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IN-SERVICE CERTIFCATE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING COMPONENT 1 - LANGUAGE FOR TEACHERS TASK 3- Focus on the learner's written language

Length: 750-1,000 WORDS Task outline You are required to identify and correct the errors in a sample of written work from two learners who are at different levels and provide appropriate feedback for the learners Guidelines 1. On one copy identify and correct all the errors (the corrected version)

2. Correct and annotate the other for the learner; include a brief summarizing comment written to the learner (the annotated version) 3. Write a brief rationale for the choices made in the annotated version explaining why some errors have been corrected and some not.

NOTE: 1. One of the samples must be written by a learner of at least intermediate level and be of around two hundred words n length 2. Before starting work on the assignment you should label the work, indicating learner level and age if appropriate. You should then make two copies of both samples 3. The rational should give justification for such areas as: the style of feedback (e.g. error code, full correction); any type of errors consistently left uncorrected; the style and content of the summarizing comment to the learner

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Page I. LANGUAGE ASSIGNMENT 3 Focus on the learners written language....3

II. BIBLIOGRAPHY.......6 III. APPENDIXES A. STUDENT 1. Corrected Version..7 B. STUDENT 1. Annotated Version..8 C. STUDENT 2. Corrected Version...9 D. STUDENT 2. Annotated Version.10 E. Correcting Code for Student 1.....11 F. Correcting Code for Student 2.....12 G. Rubric for Expository Writing....13

I. Language assignment 3 - Focus on the learners written language The aim of this essay is to identify mistakes, correct them and give feedback on written language to SS. Feedback, as Penny Ur states is information that is given to the learner about his or her performance of a learning task, usually with the objective of improving this performance (Ur, 2007: 242) Two pieces of writing made by two students will be used as samples for this purpose. The analysis of each piece of writing will have both a corrected and an annotated version. In the corrected version, an attempt to identify ALL the mistakes will be made whereas the annotated version will focus on some errors and deliberately ignore others according to a rationale for each case. A summarizing comment for each student is handwritten on the back of both annotated versions (See appendixes B and D). The first sample will be labeled as STUDENT 1 (See appendixes A and B). This was produced by an elementary female student (CEF A2) aged 15, who was asked to write a friendly letter to somebody who is important in her life. The second piece of writing will be referred to as STUDENT 2 (See appendixes C and D). It was produced by an upper-intermediate male student (CEF B2) aged 17, and the task was to express his opinions on the topic patriotism (e.g. What is patriotism? Do you think we need to be patriotic?). 1. Student 1. Elementary. Task: Friendly letter 1.1 Student 1. Corrected version. Errors list (See appendix A) 1.1.1 Use of present simple instead of present continuous (line 1) : * i write this letter. 1.1.2 Unnecessary use of a possessive (line 2): * because my TIEs teacher 1.1.3 Confusion between verbs say and tell (line 2): *i write this letter because my TIEs teacher said me. 1.1.4 Misspelled word (line 3): *im jocking 1.1.5 Personal pronoun I in lower case (lines 3,6,8,11, etc): * i write, * i think, * i hope, * i was, etc 1.1.6 Use of present simple instead of simple past (line 8): * before of made (before I made) this letter i think, and i think 1.1.7 Paragraph organization (line 8). A new paragraph should be started between *anyone that is really very important to me and *before of made this letter. 1.1.8 Confusion between noun and verb (line 9); *because in my live 1.1.9 Missing nouns. Incomplete ideas (lines 14 and 18) *i hope that this_____________for many years. *p.d. thank you for your _____________ 1.1.10 Missing direct object (line 15) * always that you need (me) i will be for you. 1.1.11 Incomplete complex sentence (line 4): *Do you want (me to) tell you.. 1.1.12 Confusion between adjective and noun and extra question mark (line 4): *tell you the true?? 1.1.13 Misplaced adverbs (line 5): *really the teacher*but also she 1.1.14 Incomplete sentence (line): *the teacher said (that to) me 1.1.15 Use of present instead of present perfect and missing grammar word to before listen (lines 11-12): *since i was born you always listen (to) me 1.1.16 Wrong choice of frequency adverb (line 15): *you know that always that (whenever) you need 1.1.17 Missing adverb (line 15): *i will be (there) for you

