ERIC Number: ED228850
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Correcting Students' Free Writing--Help or Hindrance?
Semke, Harriet D.
An experiment with students in a first year college German course was carried out to study the value of free writing assignments and to discover a feasible and helpful correction method. Research in English composition methodology indicates that extensive teacher's corrective marks have a detrimental effect on a student's progress. Yet, foreign language methodologists have maintained that correction and student rewriting are necessary for progress. This experiment divided 141 students enrolled in eight sections into four groups. A weekly free-writing assignment in the form of a journal was treated in the four groups as follows: (1) no errors were marked, but the teacher made comments and asked questions on the content; (2) corrections were written in the traditional way; (3) errors were corrected and comments on the content were added; and (4) errors were marked by means of a code and corrected versions were required. All groups were given a 10-minute free-writing exercise and a cloze test as pre- and posttests. A covariance analysis of the results showed significant progress in the first group on the cloze test and in writing fluency, and no significant difference between the groups on the accuracy test. An attitude questionnaire revealed favorable attitudes from the first three groups. (AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (New York, NY, November 25-27, 1982).