The purpose of this blog is to summarize articles on teaching English/language arts, from kindergarten through college, published in English education journals from the past.
Topic: Teachers’ Comments on Compositions
Title: “A Good Girl Writes Like a Good Girl: Written Responses to Student Writing.” Melanie Sperling and Sara Warshauer Freedman. Written Composition 4 (1987): 343-369. Reviewed in College Composition and Communication (October 1988), 331. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: “…explores the reasons why the written comments of even a conscientious teacher can be misread and misunderstood by the student writer, showing how the information, goals and values of teacher and student can differ enough to prevent their ‘matching their definitions of writing problems and solutions,’ and illustrating sources of difficulty in the written comments of the instructor.”
Comments: I said it before and I’ll say it again: ask students what they think your comments mean and how they will use them to correct problems. I was as big a sinner as any other teacher of writing in using cryptic and confusing comments that students probably did not understand—until I asked students what I meant by my comments and how they were going to use my comments. Did I get an earful! RayS.