Title

Teaching Proofreading Skills as a Means of Reducing Composition Errors

Publication Title

Language Learning Journal

Publication Date

12-2007

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/09571730701317655

Keywords

proofreading, composition errors

Disciplines

Education | Modern Languages

Abstract

Foreign language teachers have long been frustrated by learners’ written errors. Traditional approaches to the problem—grammar instruction and error feedback—when used alone are not effective. Explicit instruction in proofreading provides a missing link. When instruction in proofreading is embedded in grammar instruction and when learners use error feedback to detect, diagnose and correct errors, the writing–grammar connection becomes more obvious and learners can take better control of their own accuracy. This article presents instructional methods for teaching proofreading skills to fifth-semester college-level students of Spanish, enrolled in a grammar and composition course, but they can be adapted to other languages and levels. It includes strategies for developing general proofreading skills as well as strategies specifically tailored to the needs of second language learners.