Stuart Mill English

How to Learn, How to Teach English

Post Writing Exercises

Post Writing Exercises

OK, so you’ve corrected the essays, now what? In many ways the hard part is over. You and your student have something to work with—a personalized tool to help the student improve. The goal now is to reinforce those corrections. Here are some ways you might do that.

Rewrite For the next class, ask the student to rewrite their essay.

Rewrite (No Looking) For the class after that, ask the student to rewrite their essay without looking at the first one.

Sharing is Good Rather than peer editing, how about peer bragging? Partner up the students and tell them to choose a couple sentences from their essays that were difficult for them to write, explain how they wrote them, and why they’re correct.

Peer Editing But let’s not forget this tried and true method. Give the students a rubric and that will help them correct each other’s essays.

Use Those Mistakes Choose three key mistakes in the essay. Now, give a new topic and have them include sentences that practice the structures they had trouble with. Did they write “I have eaten there yesterday”? Tell them to include present perfect sentences in the next essay.

Use Those Corrections Again, target three key mistakes. Have students copy the corrected versions of those sentences. Then, give them a new topic, but tell them they need to use those same three sentences in the new essay. For instance, if they wrote “I have eaten there yesterday” and you corrected it to “I ate there yesterday”, their next essay should include the sentence “I ate there yesterday.”

Grammar Games Sites like manythings.org, perfect-english-grammar.com, and learnenglish.britishcouncil.org seemingly have practice exercises for everything. Do a bit of a web search and you’ll be able to direct your students to some sites where they can practice the stuff that troubled them in their essay.

Pair Students Up If a student makes an error with, say, the passive voice. Look for a student who wrote good passive voice sentences. Match them up and have them write an essay together. Students are often better at explaining things to each other than you are.

Straight Memorization Students rarely memorize full sentences, but they should. Full sentences are just as important to memorize as vocabulary. Highlight some of the corrected sentences from their essays and make them memorize them. Then, give them a quiz later.

August 20, 2010 - Posted by | Teaching Strategies | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] If a student spends two minutes with their essay, one correction or fifty won’t matter. Follow-up exercises are more important than anything […]

    Pingback by Thinking about Essays « Stuart Mill English | August 27, 2010 | Reply


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