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Re: Re: error correction

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  • djn@dennisnewson.de
    Diarmuid, Wendy, When my life was dominated by correction (of essays written by German university students) I found, whatever research claimed to
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 1, 2004
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      Diarmuid, Wendy,

      When my life was dominated by correction (of 'essays' written by German university
      students) I found, whatever research claimed to demonstrate:

      1. Students wanted (needed?) demanded the psychological reassurance of having
      their scripts fully annotated by Father/Mother Marker.
      2. I found that selectivecorrection procedures that are recommended: "This week I'll be
      concentrating on prepositions" didn't function for the students, or for me. (Neither did
      the writing and improving of drafts. We weren't in to that sort of writing).
      3. The systemacity of the procedure (structure/framework/scaffolding) that evolved
      helped me and the students.

      //Several footnotes necessary, including.(1) There were different kinds of writing -
      Speed Writing: "Write for 5 minutes on..." Assignments were based on preparatory
      reading/discussion (done in class).(2)"Essay" as a term abandoned and replaced by
      "Writing in English". (3) As we are always reminding each other, so much depends on
      the political, social and educational systems within which we work. "This is how I did it"
      is an acceptable statement. "This is how to do it" isn't.//

      4. I categorized errors (L for lexis, Prep, T for tense and so on)...and wrote in the
      correction myself. I also wrote comments as I read "Did he REALLY?") and a general
      comment at the end - making it as genuine as possible: ("Frankly, I would have hated
      the holiday you describe...")

      5. I produced a worksheet called "Matters arising" which was a selection of errors made
      that I decided might be useful to discuss in class.

      Somehow this heavy-handed approach worked. One student wrote: "I've so enjoyed this
      course. It was like writing a long letter to a good friend each week."

      Did all the marking improve anyone's accuracy? I rather doubt it. What was improved
      was the students' confidence to have a go at writing what they wanted to say in a
      foreign language.


      Dennis
    • Diarmuid Fogarty
      ... wrote Somehow this heavy-handed approach worked. One student wrote: I ve so enjoyed this course. It was like writing a long letter to a good friend each
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 1, 2004
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        >>> djn@... 01/11/2004 13:15:15 >>>

        wrote

        Somehow this heavy-handed approach worked. One student wrote: "I've so
        enjoyed this
        course. It was like writing a long letter to a good friend each week."

        Did all the marking improve anyone's accuracy? I rather doubt it. What
        was improved
        was the students' confidence to have a go at writing what they wanted
        to say in a
        foreign language.


        This would appear to be in keeping with the research which would appear
        to suggest that your response to the content of the essays resulted in
        an improvement in the fluency of students' writing. As for the rest of
        it, Truscott et al. would seem to be suggesting that you were wasting
        your time.

        Diarmuid


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      • djn@dennisnewson.de
        Diarmuid, In research terms my own feeling is that Truscott et al are right i.e. that I wasted an awful lot of time doing all that correction. I had to do it,
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 1, 2004
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          Diarmuid,

          In research terms my own feeling is that Truscott et al are right i.e. that I wasted an
          awful lot of time doing all that correction. I had to do it, though - this is how I saw it - to
          retain the students' confidence. The 64,000 dollar question is how can you convince
          learners - let alone parents, educational authorities etc. - that detailed error correction
          produces no improvement? The feeling that the written language produced by learners
          requires detailed correction goes deep.

          Dennis
        • Diarmuid Fogarty
          A question that might be worth another $64000 is why so many teachers also seem to believe that detailed feedback on errors made in writing is also likely to
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 1, 2004
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            A question that might be worth another $64000 is why so many teachers
            also seem to believe that detailed feedback on errors made in writing is
            also likely to prove fruitful, even when those teachers are very much
            aware that the same strategy employed in correcting spoken English would
            be pointless. Does it have something to do with the concept that the
            written form is more permanent and therefore it is easier to spot errors
            and correct them? Is this the same assumption that dogme makes when we
            stress the need to capture language as text for examination? Or is it
            that we feel that the written form is purer and less tolerant of errors?
            Why can somebody get a good mark in a spoken English exam, but fare so
            badly in writing? Is there no room for communicative competence in
            writing exams?

            Lots of questions, and no answers. I'll be interested to read what
            people have to say.

            Diarmuid



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          • pannazosia@op.pl
            in my experience students demand/ask for/ long for corrections in the (mistaken in most cases) assumption that teacher s red-crayon comments (or green or
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 19, 2007
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              in my experience students demand/ask for/ long for corrections in the (mistaken in most cases) assumption that teacher's red-crayon comments (or green or purple or whichever hue...) act as a kind of a guarantee for speedier language acquisition. But I conducted several studies (semi-rigid methodology, 4 groups, a proper Solomon plan of pre-test and post-test matrix... so passably respectable data was obtained) and found out that actually they read and strive to around 32 percent of teacher's corrections (that was an average) while with peer corrections the numebr was 57% so much higher. but as for processing the error for actual improvement it was low in both categories (8 and 11 prcent respectively).
              After this research I made a deal whereas if a student wants me to correct s/he then must present his/her work/essay/recording... fully corrected. so that it is not only my work expected but theirs as well. general enthusiasm for teacher correction fell off noticeably as a result...
              sapientis verbum!
              Zosia
            • Dennis Newson
              Zosia, Hello again. Your results and experience match my own. My belief is that the most important strategy for dealing with the student hunger for correction,
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 19, 2007
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                Zosia,

                Hello again.

                Your results and experience match my own. My belief is that the most
                important strategy for dealing with the student hunger for correction,
                especially of written work, is to explore with them effective ways of
                improving their English (in our context). I'm personally convinced that
                teacher correct will not emerge high on the list. "Please correct my work,
                teacher" actually means something like: "Please, teacher, reassure me that
                you are prepared to help me." They aren't teachers, and correction is all
                they have heard of. Show them other ways.

                Dennis


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              • pannazosia@op.pl
                U¿ytkownik Dennis Newson napisa³: Please correct my work, ... welcome Dennis, you ve just hit the nail on its head (ouch, poor nails.
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 20, 2007
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                  U�ytkownik Dennis Newson <djn@...> napisa�:
                  "Please correct my work,
                  >teacher" actually means something like: "Please, teacher, reassure me that
                  >you are prepared to help me."

                  welcome Dennis,
                  you've just hit the nail on its head (ouch, poor nails. I often have nightmares about being one...)

                  students are looking to us for reassurance and support and this is one of the ways. show us that you do not neglect... that you actually read instead of just underlining...
                  plus: even if students make an honest decision to follow corrections, it is sometimes difficult (lack of know-how in that area). Teacher's responsibility is to make sure that students know HOW to work on improving skills or un-learning mistakes so they can then profit from our corrections if they so decide!
                  and by the way - I still follow the list, only having concentrated on psychology made time scarce. but am still with you!

                  Zosia



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