The process approach treats all writing as a creative act, which requires time and positive feedback to be done well. Process writing, the teacher moves away from being someone who sets students a writing topic and receives the finished product for correction without any intervention in the writing process itself.
White & Arndt in Henny (2005:13) say that focusing on language errors ‘improve neither grammatical accuracy nor writing fluency’ and they suggest instead that paying attention to what the students say will show and improvement in writing.
Research also shows that feedback is more useful between drafts, not when it is done at the end task of the task after students hand in their composition to be marked. Corrections written on compositions returned to the students after the process has finished seem to do little to improve student writing.
The teacher needs to move away from being a marker to a reader, responding to the content of students writing more than the form. Students should be encouraged to think about audience: who is the writing for? What does the reader need to know? Students also need to realize that what they put down on paper can be changed: things can deleted, added, restructured, reorganized, etc.
Later, White & Arndt in Henny (2005:14) suggest some ways of approaching process in writing. They can be broken down into three stages:
Teaching needs to stimulate students’ creativity, to get them to think of how approach a writing topic. In this stage, the most important things is the flow of ideas, and it is not always necessary that students actually produce much (if any) written work. If they do, then the teacher can contribute with advice on how to improve their initial ideas.
- Focusing ideas
During this stage, students write without much attention to the accuracy of their work or the organization. The most important feature is meaning. Here, the teacher (or other students) should concentrate on the content of the writing. Is it coherent? Is there anything missing? Anything extra?
- Evaluating, structuring and editing
Now the writing is adapted to a readership. Students should focus more on form and on producing a finished piece of work. The teacher can help them with error correction and advice concerning organization.