The idea of writing compositions can strike fear in the heart of any student. It’s a part of your total grade, your teacher will be reading it: oh no! The horror! But compositions are nothing to fear, and now we’re going to see why.
First of all, why are we asking you to write compositions? I thought this method was 100% based on speaking, you must be thinking. Well, it is mostly based on speaking; the Callan method teaches new vocabulary and grammar, and the student learns and practices it, all via speaking. It’s crucial for a student to be able to express their thoughts and ideas by speaking, and that’s why this method puts so much emphasis on it.
However, writing is also a fundamental part of learning. By making the student write compositions, we are asking you to demonstrate to us what you’ve learned so far. Remembering and recognizing the questions and answers in class is both productive and useful, but generating new ideas and forming your own original sentences is another thing altogether. We aren’t asking you to answer a specific question, and therefore, in a sense, there is no specific vocabulary or grammar to fall back on. If I ask you “what’s your favorite color?”, you already know in your head the parameters of the answer. However, when it comes to writing a composition, it’s a question of producing original material, which serves as a great test of what you, the student, can show you have learned.
But what do I write about? The writer’s block, it’s so crippling! (Writer’s block=the inability to think of something to write). Well, fortunately you are provided with a pair of topics to write about for each composition. Choose one, and let the guidelines get your creative mind working.
So when it comes to compositions, don’t stress; the teachers don’t expect to be handed an essay that sounds like Hemingway. Everybody has a voice, and your voice is the only one we’re interested in hearing when we pick up your composition and read it.