The Product Approach
There are several ways to approach writing in the classroom. One of these ways is the Product Approach which is a traditional approach to teaching writing in which students are encouraged to mimic a model text, which is usually presented and analysed at an early stage.
Some of the benefist and characteristics of this approach is that:
- Difficulties in writing are minimized since students start writing from a very controlled basis.
- Model texts are imitated.
- The organization of ideas are more important that the ideas themselves.
- A lot of emphasis is placed on the end product
Step to Apply the Product Approach to Writing
There are four main steps in applying the product approach to writing.
- Students read a model text. Then they analyze the text by looking at the features, such as organization of ideas, use of language, etc.
- Students do controlled activities to practice the features highlighted in the analysis of the model text.
- Students prepare to imitate the model text by organizing a pre-determined set of ideas to fit the model
- Students do the writing task by using the skills, structures and vocabulary they have practiced to produce the expected written product.
Strenghts and Weakness of the Product Approach to Writing
- It is easy to use with large classes.
- It is really useful when teaching beginners.
- It is easier to grade because this approach mainly focuses on form.
- Diffculties and errors aere usually minimized since this is based on imitation.
- Students know how the end results looks like.
- This approach doesn’t teach students to write independently.
- It discourages creativity since this approach relies heavily on the imitation of model text.
- It devalues the learner’s linguistic and personal potential.