Communicating writing tasks effectively: Assignment sheets as pedagogical tools

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Cynthia Quinn, Kobe University



The assignment stage of the writing process requires teachers to define the task and clarify expectations to students in concise, comprehensible terms to ensure that learners can write with direction and confidence. To help teachers achieve this goal, this article recommends the use of assignment sheets to enhance teacher-student communication and shows how these documents can be used in class for a variety of pedagogical purposes. Beyond the basic aim of clarifying task requirements, the author shows how they can be used as a heuristic for teachers, as a reference tool for students, as a means to advance learners’ composition metalanguage, and as a resource to bridge the gap between teacher and student expectations.