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  • 1. To advance to the next screen, click the left mouse button. To pause or go forward or back or to a specific slide, click the right mouse button, then click Go , and then Slide Navigator . CURRICULUM TRAINING MODULE #6 Mark Feder Director Curriculum and Training
  • 2. #2 Training Module #8 In this module, we will consider the problem of providing feedback for written work. Imagine that you assign your RW4 class to write a 5-paragraph essay expressing and supporting an opinion and receive the following first draft. Providing helpful feedback to aid learning is one of the most important tasks and difficult challenges facing the language teacher. Since students learn from their mistakes, correction is obviously necessary, but when and how to provide feedback is a matter requiring much consideration. If language learning were a purely cognitive task, we could correct an error and expect that the same error would never be made again. However, we all know from experience that that is not the case.
  • 3. #3 Training Module #8
          • Colorado is a good place to vacation
      • What are tourists looking for when they want to go in vacation? Tourists in everywhere
      • are looking for beatiful places, which has sceneries, nice weather and historical places, also they
      • are looking for safety places. In the USA, there are many staties which have these advantages,
      • and Colorado one of these states. Every year
      • thousands of people visit Colorado, and they come from everywhere in this world,
      • because it has a beautiful weather, historical places and safety. 
      • To start with, the weather in Colorado is very nice. In summer it is worm
      • and sunny. The tempreture is between 50-80f. This weather helps tourists to have
      • a good time if they want to go to parks or to visit the mountains. On the other hand,
      • in winter, it is very cold and there is heavy snow, because Colorado has famous places
      • for skiing, such as Aspin.
      •   Second, for the history lovers, Colorado has great places which will intrest
      • them very much. For example, there is Colorado natural history meusum which has
      • many beatiful images for dinasours and others for the stone age live and many other things. Another one
      • is the Denver art meseume; tourists can see many pictures and image for artists from all over the world
      • like the western art, asian, eastern and many other
      • kinds.
      •   Third, the safety in Colorado is much better than the other states in the United
      • States. For that reason there are alot of things that you can do in Colorado. For example,
      • tourists can enjoy walking in the down town anytime even during the night. In addition to
      • that, the rate of crimes against the tourists here is very few, so you will feel the safety in
      • Colorado in everytime and in everywhere.
      •   In conclusion, now Colorado is very famous state, because it has many
      • advantages help it like, a nice weather, historical places and the safety. So now every
      • tourist like Colorado to go to vacation in it, and I advise all people to visit Colorado,
      • because they will enjoy and have a good time, and they can do many things.
  • 4. #4 Training Module #8 Well, that’s not very good writing for an RW4 student, so you might just put a grade on it and return it to the student.
  • 5. #5 Training Module #8 Perhaps it would be good to add a word of encouragement. After all, the student worked on the assignment and turned it in. Good effort!
  • 6. #6 Training Module #8 Well, maybe the student could use a little more help in seeing the problems in his writing – some clues about what needs to be fixed. Maybe something like this . . . Good effort!
  • 7. #7 Training Module #8 The student might still have some trouble figuring out what’s wrong with all the items marked. A sheet of editing symbols can help. SYMBOL MEANING PROBLEM EXAMPLE art article article is missing or misused I have the big headache. cap capitalization upper/lower case misuse they Came to the u. s. in june.  delete something should be removed The coffee it is on the table. frag fragment not a complete sentence Many other people, too. ^ insert something is missing I couldn't find notebook. ni non-idiomatic expression is not natural It was happy for me to see you. # number singular/plural mistake He drank three can of soda. // parallelism lack of parallel structure She like to read, dance and skating. prep preposition missing or misused preposition I talked to my friend in the telephone . pron pronoun wrong form of pronoun This is between him and I. punc punctuation punctuation or format error Did they drive; fly or go by train. ro run-on sentences are "illegally" joined I woke up, I got dressed. sp spelling word is misspelled He thaught the mony was his. s/v s-v agreement subject and verb don't agree His brother like to study English. ? unclear writer's meaning is not clear I tried as possible I could the window. v voice error in active/passive usage The book finished reading yesterday . vf verb form wrong tense or aspect of verb Yesterday we go to Denver. wc word choice wrong word for this context She said a funny story to them. wf word form wrong part of speech My host family is very kindness. ~ word order words should be transposed It was a movie wonderful.
