Creative Writing for Students and Teachers
Alan Maley, Friday 15.30-16.30

I will first set out my views on the nature of creative writing, and its potential advantages both for students and for teachers. These include significant gains in most language skills areas (not only writing), a greater sensitivity to nuances of language use, enhanced motivation, growth of self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence, development of a discovery orientation to learning and increased awareness and observation.

We will then explore together a number of simple, practical techniques for stimulating the creation of original and interesting texts. Contrary to popular belief, creative writing is not ‘too difficult’ in a foreign language. Neither is it a matter of ‘letting it all hang out’. To the contrary, one of the great advantages of writing creatively is the need to work within constraints. Activities combining constraints and freedom of personal expression will be at the centre of this part of the workshop.

I will report on a small project in Asia, which has had a significant impact on the professional and personal development of teachers and has produced texts for use with Asian students. I will quote personal reflections from teachers involved in the project on the value it has had for their personal and professional development. If time allows, I will present samples of some of the work produced by the project participants.

Alan Maley worked as an English language specialist with the British council from 1962-1988, working in Jugoslavia, Ghana, Italy, France, China and India. From 1988-93 he was Director-General of the Bell Educational Trust in Cambridge. He joined the National University of Singapore as Senior Fellow in 1993 and stayed till 1998. from 1999-2004 he set up and directed the graduate programme in ELT at Assumption University, Bangkok. He is currently Visiting Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He travels widely especially in Asia, taking part in conferences and running training events for teachers. He has published over 30 books and numerous professional articles. From 1982-2009 he was Series Editor of the Oxford Resource Books for Teachers.