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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 5; Issue 5; September 03

Student Voices

Me as a Writer

Learner texts produced in writing workshops at Pilgrims, Canterbury, UK in July and August 2003

Katanyna writes:

I am a twenty nine year old beginner writer who is going to stay a beginner writer for the rest of her life. I presume the reason for this is that I never seem to be totally satisfied with my writing. Every single time I read my papers I feel like revising something; sometimes it is just a comma and sometimes a whole paragraph. I guess I would do the same with the above…..

I love writing but it is so “painful” if you feel embarrassed reading your own papers over and over again. I prefer writing in English on some subjects, such as my academic work, because I think in English about them. Or, perhaps, I am trying to deflect criticism and abdicate responsibility when I write in English, it's a foreign language for me, after all, isn't it?

My life is full of notes, as if I'm trying to record my memories in my notes, instead of (in) pictures and photographs , as other people do it. The problem , however, is that I am so busy making new notes that I rarely have time to go back to my old notes…..besides , I can't imagine how embarrassing this could be.

What can I do?

Anonymous writes:

I will tell you about my relationship to writing. First I really like writing shorts things as poems and emails. Yesterday morning I read an email of my family and I was very pleasant about it.

Today I got up 30 minutes before I used to do here just to write them. I would like learning to write in a creative way.

Heike writes:

To tell you bluntly: I am a very talkative woman, but after a heavy day full of talking, listening, interacting, I enjoy the moment when I switch on my computer and I start emailing to my best friend, my lover, members of my band. I enjoy it because I enjoy receiving letters too. I love the certain delay in this way of communicating. I love the idea that my friend laughs about a joke I wrote her, my lover smiles after having read Da ma'la nob ( I love you in Wolof) and I can just about imagine their facial expressions. I love hand-written letters too, but I tend to weigh the words more carefully then and emailing is so spontaneous- sometimes more creative even.

So I think writing is getting a little closer to oneself after having shared so many thoughts with people during the day.

Rositsa writes:

I like the chanses when I can expresss something in written way, but I am realy embarased to do this in English. I feel myself as a child, wich has to write something to adults- the spelling, the constructions- sometimes it seems imposible to success to write confident and correct in English in my limited life. I live to create interesting sentences in my mother tongue, to express myself in incommon way, I wish … it be in English anytime…..

One important aspect of a writing class is to ask the students to share with you what they feel their identity as a writer is in both L1 and L2. The above texts show people doing just that.

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