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Messages - JM Nepomuceno

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Jan Freeman wrote:

If even good students are writing worse today — and it may be so — my (unscholarly) guess is that it’s lack of exposure to models, not lack of correction, that ails them. If you don’t read much — not only great books, but even everyday competent exposition — you won’t get the rhythm of long-form language into your bones. And without that, writing will be a struggle.

Understanding the real causes of the deterioration in the proficiency level of students in writing in English requires checking out the learning methods applied in the Public School System.  Unless there had been very drastic changes implemented that had not been properly publicized, both the use of models and feedback are the two (2) basic methods for learning, not just for any language but virtually for any skill desired to be learned properly and applied consistently by the students.

Modeling and providing feedback (both "positive" and "negative" are the "active" modes of teaching / training / education.  "Leaving it all to the students to realize the mistakes / errors committed, and hoping for the best" is a "passive" mode, that borders on the realm of irrationality.

"Positive feedback" is supposed to "reinforce" learning of the student, i.e., encourage the student to continue doing what had been done correctly.  "Negative feedback" is supposed to have only one simple objective / goal, and that is:  "for the student to stop doing what had been done incorrectly".

The concerns raised by Jan Freeman involve the "manner" or "style" of "providing negative feedback". The use of any "abusive" or "rude" language by any teacher in providing "negative feedback" is anathema.  The proper "manner" or "style" of "providing negative feedback" involves two (2) basic steps:

1)  Pin-pointing / identifying the "mistake / error" that had been committed; AND

2)  "Modeling" or "showing the correct application / usage".


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