Methods of error correction in writing

Feature increase the level and quality of education and upbringing of the younger generation of the Turkmen people. Learning foreign languages is a key factor in training highly qualified specialists. Analysis of error correction principles in writing.

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The great achievements have been reached in the Epoch of might and happiness in science. The best practices and teaching methodology are analyzed to achieve the objectives of improving the standards and quality of education and bringing up the younger generation of the Turkmen people. The issues related to the development of the education system and international educational exchanges are put on the agenda of nearly all meetings of the Turkmen Leader with his foreign counterparts and included in the package of government documents signed upon the outcomes of top-level talks. Bringing the national education system to an international level implies a wide range of tasks that are successfully fulfilled in Turkmenistan today. These particularly include the establishment of international educational institutions, construction of higher schools and other education facilities supplied with state-of-the art equipment and introduction of advanced information and communication technology, including high-speed access to the global database via the Internet and e-libraries, into their activities. The transition of secondary schools in the country to the 12-year term of study is an important step to bring the national education system to an international level.

I want to thank our Esteemed President that the number of young people who study at higher educational institutions in our country and far beyond is increased from year to year. In the 2014-2015 academic year, first-year students at civilian higher educational institutions number 6,861 people, many of them are winners of prestigious national and international contests and Olympiads. Hundreds of Turkmen boys and girls rank among students of prestigious universities in Belarus, China, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Croatia and other foreign countries. Moreover, foreign language teachers from abroad are invited to teach students at institutions of higher education in Turkmenistan.

Vivid evidence for fruitful international contacts of Turkmen education professionals is their contribution to the implementation of various projects in the framework of international educational programmes, such as Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and others.

It is obvious that the fact that specialists of different sectors know several languages facilitates the early integration of Turkmenistan into the world economic and humanitarian systems. International forums and events organized by the Ministry of Education and educational institutions of our country jointly with international organisations, diplomatic missions of different countries and educational centres are of particular importance in this context.

Particular attention is paid to the study of foreign languages as a key factor of training highly qualified specialists who have professional mobility in conditions of the information society. The list of secondary schools with in-depth study of foreign languages is approved. Language training is provided at higher educational institutions throughout the country.

As a student of the language teaching institute I decided to contribute my knowledge to Methods and write the course paper which I was given. The title of my research work is Methods of Error Correction in Writing.

My course paper consists of:



Main part



The aim of my course paper is to excite curiosity and to provide the English learners along with teachers with ideas and information of my theme. Ahead of time, I want to let you know that it is a special version of work with my modern additional points of view. I tried to create completely new work instead of plagiarism at every step. Either way, unfortunately, I couldn't keep taking advantage of works written at the end, in bibliography. I anticipate it will be useful for teachers for reference and practice. It's not unusual to find both students and teachers who dislike dealing with writing in the classroom. When it comes to error correction we are dealing with one individual's reaction to a student's piece of writing or utterance. This inevitably means that there will be some disagreement among teachers about wha't, when, and how to correct. I hope I would be able to explain my course work or at least give you the food for reflection.


Principles of Error Correction in Writing

Error correction is perhaps the most widely used method for responding to student writing. Teachers believe that providing written errors connection helps students improve their proof-reading skills in order to revise their writing more efficiently. However, results also indicate that providing written error correction is very time consuming. It is a clich to say that teaching writing skills in English is no easy job. Writing correctly requires an understanding of a word's meaning, morphological composition and spelling. I reached a view and developed the principles of error connection. Next, I am going to explain them one at a time. They are as followings:

a) Focus on purpose of correction.

Why do we correct student's error? Is it to show who is a master, to show the student his or her errors so they will learn from them? To demonstrate our editing skills? To show we know more than our students do? In most cases, of course, the purpose of correction is to help the student revise their writing or improve their fluency and accent. In order to do this, correction should be limited and focused on specific points for improvement: for example, verb tenses or spelling. If every error is noted, it becomes too overwhelming for the student to begin to know where to improve.

b) Focus on larger, or global, errors.

