Giving feedback to a writig task

(A student’s sample)

Topic: Write about your future plans

First, this is a very interested (WF) topic. Everybody have (WF) a lot of plans and dreams in this age, of course a lot of good plans. But the life nowadays (WW) is more difficult because poor (WF) it ([ ]) is everywhere, in every home economic situation is part of every person even and ([ ])children are worried about this difficult life. I want to say that if we have a lot of plans maybe we cannot arrive (NA) all, if we don’t have money how can we do what we want so it depend (WF) on the conditions, economic conditions. Anyway I will write my plans or to say better (WW) my dreams.

First, before I finish secondary school I want to be succesful (S) in the last (NA) exam called Matura Exam because if I am not succesful (S) in that exam I cannot study what I like. After I finish the exam I would like to go to university for an actor this my dreams. (PM) If I have success in my studyes (WF) and if I finish how I like (NA) then I want to make movies and to be a well known actor. Then the second dream is to meet some actors which (NA) are my favorite like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Van Dame etc., and to make a movie with one from their (PM). And an (WF) very important thing is that I want to make a lot of money to help my family because for the moment we are living in conditions very bad (WW) and also I (WW) want to help poor people. This is why I want to have money.

At the end I can say that if I become an actor and if I earn a lot of money this will help me to travel the World which is my next dream, to see how people live, study and work, to seen (WF) the best parts of the World which I see only on TV, for example I want to visit the pyramids of Egypt, The Victory of the USA, the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Great Wall in China and many others (S) things and places I want to visit if I have a good health and sure if I have money.

Correction symbols and their meaning

Symbol      Meaning

    S             Incorrect spelling

   WW       Wrong word order

    Wf          Wrong form

     [ ]           Something is not necessary

     NA        The usage is not appropriate

     PM         The meaning is not clear

Scoring Rubric

This is a sample rubric I usually use to give feedback to a student’s writing task.

Content

The essay should be relevant and should correspond to the given task. Ideas should be clear and meaningful. Try to be as creative as possible.

Maximum score – 20 points

Organization Information

You should include the three parts of organizing an essay: introduction, development (body), and conclusion. In the first part you are supposed to give some basic ideas about your plans, in the second part you are required to write a brief summary about your future plans, and in the third part try to summarize the essay. It is the last paragraph that summarize your thoughts.

Maximum score – 25 points

Grammatical Structures

Use appropriate and meaningful grammatical structures, pay attention to word ordering within the sentences, be careful when using verbs, adjectives, articles, singular and plural forms. Try to avoid mistakes.

Maximum score – 25 points

Vocabulary

Use appropriate lexis in the suitable sentences.

Maximum score – 20 points

Spelling and Punctuation

Be careful in the form of the words and as well as in the punctuation since the wrong spelling and punctuation may lose the meaning of the context. You should use periods, commas, quotation marks, capital letters and spelling correctly in order not to interfere to understand the meaning.

Maximum score – 10 points

My rubric comments

In the following is the rubric I used to evaluate the student’s paper.

Content

Your writing task content is more or less relevant since you changed your plans into dreams, it looks like something unrealized or impossible to achieve. Anyway it is a good summary. Your ideas are clear and there are elements of creativity in your writing, as you show you want to be a famous actor and you want to visit beautiful places.

Maximum score – 15 points

Organization Information

Generally speaking, your essay has the three parts that should be included, it has the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. In the first part you have made a good introduction related to the topic, in the second part you have summarized your thoughts in a good way with a few mistakes but a clear meaning, and in the last part your conclusion is good but it should be better if you had linked this paragraph with the introduction.

Maximum score – 20 points

Grammatical structures

Your grammatical structures are simple and there are enough mistakes, most of them are in the form of the words, such as the word study. It is taught that if the verb ends in a consonant + y, the y changes to i when we add s such as study-studies, otherwise it is said that if the verb ends in a vowel + y, the y does not change like play-plays, and so on. So try to remember the rules because you need them. I expect from you less mistakes in this case and more complex structures.

Maximum score – 20 points

Vocabulary

Your vocabulary is not enough enlarged as it should be but you can express your thoughts in a simple language. Sometimes you use inappropriate words in the sentences such as arrive instead of using realize. In this case you have used a kind of generalization of L1.

Maximum score – 15 points

Spelling and Punctuation

Your punctuation is good but you are a little bit careless in spelling. You should be more careful in order to be successful next time.

Maximum score – 8 points

total score – 78

Giving feedback is good and important not only for students but for teachers as well because by comments he/she somehow justifies his/her grade, the teacher evaluates the students’ work by the comments he/she does. It is a very right evaluation and very valuable.

However, I go back for a while to my recent student’s paper and explain something about why did I use those correction symbols? Why are they important? Why did I choose analytic scoring to evaluate this student’s writing? Why is it important? Why is it useful? I used them because it seems more simple for the students, to underline and write the correction code next to the wrong word or sentence, it is easier for them to find out their mistakes. It is important because when they see their mistakes they ask for the right word which I tell them and I write on the board, too. In this way they will use their brain hemisphere to record this word and if they repeat it two or three times I am sure they will not forget it, of course if they are serious in learning the language.

I think all the categories I used in the rubric are important in writing. Regarding the ‘content’, for example is necessarily to mention in an writing task, without content how can I find out and explain whether the student is dealing with the topic or if he is out of it. I related the ‘organization of the topic’ with the ‘information’ because it is important for the students to have some more general knowledge and good orientation of organizing information which they can link to the topic, like my student who had opportunity to share his thoughts about some actors and well-known places of the World. Then ‘grammatical structures’ and ‘vocabulary’, they are both very important in learning a language, they cannot be separated, there is no grammar without vocabulary and there is no vocabulary without grammar, each single word has grammar, so I could not divide them in my rubric. I find both of them very important, they both have to do with accuracy and fluency, but I pay much more attention to accuracy because there are rules to be learned and regarding fluency they can improve and enrich their vocabulary by everyday speaking. And the last category I used in this rubric is ‘spelling and punctuation’. If the students make a lot of mistakes in spelling and if they do not seek for improvement, it may become a habit to them, to make mistakes, this is why I used spelling, it helps them to avoid mistakes in the next assignment. Punctuation is also very important and necessarily to use correctly. Wrong punctuation may lose the context meaning, or may interfere to understand the text. I always ask my students punctuation, some of them often forget to use commas or periods in a sentence.

Generally speaking, ‘Analytic rubric provides more useful information about students’ writing abilities’ since each required category in a given task should be evaluated separately and each requires specific comments which are very important for the students, of course if they give positive comments they can influence students’ motivation for future improvement, it is very motivating if teachers use praise, too. Otherwise teacher written feedback may have disadvantages, too, especially for weaker students whose writings probably have nothing appropriate or required by the teacher so in this case a real teacher feedback provides negative comments which cause dissatisfaction to the students.

Anyway, giving feedback is important for some reasons: students may avoid mistakes, they are given opportunity to learn any new words while teacher’s feedback, it helps students improve grammar and organization of the text, they become aware about their gaps and try to fullfil those gaps, in a word it helps them improve the language.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.