1.1.18 Confusion between make and do and wrong tense (line 13): *all the things that made (you have done) for me. 1.1.19 Wrong reference for a post note because of L1 interference and incomplete sentence (line 18) *pd: Thank you for you(your support?) 1.2 Student 1. Annotated version. Errors list (See appendix B) See 1.1.1 to 1.1.10 above referred 1.3 Rationale for the choices made in the annotated version 1.3.1 Style of feedback. Two different ways of feedback were used: responding and coding. Coding (See appendix E) was used on the students sheet to indicate the mistakes to be corrected and responding was used in the summarizing comment. Codes are useful because, as Scrivener says, they indicate where an error is and what type of error it is. However, they leave the learners to do some work in order to find the corrections for themselves (Scrivener, 2005: 203). On the other hand, responding gives a more personal feed back and can be helpful to motivate SS. According to Jeremy Harmer when we respond, we say how the text appears to us and how successful we think it has been- and, sometimes, how it could be improvedthe comments we offer need to appear helpful and not censorious (Harmer, 2004: 110) 1.3.2 Types of errors indicated. Being this student an elementary learner, her work contains several errors related to grammar, vocabulary and paragraph organization. However, as Scrivener states It often seems inappropriate to point out every error; it can be dispiriting to get back work with a large quantity of marks on it (Scrivener, 2005: 203) The mistakes in the annotated version are related to basic grammar and vocabulary knowledge as above indicated (see 1.2) and therefore must be corrected so the learner can progress to a further language level. 1.3.3 Type of errors consistently left uncorrected. At this stage, student 1 still needs a lot of practice in order to master the use of topics such as complex sentences, present perfect, choice and placement of adverbs, use of make and do, etc. These language problems will be overcome as the student gets more exposure to L2 and practice with it. Dealing with them at this early stage would be not only useless but also counterproductive. 1.3.4 Style and contents of the summarizing comment to the learner. The teachers comments should have a positive and motivating tone and should take into account the students sensitivity and maturity. Thus, the message should be friendly and encouraging but at the same time clear about to what is expected from the student. 2. Student 2 (upper-intermediate). Task: Composition on the topic: Patriotism 2.1 Student 2. Corrected version. Errors list (See appendix C) 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4 Overgeneralization (line 5): *We are very patriotic Missing pronoun it (line 6): *and one way to demonstrate (it) is the Wrong preposition (line 8): *..parties are celebrated by 2 or three weeks. Run on sentences and misspelled word (lines 9 and 13): *celebrated by 2 or three weeks, another way is

2.1.5 2.1.6 2.1.7 2.1.8 2.1.9 2.1.10 2.1.11

2.1.12 2.1.13 2.1.14

*each one has the way to demostrate it, many persons are very patriotic and Missing s in the third person of singular (line 10): *every Mexican sing the national anthem Sense of incompleteness when using a superlative (line 11): *is one of the most wonderful anthems(of the world) : Missing comma after opening a sentence with an adverb (line 12): *Naturally everyone is patriotic... Missing to before listen and wrong verb tense (lines 18 and 19): *when I went to another country and listen (to) our anthem and I almost cry (cried) Choppy sentences (line 17.See appendix G): *I am a patriotic (and) I feel it, because when.. Weak and confusing introduction. Missing supporting details (lines 1-4). See Appendix C Too imperative tone (lines 2 and 3): *a very important value that each Mexican has to feeland we have to feel very proud *each Mexican has to (should) feel because. Incomplete idea/ Missing words (lines 9 and 15): *another way (to express patriotism) is when *and others are (also) patriotic Need of a possessive adjective (lines 15 and 16): *..but they dont show this feeling (their feelings). Confusing conclusion from the introduction of two completely new ideas (lines 17-22). See appendix C

