Use of Error Correction

 Use of Error Correction

A well-balanced use of error correction


Possible signs that you are correcting too many student errors

  1. Students are losing their fluency when they speak because they are scared of making mistakes
  2. Students keep stopping and correcting themselves
  3. The amount of time you spend on student errors is cutting into the time you can spend on new language
  4. Students who think they have done well at a speaking or writing task get depressed when you do error correction and they realise how many errors they have made
  5. Feedback after a speaking or writing task means mainly error correction, with a lack of suggesting more complex language, making encouraging comments etc.
  6.  Students don't note down most of the errors you correct
  7. Students never have a chance to speak or write without correction
  8. You usually correct the whole list of errors you collect during pairwork and groupwork
  9.  Your only idea on how to improve student accuracy is to correct their errors

Possible signs that you aren't correcting enough student errors

  1. Students don't see the value of speaking activities or just see them as games
  2. Student accuracy is not improving
  3. Students keep on making the same mistakes and you have never tried correcting those ones
  4. Students make many false friend errors
  5. You have never tried error correction games such as a Grammar Auction
  6. You have never used an error correction code
  7. You are standing around doing nothing instead of noting down student errors during pairwork and groupwork
  8. You don't correct errors but have no alternative ideas on how to improve your students' accuracy

Ways of making sure you use the right amount of error correction

  1. Write error correction stages on your lesson plan
  2. Have a gap at the top of your lesson plan that says "error correction stage(s)"
  3. Make a list of error correction techniques you would like to try, e.g. getting students to bet on whether each sentence is right or wrong
  4. Always monitor for student errors and write them down, especially during pairwork and groupwork when you are more free to do so
  5. Write down your personal criteria for when you will correct errors

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