The use of a process-oriented
approach to facilitate the planning and production stages
of writing for adult students of English as a Foreign or Second
- by Nicola Holmes - 4 - appendix A & B
A: Example activities and questions to warm students up to
peer evaluation/feedback. (adapted from White and Arndt, 1991)
at this essay by a student. The title was 'Cats as domestic
animals'. What suggestions would you make to the student
to improve his/her piece of writing?
are useless as domestic animals. Especially in cities,
there is no problem of rats and mice. In all my
life I haven't kept a cat in the house. I think
this decision comes from the fact that my life is
full of hard work. Perhaps you might say: It Is
a nice thing to find a plaything for young children,
such as a domestic animal. I reply:
OK, I like things once a week, but I don't let my
children play with useless playthings. My brother
has a son. He had. a cat. Later the cat died. The
boy was in deep sorrow and remained so for a long
look at the next draft, The reformulated version of
the text, and answer these questions:
What are the differences between the two texts?
~ What improvements has the writer made and how?
~ Could he/she make any further changes?
arguments are put forward by people in support of
cats as domestic animals. Some say that they can
be playthings for children, though I think that
we could give children more useful playthings. But
cats can also cause children unhappiness. My brother,
for example, has a son. This boy had a cat which
he loved. The cat died and the boy was very depressed
for a long time. I think this was bad.
Other people say that cats are useful because they
destroy rats and mice, but I don't see that this
is a good argument in modern cities where there
is no problem of rats and mice.
In conclusion, I think cats are useless as domestic
animals and I myself have never kept a cat in my
the composition and think about these questions: 1.
What is/are the main idea(s) in the text?
2. Did you find it easy to read the text and to follow
the writer's arguments?
3. Which part was most interesting for you? VVhy?
4. Are there any parts which you didn't understand or
found unclear? Why?
5. Have you got any questions to ask the writer, to
clarify or expand on the ideas in the text?
6. Are there too many or too few pararagraphs? Is the
main idea of each paragraph clear? Would you combine,
reduce or expand any of the paragraphs? Would you add
B: Questionnaires to elicit a discussion of issues surrounding
writing and correction and some sample student answers.
these sentences and mark them T (true) or F (false)
according to your opinion and feelings:
find writing difficult in English and in Spanish.
I need to write in English for my job/studies.
I would like to do more writing in class.
If several different people read and comment on your
can help you to improve.
Before I hand in a piece of writing, I check it carefully
to make sure that the arguments and paragraphs are clear
Before I hand in a piece of writing I check it. carefully
for grammar, spelling and vocabulary mistakes.
If I'm unsure about something I've written, I'll write
a question to Nicola in the margin to check that it's
I would like Nicola to write more corrections and comments
on my work.
I would like Nicola to write less corrections and comments
on my work.
I don't always understand the corrections and comments
that Nlicola writes!
When I get my corrected writing back, I always read
through the corrections and comments and I sometimes
rewrite the text.
When I write something, I think a lot about the person
who is going to read it and any problems of questions
he/she might have.
If I improve my writing in English then my English in
general will improve.
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