Feedback from Students With Regards to ESL College Writing

By Published On: April 7th, 2016

This is a follow up to our previous article on College Writing Requirements and ESL.

Student interpretations of and answers to teacher corrections, grading and the rewording of text were often found to be related. Answers contained aggravation, animosity, conformity and noncompliance.

Those that were participating found that the kinds of responses that were described in the prior article suggested whether the educator “enjoyed” the paper. Bozena believed these kinds of answers were hypocritical and inefficient in enhancing her writing: “I get “Very Good,” but an A- for one punctuation error and I believe it is not excellent.”

Betsy and Bozena decided their writing class and certain science class teacher answers indicated they were chiefly interested in the topic of grammar, which was due in part to their past education at a school like ESL Newark. One educator required 1 or 2 specific structures to be right for a given duty. Only those constructions were ranked for that duty. Another educator defined “good grammar” as no repetition, exact terminology, the utilization of suitable examples, and sentences that were short and made perfect sense. Betsy was not as compliant with teacher requirements and less concerned with marks. Bozena counted her words and approved this, when teachers suggested brevity was demanded. She disregarded word limits and wanted to say everything when Betsy did not. Betsy felt teachers gave their requirements and corrections in a way that was very demeaning. She may have preferred a manual to follow as opposed to insistent reviews of mistakes.

If pupils duplicated educator corrections correctly the levels were raised. Those that participated mentioned that if they analyzed the corrections they might recall them, however it was not needed for completion of-the duty.

There have been instances when duplicating educator corrections ended up confusing the student, which is something most English classes in West Palm Beach would never do. Betsy would imagine where to add the instructor rewritten text when she didn’t understand the instructor’s meaning. The teacher wrote a question mark where Betsy had duplicated the corrections. The educator forgot she had created that text. Betsy’s positive approach toward corrections didn’t reduce the amount of errors she made. There could have been much less confusion if the teacher had asked a question that cleared everything up instead of having to rewrite the paper. The correction of surface construction errors was unsuccessful in encouraging participants’ writing skills.

In the end they expressed a desire to take part in a whole writing course based on peer reading, clarification questions, notion revisions and teacher/student seminars.

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