Katy French Instinct
Professional Teacher
About the quality of corrections in the notebook

I feel really uncomfortable about the quality of the corrections we get when we write something in the notebook. I'm a French and Spanish teacher and I'm really upset seeing very bad corrections in those languages. French writing is hard, but I also see a lot of mistakes in Spanish. When we are learning a language we are not able to judge the quality of a correction and if we get 2, 3 corrections or more, we don't know which one is better! And the truth is that at least in French it's really difficult to get a good correction. Many French don't know grammar and writing rules, and if they don't I think they shouldn't correct anything at all! Corrections made by a professional teacher are usually much better and should guide you to find the good correction of your writing. But I also think that as a teacher, when we correct a post, we should do it carefully, making sure we are not skipping important mistakes just because we are going too fast.

Jan 5, 2016 4:36 PM
Comments · 9

Yes it's quite common. 


There is a current discussion, http://www.italki.com/discussion/108732 but for English.


I don't do corrections, because I don't think I'm good enough.


I did raise the idea of using teachers to correct notebook entries, but as Barry has said, there will be some cost implications.

January 5, 2016

That's why I stopped submiting entries in French. Many non-native French speakers "correct" entries and add more mistakes to the original entries. For example, I don't understand how someone who claims to master French, get the gender of the nouns wrong or write things like "J'ai allé". However, this topic has been addressed many times in the past and the conclusion seems to be that we have to lower our standards and say that poor grammar is completely acceptable in order to avoid getting mad the same group of users who are always commenting in these discussions. 

January 5, 2016

There may be different ways of saying things and style is very subjective. But ortography and grammar rulles are not. If you are non native, you might not be totally sure about the way things can be said. But a lot of natives don't know the rules, or in which degree an expression is correct or not. I see tones of mistakes in French. The most commons are only written and don't have any or very little consequence on pronounciation: terminaisons é / er, ais/ait/aient, accord du participe passé (the most usual one!), etc. There are also different degrees in what is correctly said or not: even if you should always use the dobble negation, it's really commun and accepted not to use "ne". But other things are not accepted even if some people say it and it reflects a low education level of a person (like using "malgré que"): some French people say it but they are judged for doing it. So to correct I think you have to know the rules and also to be aware of the diffenrent levels in your language, to be sure you're not giving a very bad advice to someone who is learning your mother tongue. I'm affraid only people who have studied grammar, orthography, who have explicitly studied their mother tongue and who have enough distance to see all the levels in French can do it. I'm not saying you necessarilly have to be native or to be a teacher, because other people who are not language teacher can know all that. But I don't see a way of guaranteeing the quality of corrections on Italki without being a native and certified teacher...  

January 7, 2016

Katy; As a former teacher, I agree with you wholeheartedly "about the quality of corrections in the notebook." However,   this is a discussion you should have with italk management.  Perhaps italki can retain several language teachers to read, review and correct notebook entries for a class fee and not permit student editing.


As long as italki continues to gain popularity and increases its membership, more and more language learning issues will arise, and may inevitably lead to a weaker product, i.e., italki.com

January 5, 2016

you can rely on the thumb ups to know which correction is the best :)

January 7, 2016
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