  • 8. #8 Training Module #8 If we apply the symbols to this essay, it might look something like this . . . Good effort!
  • 9. #9 Training Module #8
    • It looks messy and confusing and the student may feel discouraged about seeing his paper all marked up.
    • It also seems negative to point out all these mistakes and not give credit for anything. There must be something here that’s OK!
    • Mechanical mistakes are identified but not higher-order problems. The student might think he only has to fix these errors and he’ll have a good paper, and that’s not true.
    • Even if the student corrects all these errors, what are the chances that he will learn something that will carry over to the next thing he writes?
    • The teacher is probably doing more work than the student, and the student needs to do the work in order to learn.
    There are some problems with this feedback:
  • 10. #10 Training Module #8 Maybe it would be better not to mark every error but try to prioritize – find the serious problems that the student needs to deal with first. He should attend to just a few important elements rather than a hodgepodge of elements of varying degrees of seriousness. If he is more focused, there’s a better chance that he’ll learn from the process rather than being preoccupied by this particular product . After he shows improvement in the first few areas, he can work on others. So it would be better to analyze the writing and see what he really needs . It would also be good to find some things to compliment him about so that this exercise is a positive and enjoyable experience , not a negative one. There must be a better way.
  • 11. #11 Training Module #8 Before analyzing the essay, let’s check the curriculum to see what abilities students should have now and what they should be able to do by the end of the term. Profile of Typical Student at Start of Level 4:   On entering level 4, students are able to:      write essays showing satisfactory accuracy, structure, and support     satisfactorily edit and revise written work     read authentic texts on a variety of topics intended for native English speakers    use a word processor with a fair amount of facility     Focus of Class:   In writing, the emphasis is on content and rhetorical style. Making logical connections between ideas and constructing more academically oriented essays on special topics is stressed. Students learn how to cite references and avoid plagiarism. Students are introduced to techniques of conducting research using library resources and the internet. In reading, emphasis is on analytical and critical thinking skills, comprehension of authentic texts and applying comprehension skills to longer reading passages. Students learn how to read a text critically and recognize inferences.    Benchmarks of Completion of Level 4:   To complete level 4, students must:      demonstrate an ability to read prose on the level of a typical newspaper article      demonstrate an ability to distinguish main idea and supporting details       demonstrate an ability to paraphrase information without plagiarizing      demonstrate an ability to summarize an article from Time or Newsweek      write a well-organized, well-supported multi-paragraph essay in class      successfully complete all inventories required for the level
  • 12. #12 Training Module #8   First, let’s consider the Profile:  Write essays showing satisfactory accuracy, structure, and support Well, the student really lacks proficiency here! He’ll need to work hard just to achieve the proficiency he should already have. Satisfactorily edit and revise written work It’s too early to tell about this. We’ll see how he does in the next phase of this assignment. One thing, he should have checked his essay more carefully before turning it in. Use a word processor with a fair amount of facility He did use a computer to write and print this essay, but he has some important things to learn. He certainly isn’t using the spell-check!
  • 13. #13 Training Module #8 Then, the Benchmarks:      Demonstrate an ability to distinguish main idea and supporting details The essay shows some ability to do this. One good thing in the essay is that the student identified 3 elements to support his idea that Colorado is a good vacation place and provided specific details for each element. Demonstrate an ability to paraphrase information without plagiarizing Well, no outside sources were used here so this can’t be checked yet. But the student could use outside sources to support his opinion. This would give him some practice in researching as well as paraphrasing and source citation. Demonstrate an ability to summarize an article from Time or Newsweek Also not part of the assignment, but it can be. The student could be asked to find, read, and summarize an article about Colorado as a vacation venue to go along with this assignment. Write a well-organized, well-supported multi-paragraph essay in class The organization and support are not terrible. The poor mechanics and lack of sophistication and cogency in expressing ideas are the biggest problems. The writing is too formulaic and too simple.
