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Instant IELTS ‘experts’ have been regularly emerging, and there are established 'experts' playing all sorts of tricks. You, the student, need to be an intelligent consumer. You could easily waste a lot of time and money, and send your IELTS mark downwards. In this post, I’ll look at the …

 

“The teacher is wonderful; (s)he corrects as many writings as I want” syndrome.

 

Sounds good, right? That’s the trouble; it always sounds good, until you begin to think about it. Unfortunately, most students don’t do this. Well that’s why I’m here: to help you think about it. We have to look at the meaning of ‘correction’, and what sort of correction actually helps you, and what sort doesn’t help you at all, but just wastes your time while making you feel good.

 

Let’s say that Teacher X corrects a piece of your writing. Teacher X gives you a lot of ticks, corrects a few mistakes, changes a few words, and writes, ‘Well done, but work on grammar’. And then you give Teacher X another piece of writing based on an IELTS Task-Two Question you got from the Internet, and the same process happens. And again. And again. That's four times.

 

Wow, Teacher X has really helped you, right? WRONG! That teacher has, in fact, done almost nothing, apart from waste your time. You, the student, have learnt nothing, and not improved at all. You have probably just written the same bad essay four times over, making all the same mistakes. No one has had to think much, including the teacher, who did the easiest thing of all: a few ticks, a few corrections, and a quick comment. Easy stuff, and everyone is happy. Until you get your IELTS result.

 

So, a teacher who 'corrects' a lot may be wonderful, but may be bad. It all depends on whether the correction is good and helpful, or just wasting your time. As the picture at the top shows, there is a 'right doing' of correction, and a 'wrong doing' of correction. Obviously, you need to know how to judge a teacher’s ‘correction’ much better. And that’s the theme of the next few posts.

[To be continued in the next post.]

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