Study Essay Writing Skills with our Oxford Summer School 2018 | Students aged 13-15

For students aged 16-18, Academic Writing Skills is available as part of our Broadening Horizons programme.

Workshop Summary

This workshop is designed to help the nascent writer to improve and widen their skills in Academic Writing in English. The young learners will learn new skills and widen their scope of writing through activities such as:

  • Word building (learning about synonyms and choosing the right words in their writing)
  • Signalling (telling the reader clearly what they are going to do before they do it)
  • Paragraphing logically
  • Writing short essays and scientific reports

These activities will be carried out in a way that is fun, competitive and rigorous. Students will learn through:

  • Listening to the tutor
  • Discussing under the guidance of the tutor
  • Doing fun activities and exercises
  • Practical workshops with other students

The Academic Writing Skills workshop is ideal for the younger learner who needs to learn how to communicate in writing using an academic style. Learning these skills now will stand them in good stead as they work their way up through their school exams and on to university. By learning these skills at this early stage students’ clarity of thinking will improve as their minds develop.

The workshop complements any of the morning subjects on the New Perspectives course, helping improve students’ writing skills for a broad spectrum of subjects.

Although essay styles and best practices vary around the world, the skills that the students will learn in these workshops will be generic: they will be the skills that lead to thoughtful, clear writing that is a pleasure for the reader to follow. Therefore the differing academic environment of individual countries will not matter for our learners on this workshop: the necessity to be clear, accurate and controlled in English will be our and their goal.

Nevertheless, the young learner will be given a taste of different styles of writing so that they are aware of how language can change depending on the type of writing that is being attempted. So there will be contrastive analysis on differing types of writing: a blog, an article, a creative story, a report and an essay. Students will be given the chance to write using these different styles.

For the younger learner, the workshop is based on ‘having a go’ – that is, trying out the skills learnt. The learners will be encouraged to enjoy each other’s attempts at writing, to listen to each other attentively and to respect the good work achieved as well as the errors made: errors which are of great value in learning.
Only helpful feedback from learner to learner will be of interest. Students will provide positive feedback to one another at all times – in other words, feedback that can help make a positive improvement to their peers’ learning.

The tutor will lead this workshop. The tutor will direct the learning at the beginning of each session, encourage ideas from learners and then the tutor will further direct the practice involved to achieve each outcome. The learners will be invited to become fully involved in any discussion and activities and to use their own individual school learning environments, as well as their morning classes, to fully inform each workshop. In this way individuals will build on their own current learning rather than learn something ‘foreign’. The aim is therefore that the children return to their own schools armed with skills that they can put into immediate use.

Further skills worked on will be:

  • Handwriting legibility
  • Sentence structure
  • Spotting errors
  • Proofreading

While this course is targeted at students with minimal or no experience of writing essays in English, a minimum level of English is required. Students should speak and write English at CEFR level C1 (equivalents to IELTS 6.5-7.0) or above. If any student is unsure about their English level for this course, they can request an English test to assess their suitability for this course. Students with English below level C1 are recommended to take our Oxford Summer English for ages 13-15 course, which is suitable for students at CEFR level B2 and above.