Sei sulla pagina 1di 4

TASK 3. FOCUS ON THE LEARNERS WRITTEN LANGUAGE. ICELT UNINORTE.

ALDEMAR JESUS TORRES COGOLLO



In this task I will identify and correct errors in two samples of written works from two
different students . One is a 10 grader in a Colombian public school . She is in a basic
level and can probably be classified as an A1. The other written work is from a student at
the Instituto Tecnologico de Soledad Atlantico. She is in the intermediate level ( level 6) .
Student 1
First student was asked to write a short message about bullying. She was supposed to be
suffering this bad practice at school and the she would communicate how she feels about it.
Student 2
Second student was asked to write the answer to two questions. What would you do If you
were somebody else? What would you do If you had a million dollar?
Rationale for Correction
I never thought that the color red could produce such a negative attitude towards writing
from a student. This reflection comes to my mind, because I used red without the intention
of hurting a student`s self-esteem. Creative writers are eager to show their creation without
paying attention to rules or grammar patterns. Blue or Green pencils are more neutral
colors and they definitely will help students to have a more positive reaction to teachers
feedback.
This student has a basic level (A1). This is a special class because it is part of a piloting
program. Students had to write a short letter where they assumed the position of a
hypothetical student who was a bullying victim. Students had to express how they feel,
what the problem was about and finish the text with a reflecting sentence.
TASK 3. FOCUS ON THE LEARNERS WRITTEN LANGUAGE. ICELT UNINORTE.
ALDEMAR JESUS TORRES COGOLLO

One of the written mistakes found was I am Laura, I am 14 old. This is a typical case
where something is missing. Students tend to forget some parts of a collocation . It has to
be corrected because she is a 10th grader and she must know what the correct expression is
because the missing word is used all the time when students refer to their age. But what
caught my attention is that the missing word is years which is a strange error because if
the writer uses transfer from L1 to L2, then that would not have to be the missing word,
maybe old , and of course in that case it would have been corrected .
She also made a mistake by writing I am new school. She wants to say that she is a new
student at school or in the school. It is another case of something missing. But in this case,
she misses a preposition and a rule related to . It is important to correct this kind of
mistakes because they prove the lack of understanding of certain basic patterns. However,
any possible reader might identify the real meaning of the utterance.
She continues her writing with my classmate of the new school dont like me. She tries
to express that her new classmates do not like her, but she uses the same words new school
. This is a typical mistake because students tend to write concepts and ideas that were
previously expressed.

They annoy me because my color of skin is black. In this utterance, we can identify he
students try to write an idea using their mother tongue as a guide. Obviously, this
expression can be understood for a native reader , but it reflects the excessive use of
translation . They rumored of me, they say Im ugly. Students change the tense of the
assignment. Suddenly, they start using the past. This is something normal at this stage of
TASK 3. FOCUS ON THE LEARNERS WRITTEN LANGUAGE. ICELT UNINORTE.
ALDEMAR JESUS TORRES COGOLLO

the learning process , students are not aware of the tense they use in a written task; they
tend to make a mix of them. Almost in the final part , the student tries to finish by writing
I don`t want to go to school , is a torture. First part of this sentence is correct, but in the
last part there is not subject. Students forget an English simple rule that says: subjects can
not be omitted. The correct is It is a torture.
The student writes I want study in other school . There are 3 mistakes here, one of them
has to do with the word other instead of another; and besides of that she misses the
preposition to after the verb want . I did not correct these two mistakes, because I
considered that even though the utterance is not grammatically correct, any English speaker
can understand what she meant.
The second written work belongs to an ITSA student. She had to write the answer to two
questions. Few errors were found on the first answer. She starts by writing If I were the
presidents , I would This is a basic error because she is in a 6 level course and this
grammar rule should be mastered by that time. That can be classified as a noun ending
error . Two possible correct sentences are: If I were the president or If I were a president .
Then , she writes which will have to be stored in different dustbins depending on what sort
of rubbish it is. There is an error at the end of the sentence, two subjects in a sentence (
rubbish it ). Later, she wants to express an idea about Colombia inequality with the
sentence: I would remove all social classes that distinguish between rich and poor . This
idea is not clear, what she wanted to say is that she would eliminate the social classification
used by the state.
TASK 3. FOCUS ON THE LEARNERS WRITTEN LANGUAGE. ICELT UNINORTE.
ALDEMAR JESUS TORRES COGOLLO

Finally, correcting students errors can be a time consuming activity for teacher and
students. Focusing in a particular pattern of errors is a good strategy; it can help to reduce
hour and hours of checking and students can be more aware of their mistakes and errors.
Word count: 992
Reference List
Harmer, J. 2001.The practice of English Language Teaching. Longman. Chapter 7, pages
110-112.
Harmer, J. 2004. How to teach writing. Longman.