Which errors should be corrected? Should all student's errors be marked? If there are mistakes, the teacher should point them out, shouldn't he? Again, we should go back here to the purpose of correction. If the purpose is to help students improve production, then correction should be limited to one or two areas for students to focus on which are important to overall comprehensibility: the student's pattern of run-on sentences, for example, or stress patterns, not a single misspelling or mispronunciation. Isolated issues of misspelling and mispronunciation usually do not detract from overall comprehensibility (if this were the case, most native speakers of English would on occasion lapse into incoherence); rather, the teacher should look for the global problems - problems in verb tense switch, for example, usually effect overall comprehensibility of a message.

c) Focus on patterns of errors.

In addition to considering the seriousness of an error, the teacher should consider the frequency of the error. If the student has a concern with almost every omitting articles (a, an, and the), this is a problem that should be addressed because omitted articles are distracting from the overall message and can affect overall comprehensibility of the writing.

d) Teach students how to self-correct.

Finally, it's usually not enough for the teacher to just show where the errors are. The student also must know how to correct them, so the teacher should demonstrate for the student how to do this--how to check that the verbs agree with the subject, for example--rather than just making the correction himself, from which the student learns nothing. It is, of course, ultimately the goal for the student to use English independently, which means monitoring and correcting his own language production. education specialist error writing

e) Consider student affect.

Last but really not least, student affect, emotional response, has to be taken into consideration. A paper that comes back covered in red ink accompanied by the teacher's biting comments at the end--we've all probably experienced something like this at some point--may very well result in the student giving up, which is, of course, not the goal. The goal is for students to move forward, improving from the place they are. This involves carefully weighing what comments and marks on papers will mean to students how they will be affected by them. Do they know what subject-verb agreement means? Have I taught that yet? Do they know how to correct it? What are the positive aspects of the students' speech and language production that I can mention and which they can build on while working on their weaker spots? Marking papers and giving feedback does really involve addressing many aspects of student need.

Categorizing errors

We can categorize an error by the reason for its production or by its linguistic type.

What's the reason for the error?

o It is the result of a random guess (pre-systematic).

o It was produced while testing out hypotheses (systematic).

o It is a slip of the tongue, a lapse, a mistake (caused by carelessness, fatigue etc.) (post-systematic).

To be sure about the type of error produced by a student we need to know where the student's interlanguage is (the language used by a student in the process of learning a second language).

What type is it?

We can classify errors simply as productive (spoken or written) or receptive (faulty understanding). Alternatively we can use the following:

o A lexical error - vocabulary

o A phonological error - pronunciation

o A syntactic error- grammar

o An interpretive error - misunderstanding of a speaker's intention or meaning

o A pragmatic error - failure to apply the rules of conversation

Difficulties in Error Correction

As for students, we not only have to consider their age but also their approach to learning. Some students are risk-takers, while others will only say something if they are sure it is correct and to stay on the safe side. While being a risk-taker is generally positive as it leads to greater fluency, some students only seem to be concerned with fluency at the expense of accuracy. Some students take an eternity to produce a piece of writing as they are constantly rubbing out what they have written while at the opposite extreme the writing is done as fast as possible without any planning or editing.

On another hand, when writing we do not have the chance to rephrase or clarify what we are saying. Our message must be clear the first time. Written errors are also less tolerated than spoken errors outside the classroom.

Another difficulty is: Are all errors even worth the time and trouble to correct? For example, prepositions in English, especially the more abstract ones that don't refer to a literal place, are very difficult to teach as they are idiomatic and dialectal: for example, in American English I come around to see a friend; in British English I come round. Is it go down the street or go up the street? They mean the same thing. And if a Turkmen speaker mixed up these expressions, I probably wouldn't notice, much less be confused. So considering the difficulty in learning prepositions, and the overall unimportance of them, it probably is not worth the time investment to learn them. This also goes for trying to correct specific nonnative English speech sounds, like the non-English trilled r. It is all right in most cases, unless the student is training to be a spy, to retain some nonnative accent in writing.

Common Disadvantage of Error Correction

Error correction of students' writing creates time pressure, which is relieved by having students grade each other's papers.

