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Grades 6-12 Writing Contest


ITBE 6-12 Writing Contest 2020-2021

Writing is an enduring form of expression and communication.  The ITBE Writing Competition is an opportunity for your students to inform us about various aspects of their culture.  As you plan your curriculum for the upcoming school year, provide opportunities for your ELLs to write about their personal bicultural and bilingual experience in the United States.  

At the beginning of the school year, advise your students of the contest. Read the rules with your class.  As your students are exposed to different types of writing in class, encourage them to practice what they have learned by writing an essay for the writing competition.  While teachers may not edit their students’ writings for the contest, it is acceptable to brainstorm with them in terms of their “life events” which might make an interesting essay.   Help your students choose the correct style for their story—narrative, descriptive, expository, or persuasive.  Use the ITBE 6-12 Writing Contest as the proverbial “carrot” that keeps your students interested in writing. 

 

Winning students will receive certificates and prizes.  Teachers will receive certificates.

Categories for the Students

Category A:  Grades 6-8
First place   $100
Second pace  $75
Third place   $50

 
Category B:  Grades 9-12
First place   $100
Second pace  $75
Third place   $50


Eligibility:

Contestant must be a full-time student in grades 6-12 in the state of Illinois, a non-native speaker of English, enrolled in a TBE/TPI program, and the sponsoring teacher must be a current member of Illinois TESOL/BE. Students in grades 6-8 will compete for first, second and third place. Students in grades 9-12 will compete for first, second and third place.  

Topic:

The ITBE Writing Competition is an opportunity to inform the audience of an aspect of your culture as it relates to your life in the United States. Your writing should reflect your own personal bicultural and bilingual experience. Your writing should not be simply facts about holidays, customs, or routines in your country; but instead, your writing should be about an experience from your life in your native country or an experience in the United States. You may choose one of the following types of writing:

  • Narrative Writing:   Write a short story about an event in your life that taught you something important. Give plenty of details that make the story interesting for the reader.
  • Descriptive Writing:  Write a description of something or someone special in your life.  Use words to describe the smells, sights, and sounds that will give the reader a clear picture.
  • Expository Writing:  Write about a cultural aspect of your life in your native country that you think Americans would like to know about.  Explain the cultural aspect as it relates to your life experiences.
  • Persuasive Writing:  Write about an issue or a cause within your native country or in the United States that relates to you.  State your position and provide facts, opinions, and reasons to support your position.
Conditions:
  • Failure to abide by any of these rules and conditions will result in the disqualification of the student’s essay from the competition.
  • Each student may submit only one entry.
  • All essays become the property of Illinois TESOL/BE.
  • All essays must be the ORIGINAL MATERIAL OF THE AUTHOR.
  • The essays must be based on prior knowledge.  This is not a research essay.
  • Teachers may not edit the student’s writing.
  • Students are not to use computer editing (grammar check) except for spell check.
IF A STUDENT HAS PLAGIARIZED ANY PART OF THE ESSAY, IT WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION.
Form:
  • Essays are to be:
  • 500 – 1000 words (2 -3 typed pages)
  • Font 12 New Roman
  • Double spaced
Entries must be submitted with a complete cover sheet (click here to view cover sheet template), which must include the student’s name, home country, name of the sponsoring teacher, name of the school, school address, and school phone number. 
THERE SHOULD BE NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ON ANY PAGES OF THE ESSAY. THIS INCLUDES ANY MENTION OF THE CONTESTANT’S NAME OR SCHOOL.

Judging:
  • Entries will be judged based upon content, organization, vocabulary, language use and mechanics. Criteria for judging will be creativity, writing style, and adherence to form, rules, forms and condition.
DEADLINE-ALL ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN
January 15, 2021
 
Mail all entries to:
Lila Birchfield
9N971 Muirhead Lane
Elgin, Illinois 60124

 lbirchfield@itbe.org
ALL SPONSORING TEACHERS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE RESULTS OF THE TWENTIETH ILLINOIS TESOL/BE WRITING CONTEST