Learning how to organize an essay is surely the most challenging consideration for all students. Therefore, a great deal of time and effort needs to be made by the teacher through organised instruction, guidance and by giving students the opportunity to see the model in practice. If we start by using models such as SPRE, we can hope to instil, in the students, the need for an organisational framework before they begin to write the essay.
Examples of SPRE can be seen everywhere that students are familiar with. This helps to show how it can be useful, as students are then able to see it in practice; thus making it viable for students to consider it as a model they'd like to learn.
Examples of this would be:
Situation: 16th century Verona: Two teenagers meet and fall in love.
Problem: Both families of the teenagers are feuding, and forbid the relationship.
Response: The star-crossed lovers decide to elope.
Evaluation: The young couple come a cropper, and the families are left distraught.
Young love can bring heartache to everyone involved.
Situation: Oya is a new student at school and a beginner of English in the Prep. class.
Problem: Every lesson is in English and it is very daunting not being able to fully
understand what she is being asked to do. Oya is not happy at her new school.
Response: Oya works very hard by doing extra work at home, asking for help from her teacher and continuously practising the new language she is learning with her peers.
Evaluation: By the end of the first semester Oya has caught up with her class mates
and is enjoying the English lessons. She has become very successful.
Situation: Young people tend to prefer junk fast-food.
Problem: It is causing a huge amount of obesity around the world.
Response: Governments are holding food manufactures accountable for the food they
produce, and providing literature to schools for better education on what young people should eat if they want to remain healthy.
Evaluation: The rates of obesity are being reduced in those countries that are
making the effort to enforce laws to restrict food manufacturers, making information available on what is healthy and what is not; with the result, more young people are eating better and healthier food.
Admittedly, the organizational descriptors above need expanding, and within each one development is also required. However, as a starting point for getting students accustomed to organizing their ideas better it really is affective and effective. I would urge you to think of this last example which relates to the ICT-ELT paradigm as a final S.P.R.E. model of ideas for you to leave the post with:
Situation: Information and Communication Technologies are available for teachers to help support and develop their more traditional teaching styles.
Problem: It is causing a huge amount of concern for teachers as they are fearful of change and they are in need of PD if it is going to be useful.
Response: Schools and teacher trainers are providing extensive pd-support, information and the opportunities to try out the new wave of technology and methodologies in their classrooms.
Evaluation: ICT-in-ELT will no longer cause teachers to fear technology as they begin to realise the huge benefits it can bring to their teaching. ICT-ELT is here to stay and the sooner teachers ADOPT it and ADAPT it to their teaching, the better opportunities it will give them to find more effective ways of engaging students.
I couldn't resist adding my feelings of ICT-ELT into the post. I do hope you can see, though, how the SPRE model of organization is a a valid consideration, and one method from which the students can benefit when it comes to their writing.