Teaching writing: harder than ABC

babyoncomputer.jpgLast week the Education Review Office found that 59 per cent of New Zealand teachers do not teach writing effectively in all the areas they should. ERO's latest national evaluation report — on the quality of teaching writing to pupils in years 4 and 8 — surveyed teachers at 159 state schools last year.

It's not just teachers who need consistent on-the-job training. Everyone who writes for work needs it too. The definition of good writing stays the same, but changes in technology mean fine-tuning is required.

Can't find a document on the company document management system or shared hard drive? Can't understand an intranet page? Found five versions of the same information online?

Could be a technology problem. But it's just as likely to be a writing problem. If all staff writers were trained to follow four simple rules, these types of problems might just disappear.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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