ERIC Number: ED200995
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Controlled Compositions: More Practice for Students, Less Grading for Instructors.
Gordon, Helen Heightsman
Controlled compositions are a partial answer to the challenge faced by basic skills teachers of giving their students enough writing practice without increasing their own grading load. This method is especially suitable for academically underprepared students, English-as-a-second language students, highly apprehensive students, students who hate grammar, and those who cannot think of anything to write. With this method, students copy well-written short compositions, changing each one in some meaningful way. They learn punctuation in context, and they develop fluency, continuity, and proofreading skills. In grading, the teacher simply circles each error, and the student must figure out what is wrong. Any response that makes sense should be acceptable. Grading may also be done by tutors or aides with a simple answer key, leaving the teacher free to help more with original writing. Students in a pilot course using controlled compositions in combination with free writing increased their fluency by 17%, and reduced their mechanical errors by 43%. A matched group studying traditional sentence stucture did not increase fluency at all and reduced their errors by only 15%. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Controlled Compositions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western College Reading Association (14th, Dallas, TX, April 9-12, 1981).