Thank you for making use of the ESL
Writing Online Workshop (ESL-WOW). ESL-WOW is an innovative writing
program designed for community college students and adult learners.
It offers free 24/7 support to all non-native
speakers of English while complementing existing traditional programs
and the larger undergraduate curriculum. We hope you find ESL-WOW
helpful as a supplementary tool for both traditional and online classroom
instruction. You can learn more about ESL-WOW in the “About
inside ESL-WOW, you will have the option of accessing one
of the four interlocking interactive modules (Figure 1) that
encourage students to progress through each stage of the
pre-writing, while-writing, and post-writing processes.
(index) for the 4 main modules
Figure 1. The Four Modules of ESL-WOW listed in
the left navigation menu
Or, under Other
Resources (Figure 2), you can read more about
ESL-WOW. watch the video about ESL-WOW, see the objectives under
“What You Will Learn,” get detailed information
under “How to Use ESL-Wow, view the Avoiding
Plagiarism tutorial, or see additional helpful resources
to guide and assist your teaching under “External Resources.”
Figure 2. Other resources listed in the left navigation
accessed through the interactive menus. The buttons on the
left present information in the form of modules, topics and
sub-topics. Each of these primary buttons represents a module.
Buttons under each module represent topics (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Topics for each module are listed in
the left navigation when the module listings are clicked.
level is active when its label is blue (Figure 4). To get to
additional information, click on the topics under each module.
Figure 4. The active left navigation is highlighted
Next and Previous buttons (Figure 5) allow you to move back
and forth between the last screen and the next screen.
Figure 5. The "Previous" and "Next" buttons
To achieve the
most from the ESL Writing Online Workshop, it is important
that the program be experienced on computer systems which meet or exceed the recommended minimum system
requirements. In order to view the segments, it is necessary
that you have Adobe’s Flash plug-in version 9.0 or greater
installed in your web browser.
Figure 6. Recommended minimum system requirements
to use ESL-WOW
While some OWLs provide links to grammar
and basic writing resources, none offers an integrated suite of services
targeted to academic and workforce writing skills. ESL-WOW is an
online multimedia program designed to guide non-native speakers of
English through each stage of the pre-writing, while-writing, and
post-writing processes: 1) Getting Ready to Write, 2) Developing
Your Ideas, 3) Revising Your Work, and 4) Editing and Polishing.
ESL WOW will help your students focus
on distinct areas of the writing process. As a result of using this
site, your students will learn how to do the following:
- Develop a thesis
- Use linear logic
- Find resources for their work
- Judge the value of information
- Develop an outline
- Take notes
- Cite information
- Avoid plagiarism
- Revise their text
- Edit and polish their paper
ESL WOW and Instruction
ESL WOW is a useful addition to almost
any traditional or online class that deals with teaching writing
elements or addressing plagiarism issues with non-native speakers
of English. Students will have the option of participating in interactive
learning modules as well as listening to audio files and narrated
presentations on critical parts of the writing process in simple,
accessible captioned English. At the prompting of the instructor,
the students will be led through embedded videos and online instructional
content through scenarios that guide them in constructing needed
knowledge and building useful schemas as they work through modules
that address the different challenges of written English. In this
section, we provide you with the objectives of each module, a description
of each module, and some sample classroom activities and scenarios
for various types of classes that instruct non-native speakers of
of the Modules:
Ready to Write
Developing Your Ideas
Students will understand and utilize
effective strategies for developing their ideas through the following:
- Reading and taking notes
- Using others’ ideas
Revising Your Work
Editing and Polishing
- In the tutorial, "Avoiding Plagiarism," students
will learn the following:
- What plagiarism
- How to recognize
7 different kinds of plagiarism
- The correct
way to use 'open access' materials
- The consequences
- How to avoid
plagiarism by doing the following:
- citing sources
- recognizing 'common knowledge'
- writing good paraphrases
- writing good summaries
- taking careful notes
of ESL-WOW Modules
Ready to Write
This module is divided into three sections: Generating
Ideas, Developing a Thesis, and Mapping Your Ideas. Students
will be introduced to the prewriting aspect of the writing process.
Some activities covered include taking notes in class, getting
the most out of assigned readings, consulting with peers, developing
a thesis and composing an outline.
