The Use of Correction Codes in the Development of Students’ Writting Skills

Abstract

This is an investigation into the use of correction codes in the development of students’ writing skills. This topic was chosen because of my observations in English classrooms in UAE government schools, where I noticed that students do not have the chance to write independently or to self-correct their work. This means that students are not encouraged to be independent learners. They rely on teachers who provide models of writing for them to copy from.

This research was carried out in a preparatory level girls’ government school in a city in the UAE. While the school caters for students from Grade Six to Grade Nine, students from Grade Eight were chosen as research participants because this was the level I was teaching. These female pupils began learning English in Grade One. They are a mixture of Emirati students and expatriate Arab students, and are between thirteen and fourteen years old.

Their classroom context is not a print rich environment, as the walls are empty and there are no displays in the classrooms. Students speak Arabic as their first language, and English language is studied in school as a foreign or second language. Generally, English is taught to these students in a traditional way, which is teacher-centered, and learners are not given the opportunity to participate and be actively engaged in the lessons. My teaching experience in UAE schools suggests that students are not taught how to write with appropriate punctuation, spelling, grammar, text organization, capitalization and word order. They typically write a whole essay in just one paragraph, and they make lots of mistakes with their verb tenses. As a result of these observations, I decided to implement the use of a writing correction code, in order to develop their writing and to promote self-correction.

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