Embedding English: Approaches to Correcting Students’ Written Work

Here is a list of methods you can try for correcting students’ written work in different ways. When selecting which method to use, you should consider:

  1. Your aim in correcting (building skills or final assessment?)
  2. The level of the group (higher level groups may be used to self correction methods but some lower level groups need to be taught how to do this)
  3. Your focus in correcting (are you correcting every error in content, style and language or are you focusing on one key aspect of that piece of work, related to criteria and task completion?)
  4. The correction process (will you include a self/peer correction stage, will you mark work on the spot or take it in?)


  1. Underline the part of the word with the error in it – ask student to correct it
  2. Underline/circle the whole word or phrase with the error in it – ask student to correct it
  3. Write a note saying “find 4 errors in this line”
  4. Write a note saying “look for spelling errors in this paragraph”
  5. Use a correction code (sp = spelling, gr = grammar, ww = wrong word etc.) and then ask students to correct own or other’s work before handing it in for checking
  6.  Tell students to proof read work backwards, from the end to the beginning
  7. Correct the errors for the student, but in pencil (less aggressive than red pen!)
  8. Use green or purple pen for correcting drafts
  9.  Improve their style of writing by adding alternative key phrases, as required
  10.  Always add a comment on what they did well (“Your spelling is much better this time – good progress here.”)
  11. Always add a comment on what they need to do to improve further e.g.

Before you hand work in, check each paragraph for full stops as you sometimes leave them out. See SOW for extra exercises and rules of punctuation.”

12.  At the end of the piece of writing, explain the problematic grammar point or give an example of how to use the tricky word so that students understand why their choice was incorrect

13. Get the student to re-write/re-type the piece correctly

If you would like more practical ideas on embedding English, I hope you’ll attend one of my training days. See link below


This entry was posted in Advanced Practitioners, CPD for Teachers, Embedding English, FE, Teaching and learning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s