How to Support ESL Learners’ Writing by Using Mentor Texts


To write effectively is a crucial but challenging skill from which everyone could benefit (Kane, 2012). In this article, I report on action research where I utilized mentor texts and mini-lessons to teach writing to an English as a Second Language (ESL) learner who was experiencing writing anxiety because of his dislike of academic writing rules and the lack of the ability to write coherently. In order to minimize his writing anxiety and enhance his writing skills, I planned three phases for action and implemented the first two phase action plans. The findings suggest that through the use of mentor texts, ESL learners can better appreciate the beauty of coherence in mentor texts and are willing to write creatively but with strong coherence by imitating the structure, craft, and style in the mentor texts. Furthermore, mentor texts should be carefully chosen to meet ESL students’ interests and needs. Last but not least, the writing intervention could start from the sentence level and then move to the paragraph level.

Author Information
Wangmei Zhou, University of San Diego, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Zhou W. (2023) How to Support ESL Learners’ Writing by Using Mentor Texts ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon