In today's lessons, students completed editing and revising activities. In this activity, they received a copy of their partner's writing, and had to correct grammar mistakes on their partners' drafts. In addition, they also received a checklist where they had to note down if their partners had included all the structural components of a paragraph. Finally, they had to give their partners advice on how to improve their writing.
In the basic courses, students did really well at identifying and correcting simple past tense mistakes. However, their greatest difficulty was trying to tell the difference between supporting ideas and supporting details. We had to spend some time in class on "logical connection" of ideas. In our next writing task, I will definitely have to spend more time on the development of supporting sentences in our lessons. While students were working with their partners, I was quite impressed to see that they would often ask their partners for clarification about their writing rather than me. Shally has done a great job at getting students used to the practice of pair and group work.
On a lighter note, there was a student in the Basic(A) course who insisted that his sentence "I ate foot" was correct. I had to gesture his sentence, and he then realized he made a spelling mistake "food". Through these writing lessons, I've noticed that some Cambodian students have difficulty in telling the difference between the sounds d / t, v / w, as well as p / b.
For the pre‐intermediate course, the students basically ran the lesson themselves. They could identify the grammar mistakes in their partners' drafts, and wrote well‐developed advice for their partners. One student advised her partner to " write more supporting details for each characteristic" and another wrote "your points are not full because you didn't write enough". This shows me that they are aware of how to develop a paragraph. However, the major issue with this class, as with the basic course, was logical connection between sentences. I often noticed while I was checking their first drafts that some students did a good job at supporting their characteristic with details, but then they would introduce other ideas not related to the characteristic. This is something we'll have to review in the next writing task.
At the end of class, I returned their checked drafts. For homework, students have to edit, revise and rewrite their drafts.
Back to the books,
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.