  • 14. #14 Training Module #8 This student has a problem with spelling. On top of that, he didn’t use the computer to fix his spelling errors. How can I help? First, I’ll make sure he knows how to use the spell check. For everything he writes for me this term – essays, summaries, journal entries – he must use spell-check. But I don’t just want him to fix his errors. I want him to copy all his misspelled words onto a list and give me the list every week. I will pick out the words that he really needs to know and test him on his own individual words every week. We can kill two birds with one stone. We will improve his spelling by focusing on the words he has misspelled and we will also assure that every piece of work he hands in has no spell-check detectable errors. Zero tolerance for these type of errors from now on. So, instead of me identifying his spelling errors, he’ll have to identify his own – and then work on them. That’s what I want – the student doing the work, not the teacher! Since the spelling problem can be dealt with through computer work, it might be useful to look at another computer-related area. The printed format of the page was strange and a look at the floppy disk that the student turned in might shed some light on his computer skills.
  • 15. #15 Training Module #8 The paragraph marks visible here show that the student uses the computer keyboard like a typewriter, hitting Return at the end of lines. This wastes keystrokes and is responsible for the strange formatting of the page. When the student goes back to his file to revise the essay, these formatting errors will cause more problems. It will be worth the investment for this student to learn and practice basic computing skills such as formatting and using spell-check. He may be making other mistakes, such as not saving his work regularly.
  • 16. #16 Training Module #8 There are lots of grammar problems, but is it helpful to point them all out at once? Will the student be able to comprehend and work on all the problems? It might be better to concentrate on one or two areas, say : 1. the difference between simple and progressive verb forms – there are three problems in the first paragraph. 2. word forms – the phrase “safety places” is disturbing. Is he clear about the difference between nouns and adjectives? I can assign some drills in these two grammar areas and tell him to be extra careful about them in his speaking and writing. I’ll also pay careful attention to his usage in these areas throughout the term. As soon as he appears to be OK on these points, we can focus on two or three others.
  • 17. #17 Training Module #8 I can present some statements such as the man is angry , the homework was hard , the party was fun , and ask him to create verbal pictures about each one. We can do this in oral and written form and perhaps create some games around this concept. A more serious and hard-to-deal-with problem is the simplicity of the content and language. Ideas are not developed enough. More description, elaboration and explanation are needed. I would like more detail and support about the scenery and universities. I need to get him to fill out his paragraphs, to put some meat on the bare bones of his statements.
  • 18. #18 Training Module #8 I’d like the feedback on the paper itself should be positive and provide as much encouragement as possible. It should also outline the areas of concentration. Maybe I’ll mark the paper like this . . . OK, now I have ideas about how to help the student with his problem areas, but I still need to provide feedback on this essay. There is too much to explain via comments on the paper, so I’ll conference with the student to make sure that everything important is communicated.
  • 19. #19 Training Module #8
  • 20. #20 Training Module #8
    • Your first paragraph does a good job of telling the reader what your essay is about and how it is organized. You have a solid understanding of the elements of a 5-paragraph essay and present your ideas in a very organized way. I would like to speak to you about the areas you need to work on this term to improve your writing skills. These are the main things we’ll talk about:
    • Filling out your paragraphs with more description and explanation and making the transitions smooth
    • Grammar and spelling accuracy (some of the errors are marked on your paper but there are others that aren’t marked)
    • Using the computer more efficiently
    • Your grade on this first draft is C-. You will be able to improve the grade by working on the areas we discuss. Good effort on this draft. I look forward to seeing great improvement in your writing this term!
  • 21. #21 Training Module #8
    • diagnosing and prioritizing the student’s writing problems;
    • making the student aware of his problems and offering strategies for correcting them;
    • encouraging the student by recognizing his strengths instead of disheartening him by focusing only on his errors – after all, if he hates writing, he is not likely to work on it and improve his skills.
    Providing this feedback in this way will help me focus on: I may use a different feedback method for a different student, or a different draft or a different point in the semester. It’s important to remember that one size does not fit all in the learning process.