Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(11), pp. 1667-1675  November 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper


Impacts of new teaching methods to promote self-expressive writing for elementary school students: A case study on the impacts of before-writing activities 

Ji Won Lee

Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, KOREA Seocho-4-dong 1685-3, Acrovista #A-1505, Seoul, South Korea. E-mail:; Tel. 82-2-594-0418.

Received 17 October, 2011; Accepted 04 November, 2011


Writing education in elementary schools in Korea tends to emphasize the use of literary devices and figurative languages, while depriving children of the chance to freely express themselves. As a solution to this problem, this study presents ‘self-expressive writing,’ a form of writing that aims at expressing oneself focusing on the experiences and thoughts within one’s life. As a volunteer at Sae-soop Children’s Center, located in an underprivileged town in Seoul, I taught sixteen elementary students how to write poems and short essays, resulting in 174 pieces of work. This study compares the student writings from the first and second period with those from the third period, the only period that focused on self-expressive writing. During the third period, I implemented five classroom activities—redefining a ‘good’ writing, reading peers’ writings, ‘new experience,’ ‘re-experiencing,’ and ‘unraveling thoughtsÂ’— before students began writing. The last three activities were creatively designed to help students vividly remember their past experiences or elicit innermost thoughts. The result shows that before applying these activities as in the first and second period, writings were limited in topics, lacked completeness, and contained vague expressions. In comparison, the student writings during the third period were much more candid, unique, and specific. This study contains detailed analysis of the effects of these five before-writing activities.


Keywords: Self-expressive writing, elementary school, writing education, before-writing activity, free expression, classroom activities.

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