Drafts, writing and publishing.

Presenting Trinity's revised ISE exam to delegates at the 2015 GRETA conference in Granda.

Presenting Trinity’s revised ISE exam to delegates at the 2015 GRETA conference in Granada, Spain.

I’ve been doing a lot of work with Trinity College Exams recently, most of which has centred on their revised Integrated Skills in English exam (ISE). The exam very much favours and supports a process approach to writing, and although the writing portfolio has been taken out of the revised ISE as an assessment tool, it is still very much there as a teaching tool, as witnessed by the links on the ISE web pages to the Portfolio Tool kit for teachers. Here’s the Portfolio Toolkit for ISE Foundation (CEFR A2), for example.

I’ve taken a process approach to writing with my students for many, many years now, and although I met with quite a lot of resistance at first, in time the majority of them came to value the approach, and became more confident and more efficient writers. I was always on the look out, though, for some simple way to show them the potentially negative outcomes of not using drafts, and, equally, of not checking for mistakes before publication.

Well, it’s come a bit late for me, but I think these two images are what I was looking for all the time. The first I took in Granada last weekend as I wandered around the fabulous Sacromonte area of the city. I don’t agree with the content, but the English is fautless, and there are clear signs of drafting. The second was sent to me by one of my nieces, and is a stark reminder of the need to check your work before publication. We forgive mistakes in speaking because it’s all done in real time. But mistakes in writing have an altogether different impact on the reader.

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PS. This post underwent 12 revisions before I finally published it.

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