Some Techniques for Correcting Students’ Mistakes
1- You should interrupt learners when they make a mistake or error when:
* you want learners to be accurate concerning new structures.
* the majority of learners is constantly making the same error.
2- You can give delayed correction in the following situation:
* if the aim of the activity is fluency and communication. In this situation you can make a note of the errors and correct them later on.
3- Some errors should remain uncorrected by the teacher:
* in the middle of a group work or role play.
* when a shy learner is daring to communicate.
* if a learner is trying to express a complex or personal idea.
4- You correct learners in different ways according to the tasks given, for example:
* during fluency activities, errors should be totally ignored.
* if the aim is accuracy, you might correct mistakes more frequently.
5- You vary your correction strategies according to learners’ personalities by:
* correcting shy learners less and encouraging them to communicate.
* correcting stronger learners more, so they are challenged.
6- You help learners to self-correct or correct each other’s errors by:
* making a gesture, stopping learners, giving a question.
* indicating the nature of the error, by saying e.g., past tense.
* stressing the incorrect form.
* repeating the sentence with a questioning intonation.
* asking other learners for the correct form.
* asking one of the learners to write errors and correct them at the end of activity.
7- Some advantages of self-correction and peer correction are:
* you know how much learners know and what they do not know.
* learners feel more confident and independent.
* learners know where they are.
8- Some disadvantages of self-correction and peer correction are:
* some learners might feel superior to others.
* the same two or three learners might answer and dominate the class interactions.
* the one who is corrected might feel frustrated.
9- Some practical ways of correcting mistakes on written work are:
* underlining errors and asking learners to correct them using correction symbols.
* providing correct answers for learners correcting specific errors and leaving others.
* getting learners to exchange their copies for peer correction.