I have already written about my project of Blogging with my students.

I keep thinking about the different ways of giving feedback to them.  I have been asked by some colleagues: „Do you correct what they write?” or more directly: „How do you correct them?”

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Well, correcting written pieces is an ever-green topic for every teacher – tiring, time consuming and very often having no use. Students look at the corrections, nod, put away the essay, letter or whatever it was and never think about it again. When they write the next piece they will probably make the same mistakes. Not very encouraging for me as a teacher! Why do I correct anything then?

I myself prefer using a technique that I learned a couple of years ago from a colleague: just marking the fact of a mistake and letting my students figure out the right version of what I underline. I strongly believe that self-correction through self-discovery will eventually lead to good essays, letters or even blog posts.

On the other hand one might question what the purpose of written communication is. If the message goes through, what’s the use of dealing with every grammar mistake?

One more point: doesn’t correction simply destroy the joy of communication? It certainly does – and it is true about written and oral communication as well.

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So, I have decided not to correct my students’ mistakes in the blogposts. Yes, I have to admit: it is sometimes painful… Then I just cannot resist and send a private message to them asking them to at least re-read the post or requesting peer-correction. It happened twice in 8 weeks. But I do not want to destroy that joy of communicating and self-expression.

And I am happy to announce: it works! One of the groups: the Four Illegal Immigrants have started posting for fun! The compulsory number of posts was one per week – but this last weekend produced 3 posts for them together with comments, because they just could not wait! J And the language level is quite all right I think!

What more can a teacher expect?

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