27 SES 07 B, The Teaching of Writing
In Kazakh schools, writing, as an important communicative activity, has been an essential part of English teaching in all grades. Students’ access to the teacher’s feedback and utilizing it successfully compose a principal feature of the learning of writing. In writing classes, where the teacher written feedback is not a typical process, upgrading sufficient writing proficiency may be out of question. Both of them, teachers and students have admitted the decisive value of the teacher written feedback and correction codes, where the teaching of writing is process-oriented, not product-oriented. It aims to assist them during the step by step learning-to-write process by facilitating their revisions (Harmer, 2004; Peterson, 2010). In such cases, having aimed to assist students to improve their writing skills, teachers strive to use adequate methods to respond efficiently. Until now, the research results are different, indecisive, even contrasting, and in L2 writing, (Leki, 1990). Even though the research results lead to some misleading questions about the usefulness and effectiveness of teacher written feedback ( Cohen and Robbins, 1976; Truscott, 1996), there are the others highlighting the positive impact of correction on learners’ proficiency. Therefore, nobody can reject the fact that students want feedback and teachers are ready to provide it. The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of the teacher written feedback and coded correction system in general, what types of feedback are efficient for struggling and more able students and how the students benefit from it achieving writing proficiency in EFL classes. The current study with 21 students in the second term of intellectual school proves that they prefer teacher written feedback and correction codes more as the instructor shows the error directly and indirectly using a certain code.
Statement of the problem
At the end of the first term after having summative exam’s results, there was conducted Mock exam for IGCSE, in order to check the 10 grades students’ preparation for it. Grade 10 students writing skills showed, lower level than the teachers expected. Facing poor results in Mock exams for IGCSE especially in writing, teachers of English department have been researching hard, to provide strategies how to improve teaching and learning.
What could they learn from such researches? How should they do their research for improvement? Who knows the answer? The classroom teachers have been confusing in a puzzle about what they really have to do. David Brian, an international teacher, who does co-teaching in a senior grades, recently conducted workshop on this issue. He explained the strategies of teacher written feedback briefly. After that workshop teachers gain better understanding how to improve teaching and learning, that would lead to students’ advancement.
The curriculum guides states that the writing skill level which Kazakh upper secondary school students should achieve in A syllabus English should reach is B1+ or B2. These levels imply that students, for example, can write clear and detailed texts about several topics; can write more formal social messages. Unfortunately, only 3 students out of 21 were able to obtain this level.
Questions for research. 1. What types of teacher written feedback and correction codes are more effective? Direct or Indirect feedback? 2. Does giving error correction help to improve student’s writing? The course was divided into two periods: teacher gave students teaching material in English during the first hour, the following period students had to write a composition related to the topic presented by the during the first hour using the vocabulary learned and grammatical points ). According to the study, these instruments were used in it: 1. Pre questionnaire 2. Writing tasks (writing for and against essay, problem solution essay and a report). All corrected by the instructor. 3. Post questionnaire. A pre and post questionnaires were used to collect data about students’ feelings and perceptions. The answers were anonymous in order to have them honest. The curriculum for English in Kazakhstan states that teachers must avoid providing editing comments without paying attention to organizational and content issues. It guides not to correct all the mistakes in learner’s writing, as total correction is time consuming for the teacher and discouraging for learners, particularly when the learners see their paper full of red ink. It notes that it is important while assessing learner’s composition instructors do not just indicate its weaknesses but its strengths, teachers should offer positive support by praising what learners have done well in their draft. The teacher followed this instruction in her feedback and assessment. Ferris (2003) found students preferred indirect coded feedback over direct feedback, while Lee’s (2008) study favored direct feedback, Bitchener (2012) has posited that since "learners at a lower level of proficiency .. may not have such an extensive or deeply processed linguistic knowledge base to draw upon" (p. 355), direct feedback is likely to be of more benefit to them. Some of the students did explicitly mention, as Ferris et al predicted, that the indirect feedback reinforced their grammatical knowledge. Student7, for example, stated that she liked the coded feedback because it helped her to know more specifically which mistakes she made, so as to improve that aspect of the grammar." Similarly, learners with strong metacognitive knowledge of grammar are able to take advantage of indirect coded feedback as the prominent benefits of it is that requires a more active response from learners. Following Zamel’s suggestion, the instructor focused on the meaning of the writing task during theirst draft.
During the first and second composition writing process the learners papers were full of red ink as they were struggling not only in the form focused structure but they had a huge problem in syntax, content and organization. Most of the students struggled in putting their ideas into necessary parts, they repeatedly forgot to write topic sentences for each paragraph, chose the specific words which were not appropriate, couldn’t give samples in a logical order. After redrafting the teacher noticed their writing became better. The teacher realized that it is time to start form focused correcting. Considering the learners aspiration, the teacher used the direct corrective feedback on 4 students and indirect feedback with error codes on 17 students who has A, B and C levels. The data analyses of the writings revealed that learners mostly increased their content as the difference between the scores of them was 8.4%. The majority of learners made less errors in spelling decreasing them to 4.3 %. The fundamental advancement was noticed in “word order” making their compositions easier to read and improving the content by 5.8%. The difference in grammar between first and second draft of the first composition was17.9%, in content 8.8, in organization was 4.8%, in communication 3.8%, and in vocabulary5.3%. The students corrected their grammar in the second writing making difference 21.5%, in content 7.6%, in organization 5.1%, in communication1.9% and in vocabulary3.9%. The significant change was made in the third composition, even though report writing was their first practice, they improved by 7.1%, in communication 2.8% and in vocabulary 5.4%. The written compositions proved that learners realized their mistakes, during process approach committed fewer errors. As a result of error treatment (past simple, definite and indefinite article, gerund and complex object, word order) they empowered their writing skills after research.
Ferris, D. (2006). Does error feedback help student writers? New evidence on the short- and long-term effects of written error correction. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.) Feedback in L2 writing: Contexts and issues, (pp. 81-104). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ferris, D., & Roberts, B. (2001). Error feedback in L2 writing classes: How explicit does it need to be? Journal of Second Language Writing, 10, 161–184. Ghandi, M., & Maghsoudi. (2014). The effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback on Iranian EFL learners´ spelling errors. English Language Teaching; Vol. 7, 53-61. doi:10.5539/elt.v7n8p53 Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The Power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112. doi: 10.3102/003465430298487 Truscott, J. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46, 327–369. https://thewritepractice.com/writing-feedback/
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