2.2 Student 2. Annotated version. Errors list (See appendix D)


See 2.1.1 to 2.1.9 above 2.3 Rationale for the choices made in the annotated version 2.3.1 Style of feedback. In agreement with Harmer The way we give feedback on writing will depend on the kind of writing task the students have undertaken, and the effect we wish to create (Harmer, 2004: 109). In this case, two different ways of feedback were used as in the previous sample (student1): responding and coding with the same rationale: providing with clear, useful, encouraging and effective feedback to the learner. Nevertheless, a more elaborate correcting code was used for this upper intermediate learner (See appendix F) who requires more detailed feed back. As Harmer points out: We might also consider having a two stage approach with simple and more complex codes for students at different levels (Cox and Eyre 1999) (Harmer, 2004: 112). Type of errors chosen to be corrected. Even though this is a more advanced student, over-correction still should be avoided. The focus was mainly on grammar errors that, at this stage, he is expected to have overcome (see 2.2 above). Some remarks on sentence fluency and paragraph organization that interfere with understanding (e.g. choppy sentence, missing full stops) were also pointed out, as well as basic aspects about style (e.g. overgeneralization)

2.3.2

2.3.3

Type of errors consistently left uncorrected. Aspects such as voice, sentence fluency and ideas (See appendix G) are also very important in writing, but will be dealt with in a different piece of writing to avoid confusing the student from excessive feedback. Besides, this will give the learner the opportunity to get more practice on grammar, which is clearly an area that needs more practice. Style and contents of the summarizing comment to the learner. The same criteria apply in this case: to give clear and friendly guidelines for improvement. However, it is important to point out, as Harmer states that the feedback process is only really finished once they (SS) have made these changes (Harmer, 2004: 112). In other words, this is a very important part of a continuous cycle that will be completed until the learner proves to have mastered the points above mentioned. Then the learner will be ready to go on to the next stage.

2.3.4

CONCLUSION This type of analysis has helped me to understand in a clearer and deeper way the different stages that a learner goes through in order to master writing in L2. Analyzing the errors from the learners perspective is a basic step to be able to offer them accurate and appropriate feed back. Finally, I am convinced that being aware of SS needs in this area and being sensible and sensitive when giving feed back will help me improve not only my teaching, but also and more important, my students learning. Word count (all references and quotations excluded): 1007 II BIBLIOGRAPHY 1) Harmer, J (2004) The practice of English language teaching. England: Longman 2) Scrivener, J (2005) Learning teaching. Oxford: Macmillan 3) Ur, Penny (2007) A course in Language Teaching. Practice and theory. UK: Cambridge University Press

III APENDICES A. B. C. D. E. F. G. STUDENT 1. CORRECTED VERSION STUDENT 1. ANNOTATED VERSION STUDENT 2. CORRECTED VERSION STUDENT 2. ANNOTATED VERSION CORRECTING CODE FOR STUDENT 1 CORRECTING CODE FOR STUDENT 2 RUBRIC FOR EXPOSITORY WRITING

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Dear Mago: I really enjoyed reading your first draft. You used some good expressions such as: in my life there are many important people, but you are very special for me. You also expressed interesting feelings in your work. I would like you to notice my language remarks which will help you improve your work in the future. Take a look at them and let me know if you have any questions before you write your final draft. Do not forget, for example, to capitalize the personal pronoun I and to use the past tense when you are talking about past events. Every time you write at home, remember to use your dictionary to look up the meaning or the spelling of some tricky words. This will help you a lotl!. Best regards, Mrs. Guzmn Dear Jordi: I enjoyed reading your first draft on patriotism. I noticed you have very strong feelings on the topic! In order to improve your work, I would like you to take a look at my language remarks . Take them into account for your final draft. In the second paragraph, for example, why dont you try some Mexicans or many Mexicans instead of we are very patriotic (maybe not everybody feels the same way) I also suggest you use periods to separate different ideas in a paragraph to make them more clear. Please have a look at the writing tips on the back of your text book (they are very useful!) and let me know about your questions. Im sure your final work will reflect all your effort! Best regards, Mrs. Guzmn