VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Incremental Response to Writing: The Five-Filters Approach
John Blake

Building: A11
Room: 2nd floor Reading Room-A11 Building
Date: 2018-10-12 02:00 PM – 02:45 PM
Last modified: 2018-09-16


Writers of academic and scientific texts may fall victim to a whole gamut of errors. Teachers of such writing are faced with a plethora of choices when responding to writing. An ethnographic survey of the pedagogic literature on scientific writing revealed five aspects of writing that are addressed. This paper advocates that each of these five aspects can function as filters through which teachers can view written work. This makes responding to writing not only more manageable for the teacher and but easier to act on for the student. Of paramount importance is meaning and so initial formative feedback should focus on content. Once the meaning has addressed, the five filters of accuracy, brevity, clarity, objectivity and formality can be employed. This separation of errors into five categories radically speeds up the time it takes for a teacher to respond. Teachers could respond to writing incrementally using one filter each submission, lesson or week. This approach works particularly well for students working on extended texts such as academic essays, research reports and theses. Teachers can respond rapidly to writing using coloured highlighters or pens. The five filters approach can be adapted for self-correction and peer-correction with the use of checklists and suitable guidelines. An automated error detector that harnesses the five filters approach was developed to enable students to receive feedback on common surface-level errors that were detected in a corpus of scientific texts. This free online tool identifies errors and provides actionable easy-to-understand feedback.


response to writing