A composition returned to a student covered in red ink is very demotivating so here are some ways to make correction more positive.
Motivate, don’t discourage
- Peer correction – in pairs students read through each others’ compositions and correct orally and discuss what might be a better version = helps students notice errors and analyze them, but this activity depends on mutual trust between students
- Do not mark anything incorrect on the students’ compositions – just praise everything good – a nice piece of vocabulary, appropriate grammatical structure, imaginative idea, etc.
- Use different colours – not just red!
- Correct only one type of error per composition and tell students that you will be doing so before they write. For example, just correct the tenses or articles.