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Understanding the Stylefit grid and feedback

Stylefit changes students' futures! How? 750 million people can't write. Those who can send 3.5 million emails per second. Writing changes lives.
These two Year 4 second language learners are collaboratively working on their writing
© Stylefit

How Stylefit guides and encourages the learner

We start with a simple phrase:

Hello, my name is Suraya
When we input our work into Stylefit, the software analyses the text and maps it onto (or off) the green-blue-orange-pink grid. In this scenario, our work has landed off the grid. Stylefit’s feedback explains why.
Our writing is very factual and static. We learn nothing about Suraya. Nor do we, as readers, feel compelled to ask for further information. Readers are likely to shrug their shoulders and say: “So what?”
If this happens, the feedback encourages learners to try to get their writing onto the grid by adding verbs and adverbs, which will add emphasis to their work. The challenge for them is to work out what words are adverbs and verbs, and how to structure a sentence that makes sense, using those word groups.
If, before writing her introduction, Suraya had paused and thought about who might read her introduction, she may have added more information about herself. She would have picked the parts of her life that were of interest to her readers.
Here are some questions she could have tried to answer. These can serve as useful prompts for students.
  • What things interest Suraya?
  • What are her hobbies?
  • What work does she do?
  • What is different about Suraya that makes her interesting?
  • How does she talk to this audience in a way that will engage them?
Suraya decides that her audience would be interested in where she lives and that she gets to work by train. She also adds how she feels about getting to work.
Hello. I am Suraya. My home is near the sea, in Auckland. Every day, I catch the train to work, which is a wonderful way to start my day.
This is the new grid result:
Our writing now combines some emotion with action. We use a mix of adjectives and nouns, but place most emphasis on verbs. These inject movement into the storyline.
Suraya is a more interesting person now and readers will feel more connected to her. They might also love living by the sea so there is a point on which the reader and Suraya connect. But she also reveals a bit about her feelings, which may help engage the reader further.
But what if she reveals more about herself? Does this make her more interesting, and does the information engage you as a reader?
Let’s see what would happen if she added more description – some adjectives perhaps.
Hello. I am Suraya. My home is near the sea, in Auckland. Every day I catch the electric train to work which is a wonderful way to start the day. I am a fiction writer. I absolutely love this work.
This is the new grid result:
So now our writing style if ‘descriptive and informative’. The reader knows Suraya travels on an electric train to work…not just any train, an electric train. She also writes fiction. Not any kind of writing. Fiction. She is specific. We have been able to achieve this by using adjectives and nouns, while retaining some action with our use of verbs.
Now that the reader knows this extra information about Suraya, they may wonder what kind of fiction she writes and what sort of technology she uses to do her work.
By adding that information Suraya will shift the result to another part of the grid.
Hello. I am Suraya. My home is near the sea in Auckland. Every day I catch the train to work which is a wonderful way to start the day. I am a writer. I absolutely love this work, because wherever my imagination goes the words follow. I use the latest model of Apple computers so that I can add as many graphics as I want to my writing.

Before you look at the result on the grid see if you can predict where it might land.

Did you guess right?

This is the new grid result:

Stylefit places this piece of writing in the pink quadrant.

Now we have a clear picture of who Suraya is and she is actually quite an interesting person.

Teachers can use this framework to get students to write introductory stories about themselves.

The interactive grid element of the software provides a fun challenge and is therefore incredibly engaging to all kinds of learners. Stylefit’s feedback both guides and motivates students to organically re-draft their writing (as many times as they like), learn how to use various parts of speech, write in the correct style and for the appropriate audience, and actually enjoy writing!

© Stylefit
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How to Teach Writing Using Hybrid Learning Technology with Stylefit

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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