Nevertheless, it is important to realize that error correction can sometimes cause more problem than it fixes. What students are prone to do instead is correct with the red ink all the mistakes they find. Many of our teachers do this as well because they are trained to focus on language accuracy and often consider it necessary to identify all types of errors, including spelling and punctuation, that are less important than the organization of content or quality ideas. This is a problem because correcting everything can discourage students and actually inhibit their writing.

Practical techniques or ideas for correcting writing

It can be difficult to decide on what and how much to correct in a student's piece of writing. Students can develop a negative attitude towards writing because their teacher corrects all their errors or if the teacher only corrects a few, they might feel that the teacher hasn't spent sufficient time looking at their work. Evaluate the following techniques and decide which would be appropriate for your teaching situation:

Using a different colour from above, underline examples of appropriate language.

Correct errors by writing the correct forms in their place.

Use codes in the margin to identify the type of error(s), for example, VOC = a lexical error. Students have to identify the error(s) and if possible make a correction.

Alternatively put crosses in the margin for the number of errors in each line. Students then try to identify the errors and make corrections.

Put students into pairs or groups. They correct each other's work using one or more of the techniques above.

From time to time give students an individual breakdown of recurring problems in their written work.

Error Correction Games in Writing

Mentioning Error correction we may imagine the attitude of both teacher and student, that is no one wants to start this kind of work. For students, it means leaving those interactive communicative activities and spending a half-hour or even an hour in solitude staring at a blank paper waiting for words to come. While they are writing, the teachers might enjoy the time off in the classroom where they can read a book or plan the next lesson but they know they will pay for it later. The punishment usually comes that evening when the teacher spends hours going over papers with a red pen trying to understand what the student was trying to say and then correct it. While there is no relief for students in the writing phase, there are a number of ways of sparing the teacher those evenings with stacks of papers and the red pen.

I have found the game that eliminates the need for teachers to do any marking after the lesson. Sounds interesting? Ok, this game all focuses on getting the students to identify and correct their own errors, but in contrast to the actual writing stage, the game I have found is fun, interactive, cooperative and competitive as students work in teams to find and correct more errors than their classmates can.

In order to use this activity, teachers need to get over the idea that every error needs to be corrected. Instead, the focus should be on common or recurring errors relative to the students' level. For example, a low frequency topic-specific word spelled incorrectly may not be worth spending class time on as the student may never use that word again. Likewise, errors with grammatical structures beyond the students' level are best left alone for the time being. The game require that the teachers notice and categorize their students' frequent errors that appropriate to their level. Any of the systems using symbols such as WO for Word Order and VT for Verb Tense will work or the teacher can develop their own method of categorization. Once the teacher has an idea of the type of errors his or her students are making, the game can begin.

I have been thinking a lot and chose an appropriate name for it: Papers on wall. This is a fun and active game that you can use once you are aware of the most frequent errors that your students make. Sheets of paper for each category of error are posted around the classroom and students work in teams to find errors and then race around the classroom to write them up on the sheets. It's great for getting students to identify the frequent errors they are making and because they are forced to do it quickly, it will eventually lead to them being able to edit their own work more efficiently. This will prove very useful for those students preparing for writing exams.

Preparation. Choose some categories of errors that your students frequently make and write each category on top of a sheet of paper (e.g. Using present for past actions, Articles missing, Wrong Prepositions, etc.). Post the sheets on the walls around the classroom. You will also need a different coloured marker for each team. You can use teams of two or three students.

In Class. After students have completed a writing assignment, collect them and put them in a pile on your desk. Put students into pairs or threes and give each team a different coloured marker. Tell them that they are to take one of the sheets and try to find one of the types of errors listed on the sheets on the walls. If they think they have, they are to write the error with a sufficient context (you can let them know an approximate number of words) on the appropriate sheet posted on the wall. They should not to correct the error. Tell them that they cannot write two errors in a row on one sheet, and you will know this because there will be two lines in a row of the same colour. This means they will have to find an error in a different category, and once someone else has contributed to the first sheet, they can return to it. Tell them it is a race to see who can find the most errors and get them started. Since they have only one pen per group, the writer should memorize the error and go to write it so the others can continue to look for others at their seats. They can switch to another piece of writing at any time but they cannot add an er ror that's already been written onto the sheets.

