Student Interlanguage and Scaffolding Writing (EN1 Reflection 8)

Interlanguage Analysis Check List

General Comments

  • Is the overall meaning clear?
  • Are the main ideas developed?
  • Does the writing reflect the writer’s other classroom language experiences? (What they have read or talked about?)
  • What is your overall impression compared to other things the learner has written?

Text Type

  • What kind of text is it?
  • Is this appropriate for the writer’s purpose
  • Has the writer written this text type before?

Overall organisation

  • Is the overall organisation appropriate to the text type
  • Are there any stages missing?

Cohesion

  • Are the ideas linked with the appropriate connectives? (These will vary with the text type)
  • Is there an appropriate variety of these connectives?
  • Are the pronouns used correctly? (e.g. he and she?)
  • Do pronouns have a clear referent?

Vocabulary

  • Is appropriate vocabulary used?
  • Is there semantic variety? (e.g. does the writer use a range of words fx for ‘big’: huge, massive, large, gigantic etc.)
  • How well does the writer explain the field?

Appraisal

  • Expressing feelings
  • Evaluating qualities
  • Judging human behavior, from evidence or different perspectives

Sentence Grammar

  • Is this accurate? (e.g. subject-verb-agreement, correct use of tenses, correct use of word order etc.)

Spelling and punctuation

  • Is this accurate?
  • If the writer does not yet produce correct spelling, what does the writer know about spelling? (e.g. evidence og sound-symbol correspondence)

Presentation

  • Are paragraphs used?
  • Is the layout clear?
  • How legible is the writing (in the case of handwriting)?
  • Are illustrations used properly?

How could the learner have been scaffolded better?

Where do you see the biggest problems for this learner and have you got an idea of the reasons?

How would you work with the learner in order to match his/her zone of proximate development?

Student text: A black slave

I was on the ship. It was really hot. Probably because we were 60 people, on one small ship. I was starving, everyone was. All we got was a little piece of old bread, and maybe some water if we were lucky. By the way my name is Conko Malana, and I'm 16 years old. I think I've been on this ship for like 4 months.. I'm not really sure, because every day feels like a year!

But I think the worst thing is, that I don't know how long I'm gonna be here, or when I'm gonna see my family again. If I'm gonna see them again. Some rich white people sold me as a slave to people I don't know in Europe. So I think that's our next stop. Europe..

My one friend is here to, but he's really sick, and I'm not sure if he's gonna make it. It's so unfair, like I really don't get why I'm a slave, and not as important as other people.. just because I'm black.

I actually got a younger brother. Or he's dead now. He was on the ship too but last week, he got a rat bite on his leg. Hours later, was he dead. The white people on the ship, throw him into the water. I miss him. I miss my family. I miss my friend when he was healthy. I miss my country and my old life. But now my new life begins.. as a slave. A black slave.

Amalie 7.b

General Comments

Is the overall meaning clear?
The meaning is very clear. It feels like the personal thoughts from a person who was on La Amistad

Are the main ideas developed?
She used the historical information to imagine how life might have been as a slave.

Does the writing reflect the writer’s other classroom language experiences? (What they have read or talked about?)
It surpasses her oral manifestations.

What is your overall impression compared to other things the learner has written?

Positively surprised
 

Text Type

What kind of text is it?
It is a fictional first-person narrative based on historical events, given through class.

Is this appropriate for the writer’s purpose
The writer filled out the requirements for text type.

Has the writer written this text type before?
She has written a first-person narrative, but it is uncertain if she has based it on another person's life.

Overall organisation

Is the overall organization appropriate to the text type?
The story begins in medias res, which creates drama. She introduces the narrator after a few sentences which create dramatic effect and aligning with the reader, as it feels like a conversation.

Are there any stages missing?
Not really

Cohesion

Are the ideas linked with the appropriate connectives? (These will vary with the text type)

  • Probably (modality)
  • By the way (Adding information)
  • Actually (Clarifying)

Is there an appropriate variety of these connectives?
Not many direct connectors are used, but the sentences fit well together.

Are the pronouns used correctly? (e.g. he and she?)
Yes: I, he, white people

Do pronouns have a clear referent?
Very clear

Vocabulary

Is appropriate vocabulary used?
Yes, we had a focus on adjectives - describing your situation vividly. The adjectives lack in the ending of the text
 

Is there semantic variety? (e.g. does the writer use a range of words fx for ‘big’: huge, massive, large, gigantic etc.)
Yes, she does, for example, ‘starving’.

How well does the writer explain the field?
Quite good.

Appraisal

Expressing feelings
She uses short sentences for emphasis on the horror on the ship.

Judging human behaviour, from evidence or different perspectives
She shows great understanding for the human condition and seems to have empathy for the slave.

Sentence Grammar

Is this accurate? (e.g. subject-verb-agreement, correct use of tenses, correct use of word order etc.)
Yes. She writes in past tense throughout the story and her word order is correct.

Spelling and punctuation

Is this accurate?
The spelling is more or less correct but there but there are room for improvement when it comes to her punctuation.

Presentation

Are paragraphs used?
Yes, she uses the paragraph pretty good.

Is the layout clear?
The layout fits the story length quite good.

How could the learner have been scaffolded better?

Before the student had to write this paper, we should have given a genre introduction, so all the students had a better overview of what the had to do doing their writing process. We could have shown the student an example of a text, so it would be clear to the student what we as teachers expected of them and therefore make the writing process easier. At last, we should have given the students a sheet of paper with the main focus point for the assignment, which was capital letters, tense and adjectives. We had feedback as a group from our internship teacher (Janet), who asked us after every lesson, “what could you have done better?” so that we constantly had to reflect on our performance as a teacher. After we had scaffolded the writing lesson, she asked us the same question. We had no problem to see that we had not given the student clear enough instructions, about the assignment a head. This is a learning process and we know no have to scaffold the students in a way, that leave no option for self interpretation on how to do an assignment.             

Where do you see the biggest problems for this learner and have you got an idea of the reasons?

Information about punctuation. Her written language is so develop that it would be a good opportunity for her interlanguage learning curve.   

How would you work with the learner in order to match his/her zone of proximate development?

This particular learn would benefit greatly from pairing up with a classmate on a level above her or one to one feedback by a teacher. She has a lot of status in the classroom but she has a high working moral when she is paired up with a student on a high level, and response good to the attention from the teacher. By using time on this student, she can make an example for the class that it is “cool” to get positive feedback from the teacher. She would not respond well to explicit feedback, because it could effect on her status in the class. A more implicit feedback where you encourages her, would benefit her status and therefore her willingness to receive and work with the feedback.