How should teachers implement written feedback to Basic Writers?
What should the teacher do when providing Written Feedback to Basic Writers?
- Teachers need to view feedback from the perspective of each individual student. (Hattie and Timperley 101).
- Provide feedback at the correct level so of the student so as to assist in the comprehension, engagement, and the development of effective strategies of the desired material to be learned. “To be effective, feedback needs to be clear, purposeful, meaningful, and compatible with students’ prior knowledge and to provide logical connections” (Hattie and Timperly 104).
- “Remember that markings made on a paper have complex meanings for the teacher, meanings which again remain locked in his head” (Butler 271–272).
- “Think about what the comments might mean to the student” (Butler 271–272).
- “Remember that remedial writers are also remedial readers” (Butler 272).
- Begin at content, no matter how deficient a draft may be. (Gilbert 49)
- Ignore grammatical and mechanical errors during a first reading in order to focus on what the writer is attempting to express. “Basic writers often need to learn much more basic writing principles before being concerned with fine tuning the more routine conventions of language” (Gilbert 49).
What should the teacher NOT do when providing Written Feedback to Basic Writers?
- Do not give the student a detailed written criticism. “If there is no subject, there is no paper and there is no reason to identify all the problems when the writer has written something about nothing” (Murray 153).
- Do not use a specialized or professional language. “The language of the teacher-editor uses should be simple; his comments should force the student to reconsider what he has said in terms of what he meant to say, not in terms of linguistic or rhetorical tradition” (Murray 153).
- “Do not use short-hand or dictation which the basic writer has no knowledge of” (Butler 271).
- Do not underline because doing so do not assure the student will figure out there is a problem or what the problem is.(Butler 272)
- Do not put a grade on the paper. If the paper is graded, any other comments would go unnoticed (Gilbert 50).
- Do not expect the students to be efficient at evaluating their own writing. “Evaluation is a high level of cognitive thinking. For students to become more competent at the discovery process, in addition to teaching writing skills, devote more class time to helping them learn the skills involved in independent thinking. For students to become more competent at the discovery process, in addition to teaching writing skills, devote more class time to helping them learn the skills involved in independent thinking” (Sweeney 216).
Questions to consider before providing Written Feedback to a Basic Writer
- What sorts of responses do students like and dislike the most, and why?
- Which forms of response do they find most helpful? How are they judging what is “helpful”? What kinds of revision are prompted by the response?
- How do the conditions of our response affect us?
- What do we typically do with student writing when we respond to it?
- How do we respond to different kinds of writing (short or long, basic or advanced) or by different kinds of students (men or women, native or non-native speakers, majors or nonmajors, upper or working class)?
- How do we vary our responses in light of our knowledge about writer or circumstances of writing?
- How do we change our response between in-progress work and final texts?
- How do institutional or departmental standards affect our practices?
[[Feedback and Basic Writing: Annotated Bibliography]