How To Help An ESL Student Who Has Difficulty With The Rhetorical Structure Of English

The question that emerges at this point is thus, how do we help a student who is having trouble learning to follow the rhetorical structure of English? Since "paragraphing, like punctuation, is a feature only of the written language" (Kaplan 411), this task is not as difficult as it may appear to be. There are several ways to help an ESL student gain a better understanding of the English paragraph, for example. First, by giving an international student a paragraph in which all of the sentences are scrambled, and allowing him or her to rearrange those sentences in what appears to be a "normal" order, we can identify the disparity between different writing styles and discuss them. The tutor can explain and justify the correct structure of the paragraph in order to help the tutee to understand the construction of an English paragraph. Another basic exercise involves giving the student a topic sentence, and allowing him or her to create supporting details and a concluding sentence to develop the main idea of the paragraph. This exercise is very useful because it shows the tutee how to construct a linear paragraph, which is extremely common in English. There are many exercises and conferencing strategies that can help an ESL student to gain a better understanding of English rhetoric in relation to academic writing.

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Strategies for Working with ESL students

The Value of Contrasting Various Discourses

The Importance of Understanding Differences in Rhetoric

The Role of an ESL Tutor

Resistance To Foreign Rhetoric

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