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May 23, 2002

Written English Needs More Preparation

In a recent Daily Yomiuri article, ELT News contributor Curtis Kelly spoke about the need for Japanese students to learn basic English writing structures. "Even if (the students) know English grammar and words very well, they cannot write good English. They have to learn how to organize their writing," said the Heian Jogakuin University professor. He insisted that students should be taught the same principles of essay writing that native students learn, such as a topic sentence for each paragraph and transition words. He also spoke of the essential difference in writing style between English and East Asian languages. While the former is more direct, the latter tend to be more discursive and don't get to the main point until later in the essay.

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