You can stop this activity at any time and then go over everything that they wrote on the papers and eliminate any that do not fit the category or are not actually errors. Then you could have them try to correct them all in their notebooks and/or you could have the writer correct their own errors on their paper. You can also put students in pairs and give them their writing to correct so they can discuss and correct their errors together.


In the conclusion of my work, I would like to say some words according the done investigation. Thankfully, there are many resources and ideas that I made use of, examples of it are the paternal books of our Honorable President.

In outline, correcting students' error is a sensitive issue that most of our teachers would probably rather not do. However, through considering such issues as overall comprehensibility and goals of correction, the teacher can turn the potentially negative exercise of giving corrective feedback into a positive learning experience.

The main concern of our state is to provide prosperous and rich life, modern world level education for our young generation and to bring them up as the people of high moral and high-quality specialists, beneficial for our country. Here I have a good fortune to say that scientists, university lecturers and experts develop textbooks and manuals in the context of international achievements in the methods of teaching different disciplines.

Taking into account that it is quite difficult theme to write, it had cost me many sleepless nights and means of e-connection. Due to my endowments for the English language teaching I would never regret of that. I hope my course paper will offer a handful of suggestions to make the writing process more manageable.

While working on this theme I have learned many interesting facts that will be very helpful for me in the future. Hope it will promote me to become a professional teacher.


1. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Bilim - bagtyarlyk, ruhubelentlik, rowalyk. Trkmen dwlet neiiat gullugy. Agabat - 2014.

2. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Ynsan kalbyny mejek nury. Trkmen dwlet neirat gullugy. Agabat - 2014.

3. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Dwlet guy. Roman. Trkmen dwlet neirat gullugy. Agabat - 2013.

4. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. lem ire at gezer. Roman. Trkmen dwlet neirat gullugy. Agabat -2011.

5. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Janly rowaat. -- A,: Trkmen dwlet neirat gullugy, 2011

6. Trkmenistany Prezidenti Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedowy Ministler Kabinetini gme mejlisinde szln szi. (2009-njy yly 12-nji iyuny) Agabat, Trkmen dwlet neiiat gullugy, 2009.

7. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. si tze belentliklerine tarap. Salanan eserler. I-II tt. Agabat: Trkmenistany Ministrler Kabinetini anyndaky Ba arhiw mdirligi, Trkmenistany Prezidentini Arhiw gaznasy,2008, 2009

8. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Trkmenistan - sagdylygy we ruhubelentligi urdy. A.: Trkmen dwlet neiiat gullugy.2009

9. Beik Galkyny eamyny batly gadamlary, Agabat, 2008.

10. Trkmenistany Prezidenti Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedowy daary syasaty. Wakalary hronikasy. A. 2007.

11. Halky salany we ynam bildireni. A.2007

12. Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly. Dwlet adam indir. Agabat, TDNG., 2008.

13. Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly. Gysgaa terjimehal. - A.: 2007

14. Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly. Trkmenistanda saglygy goray sdrmegi ylmy esaslary. - A.: 2007

15. Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly. Tze Galkyny eamy. Agabat, TDNG., 2007.

16. Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly. Garasyzlyga guwanmak, Watany, halky smek bagtdyr. Agabat, TDNG., 2007.

17. Magdalena Ozarsaka. English Teaching Forum. Volume 46, number 1. Suggestions for academic writing instruction at English Teacher training colleges. 2008.

18. Adeline Teo. English Teaching Forum. Volume 45, number 4. Writing method to help English language learners. 2007.

19. Rolf Donald. BBC British Council: Teaching English. Error Correction. Eastbourne school of English. 2003.

20. Stacia Ann. Correcting Student Error in Writing and Speech: When, How, and How Much. 2014.

21. Ken Lackman. Error Correction Games for Writing. Methods and activities for more effective teaching with less preparation. 2010.

22. Oxford University Press. Oxford Wordpower Dictionary. 2009.

23. Bukmop organization. ABBY lingvo x5. 2011.

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