The Internet TESL Journal

Integrating Writing with Reading

Yang Shuying
Dalian Naval Academy (Dalian, China)
ysy [at]


Reading and writing have been considered two different language skills that should be studied separately. As a result, many college students in China find it hard to put their thoughts into English. The process genre approach can be successfully applied to integrate writing into the reading class. In this approach, besides linguistic knowledge, the writing genre, the schematic structure, and the writing skills of the in-class reading materials are also stressed. The writing skills are in turn utilized in guided writing, from outline writing, drafting, to revising. The purpose of such a teaching process is to achieve multilevel understanding of the reading materials and a sound basis for the writing of different genres.


To demand students' active participation, a lesson using the process genre approach can be divided into the following phases: understanding specific information, in-class collective writing and after-class writing practice.

Understanding of the Reading Materials

In-class Collective Writing

After-class Writing Practice

Students should write an article using the writing skills and the specific diction achieved. The teacher must read every piece of writing very carefully; select the best ones and the ones with typical errors to use as examples for further comments.


The following is an example of writing analysis of the writing of refutation, and a paragraph of writing finished in class.

Paragraph One

Some people say that college should be a time for relaxing and fun. [present the wrong idea] But in my opinion, college is a time for studying [Show one's own attitude]. In the future, we will work in the society. If we don't have enough knowledge and ability, we will lag behind [illustration 1]. Our lives are limited, but study is unlimited. The fact that we entered college does not mean we have mastered all knowledge [illustration 2]. So we must study hard. We must read, write, think and do a lot of things to get (us) ready for our future lives. [conclusion]

Paragraph Two

Some people say [Somebody says, later 'them' is used, therefore, the subject should be plural] the time at college is to relax and have fun [Present the opposite idea]. I disagree with them [Show one's own attitude]. First, I think we must face the society. If we want to get a good job, we must study hard [Illustration 1]. Second, we must define our goals. We must cherish our time, spend the time on studying, and not waste time to make girlfriends or boyfriends. And we also have to face examinations [illustration 2]. Third, the study in college is crucial to building a positive attitude towards life [illustration 3]. If we (you the person used should be relevant) relax and have fun, we(you ibid)'ll have no motivation and our future will not bright.

The Requirements of the Teacher

1. The Ability to Organize Communicative Activities

The genre process approach is a quite demanding approach, in which a two-way communicational learning environment is critical. The teacher must use heuristic teaching style. Only through deductive teaching can students acquire the ability to evaluate and analyze the reading material as well as the ability to read for general information.

2. Very Sound Basic Linguistic Skills

Besides the linguistic knowledge, grammar rules, and cultural background information generally required for teachers of other approaches, teachers must also master the schematic structure of the relevant genre of the text, and be competent to use the relevant writing skills.

3. An Ability to Deal with the Unexpected in Class

This quality is essential to perform in-class collective reading, since it is quite unpredictable. Even though the main idea of the passage is unchanged, different class will come up with different paragraphs. The teacher must be able to adjust unsuitable linguistic phenomenon, observe coherence and conformity in writing, stimulate creative and logic thinking, and grasp the students attention in class.


The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VIII, No. 1, January 2002