This module is divided into three sections: Read
and Take Notes, Using Others’ Ideas, and Compose. Students
will learn how to take their writing beyond the prewriting aspect
by getting their ideas down on paper; incorporating the work of
other writers through summary, paraphrase, and direct quotes; becoming
aware of what constitutes plagiarism and how they can avoid it;
outlining and organizing their information; and composing a first
This module is divided into four sections: Importance
of Revision, Read Out Loud, Glossing, and Using a Checklist. Students
will learn the value of an often-overlooked step in the writing
process by focusing on useful revision strategies and the use of
a revision checklist.
This module is divided into five sections: Automated
Writing, Spelling and Grammar, Punctuation, Personal Editing Guide, and Format. Students
will be able to learn about the convenience of Automated Writing
Evaluation (AWE) tools with a link to both free resources and resources
they can pay for to help them in this area. Students will also
learn how to make good decisions with regard to punctuation and
grammar issues and develop a personal editing guide to help them
in future writing endeavors. Lastly, students are introduced to
the importance of formatting such as APA style and MLA style.
This is a thorough tutorial on plagiarism
that focuses on a clear definition of plagiarism, the possible consequences
of plagiarism, how to avoid plagiarism, a quiz on plagiarism, and
additional resources to help give students a clear, comprehensive
picture of this subject.
Classroom Activities for ESL-WOW
- A student submits
a paper in your American English Usage course with obvious plagiarism
issues. As part of the rewrite of the paper, you require the student
to complete and take notes on the Avoiding Plagiarism module.
- After explaining
your expectations for the small research essay due in two weeks,
you refer the student to the model essay repository under External
every student in your remedial composition course needs assistance
with thesis statement construction. You refer them to the Developing
a Thesis section under the Getting Ready to Write module.
- You notice that
many of the “final draft” essays that you receive
in an intermediate ESL writing course are more like rough drafts.
In class, you have the students view the Importance of Revision video
under the Revising Your Work module.
- Your institution
is considering adding an Automated Writing Evaluation tool to
its ESL composition and first-year writing courses. When you
look under Editing
and Polishing, you will find information under Automated Writing to
assist your school with making this decision.
- After viewing
the Avoiding Plagiarism module, you assign the students
a reaction paragraph or essay on the topic of plagiarism to encourage
more in-class dialogue on this complex topic.
- You assign students
the task of creating their own Grammar Journal based on the tutorial
found under Editing and Polishing under the Personal Editing
- Before you take
a trip to the library to allow students time to find a source
for a research project they will do in your class, you first
take time to review the concepts of citations, paraphrasing,
and summarizing in the Developing Your Ideas section.
part of an online Moodle lecture in your post that stresses the
importance of proofreading and editing, you include a link to
the tutorial on Editing
and Polishing in the ESL WOW modules.
are trying to stress study skills in an online first-year writing
course that contains mostly international students. As an example,
you could have them view the Read and Take Notes section
Ideas. The video could be part of a weekly discussion thread.
- In the dropbox where students will submit a final paper, you stress
the importance of the revision process in the Revising Your
- Direct your
ESL writers to the Read Out Loud section as one last measure
of revising before submitting the final product.
- The animation
that features the Revision Checklist under Revising
Your Work is a fitting way to add instruction, voice, and
interaction to an online course.
- For one of your
essays in an online class, students must submit an outline for
approval before the essay is due. You could send them to the Mapping
Your Ideas section under the Getting Ready to Write module.
There, they can get information on outlines and gain practice
with an ordering activity.
- As a quick reference
to MLA and APA, you can refer students to the External Resources section
for assistance with various research projects that are due in
the online dropbox throughout the semester.
- After completing
a rough draft of a process essay, students can take transition
words they are using in this essay and add them to their Grammar
Journal that they are able to create in the Editing and Polishing module.
You can create a discussion board forum where they post their
Grammar Journals for classmates to view.
- Use the Spelling
and Grammar section under Editing and Polishing as
a springboard for an online discussion that has students finding
misspelled words on signs or elsewhere online. Students will
learn the importance of precise spelling in professional communication.
Questions? Comments? Please email email@example.com with
any questions you may have about the project or with feedback regarding
The contents of the ESL-WOW website were developed
under a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary
Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education. However, these
contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department
of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal