computers and a printer were placed in the center of the classroom to ensure direct and independent access for students. It also allowed me to observe students while they write while I was teaching a small group elsewhere in the classroom.
Students in this class were almost 18 months younger than the students in the first trial and that prived to be a very positive surprise, their attitudes and expectations towards what is school learning were more open and after a while I saw a tremendous and rapid growth in their skills. These younger students were definitely risk-takers and open-minded. Another positive effect was that playful computer writing encouraged all learners to improve their vocabulary skills, not just writing and reading but also expanded their general English skills. Although the EAL students were very keen to learn and clearly enjoyed the tool, the greatest benefit and fastest results were produced by the native speakers.