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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 Language
- by Nicola Holmes -
4 - appendix A & B

APPENDIX A: Example activities and questions to warm students up to peer evaluation/feedback. (adapted from White and Arndt, 1991)

Look 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?
Cats 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 time.

Now 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?


Various 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 life.

Read 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?
Why (not)?
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 more?


APPENDIX B: Questionnaires to elicit a discussion of issues surrounding writing and correction and some sample student answers.

WRITING

Read these sentences and mark them T (true) or F (false) according to your opinion and feelings:

I 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 writing it
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 and logical.

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 OK.

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.

To appendix C

To the lesson plan

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