Yes, copying is not ideal as a strategy but there might be times especially for beginner EAL learners where copying might have its place.
Copy correctly is one of those strategies that can be used to support beginner EAL writers.
Give learners two sentences, one which is correct and one that is not. Learners have to consider which sentence they need to copy correctly.
The sentences given should always be related to the content which your learners are studying.
In the example below, learners had been studying cells in science and they had to then write sentence describing the different types of cells. Learners had to choose between the two sentences and then copy the correct one. As you can see from the example below, the focus was on language development (subject / verb agreement). In the initial stages of language development it might be better to focus copy correctly on language rather than content knowledge.
- Nerve cells have connections at the end.
- Nerve cells has connections at the end.
The correct sentence to copy is sentence 1. Learners can complete these tasks and then they could self assess if they have copied the sentences correctly.
Copy correctly can be used with EAL learners that are new to English / beginning to learn.