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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Corrections: I m sooooooooooo fed up ...     

Corrections: I m sooooooooooo fed up ...


Corrections: I m sooooooooooo fed up ...
I have spent my Christmas holidays marking papers, about 60 of them, two big piles. I spent about 80 minutes on average on every single test in the first pile and about 40 minutes on every one in the second pile (lower class, only 90 minutes test time).
I give my students elaborate individual feedback on a feedback sheet that I add to the test. I also write long texts unter their tests. I point out their mistakes, tell them what to revise, show them their weaknesses and give them ideas on how to revise grammar and how to improve their fluency
Looking throught the exercise books with their tests I notice that often I write the same things under every single test a particular student writes.

- don t quote from the text
- don t switch from past to present
- mind your tenses
- if-clauses !!!
- leave some time for correction at the end, I m sure you could have found some of your mistakes
- no commas before relative clauses
- don t state your opinion unless it is asked for
- use the present perfect with ever, never, always etc
- you baldy need to revise if-clauses
- people are not only characterized through what others say about them!!
- you ve missed half the content of the text
- study the author s language more closely, look out for stylistic devices
- read between the lines
- link your sentences and ideas, don t write "shopping list - style"  texts!
- etc etc.

Same student, same remarks, every time ...

These piles of papers really ruined my holidays - which happens every year at Christmas.
I feel I spend much more time and energy on feedback and individual help than my students spend on making use of it. They just can t be bothered.

I m so tired, I m so fed up ...
sometimes everything seems so futile ...

6 Jan 2011      


Yeah, I know what you re talking about!

6 Jan 2011     


I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I think I ll just type the text in my pc, print it on sticky printable paper and use as stickers because I feel so stupid writing the same stuff all over again... Once I actually wrote to astudent: just check my notes from last time because there is nothing new on your horizon yet!

6 Jan 2011     


yes, I sometimes do that, too
How unfair that they spend LESS time on my comments than I do!

6 Jan 2011     

class centre

Yes, it is not a pleasant way to correct the papers. I do something absolutely opposite. After the test ( it can be another day) I give out the keys to the sts. They analize what s different in their works, next they are to find the answer why and explain it to me, or if they can not understand why - they ask me to explain it to them. It is more individual than class work. But
it makes sense. The mistakes will be different. Why does the whole class have to listen to others problems solutions? The only sign of the sts thinking process is their asking questions. Then and only then it makes sense to explain something to them.
Our state school teachers also correct the papers, write instructions, give explanation etc etc etc. But my question is - what is the st doing at this moment?
If you could try to use keys and organise the work around it, it may change the whole learning atmosphere...
Good luck!    

6 Jan 2011     


Yeah, I know. How about scanning their tasks and showing them enlarged without your notes to everyone to correct? If that s possible. Sometimes making it public finally makes them realize their mistakes and do sth about it!

6 Jan 2011     

Mariethe House

Have a look at this Eldeberry:the end in particular!!Wink

What a good idea to start the topic. I scratched my head ,trying to find solutions during most of my career... I wish you d asked the question before !LOL 

6 Jan 2011     


My students are very young but the frustration is the same.
After lessons and lessons about the same topic, conversations-games-listening-watching videos-written exercises-they make the same mistakes over and over and when I remind them we have just practised all that stuff, they say: "Aaah, it s true!"
What s wrong with my teaching? Unhappy

6 Jan 2011     


I sometimes use part of a lesson I ususally name "errare humanum est..." and I select the most recurrent mistakes that I may write on the board /paper/overheadprojector...whatever comes my way ...and ask the class either as a whole or in groups to correct them (spelling, grammar ,punctuaction, bad handwriting ...) BUT they have to explain the rule behind their explanation. Sometimes they can t even recognize their own recurrent mistakes. In the end it becomes profitable because they are thinking about meaning,structure and grammar while explaining their point, in English if possible.... 
Have a nice and Merry year if possible. Be Brave...

6 Jan 2011     


I know exactly what you are talking about. What I usually do with my students is the following thing : I correct their essays  and then I ask them to rewrite the essay correctly so that I don t lose my time when I correct the copies the first time.
Then I read them a second time after they have been rewritten without mistakes, otherwise I can spend hours correcting their essays and they don t even look at their mistakes.
Then I type a page with a wrong sentence from each student and I give it to the class and they have to correct the sentences. Most of the time they like this activity.
I ask them to use their check-list when they write, too.
Good luck ! 

6 Jan 2011     


I have spent ages writing on the papers what was wrong, so as to make for them easier to understand and correct the mistakes, then I noticed that, most of the times, they just cared about the marks, they didn t even looked at my explanations, so I gave up...
Now I just put the marks and then I give remedial work for then to do at home or at school

6 Jan 2011     

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