Lesson 5. Evaluating Descriptions of Jonathan Seagull

This is one part of the reflection on the lesson “Working with TA Text: Jonathan Seagull


Jan 30
Aim: to make students build the algorithm of a good text for the Task 8.3.

  1. I told students that now we have to understand how to evaluate their works, which text is more qualitative and why. For this purpose, students were given descriptions of Jonathan of their peers and were asked to read them individually and leave their comments: strong and weak points of the descriptions. Each student had to comment on each work.
  2. I asked students to give me the strong points they identified and was putting them on the board. Among their answers were the following:

a. Interesting text;

b. No grammar mistakes;

c. A lot of adjectives used;

d. Jonathan is described.

  1. I asked students what was the task. We came to the conclusion that it was to a) describe Jonathan using different words then used in the text. So I asked them to underline all the expressions they used and to write down on top which real expression they substituted with their own. Then I asked how many expressions they have and if anyone had at least 20. As a result, no one had it. 
  2. Parallel to working with the text, we also were working on the grammar topics “Relative clauses” and “Participle clauses” so I asked how many of these they used in their texts. As a result, only one student had few sentences with relative clauses. I do not think that this aspect is the most important when producing the text, but since I found it important to pay their attention to how their ideas are expressed (via simple or more complex sentences). 
  3. Thus, I said that the texts must be improved, since they didn’t take into account all the important features of the text when producing the description. 
  4. Home assignment for the next lesson was to improve the text.


Go to "Lesson 6: Dealing with Problems"


# Irina Buchinska 2013-03-03 16:39

I think part 8 is mostly for working with vocabulary not text creation or transformation. Though choice of words is an important part of creating a text, the same as the sentence structure, but as you absolutely correctly said working with vocabulary just for working with vocabulary sake doesn't make sense if your aim is to create a text. So I am afraid that you expected something you couldn't have achieved by this exercise. Though, I might be mistaken, of course.

However, I think your work was not in vain, as the students did work with vocabulary, and your expectations of 20 words were too ambitious I am afraid, or you had to put this requirement in the task. :)
# Renata Jonina 2013-03-04 17:25
Thank you for your comments, Irina.
You are right, Part 8 is about vocabulary but I somehow was not sure how to organise work with vocabulary only. I think I should have picked up several expressions from the text and make a competition among students who comes up with better synonyms/phrases, etc.
# Alexander Sokol 2013-03-05 11:51
Re the initial task itself, I am afraid students didn't arrive at the evaluation criteria for the text. Judging from the description, the criteria were not explicit even for the teacher. And one can't really evaluate anything if the criteria are missing.

Re the vocab, may I ask why it was necessary to organise work with vocabulary only? Why wasn't it enough to have this vocabulary practice within other tasks?
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