I focus on writing in all my classes. Depending on the level, I may focus on punctuation, forming paragraphs, or refining their ideas. I thought about using some books that discuss how to write a novel. At first, I thought I had a crazy idea, writing a novel is too hard for ESL students (and for many Americans). However, the more I thought about it, the basics that these books explore can be use to help students learn to write.
You can begin the class by introducing clustering. For example, you tell the class you want them to describe a person. Is the person a male or female? Old or young? What color are their eyes? Hair? Are they tall or short? Don’t write the answers on the board. Use a cluster.
Now, have your students write a paragraph or two about Mrs. Garcia. Throughout the semester they can write about Mrs. Garcia, her friends, and so on. They won’t have a novel by the end of the semester but they will have some interesting stories. They’ll also be better writers.