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How I Correct My Students’ Errors With These Effective Ways

When I Correct My Students

I correct my students when they can’t find the right way to proceed. When they are searching for the right word, phrase, or grammar, I make my mind to help them.

After several students have made the same mistake, I make a note of it and plan an activity for a later lesson. I don’t interrupt what they are doing, but I don’t ignore the mistake either.

I correct students when there is a real possibility of misunderstanding, for example, if a student is talking about a past event but uses the wrong verb tense which could confuse the listener. I must explain this mistake when it happens, otherwise, it will lead to other misunderstandings in the future.

How I Correct My Students’ Mistakes

When I correct students, I ALWAYS show students a better way! I don’t just tell them they are wrong, I give them an example, in a sentence, to reinforce my correction. Sometimes, two or three examples are helpful. If it’s a particularly difficult point, I can even have the whole class practice the correct sentences out loud so that everyone gets it.

For me, the constant dilemma is “To correct and encourage accuracy or not to correct and encourage fluency”.

Interrupting students when they make mistakes is a risk that can make them nervous and hesitant speakers. Not doing so may deprive them of a valuable learning opportunity.

In general, it is often worth avoiding interrupting students as much as you can. Immediate correction can be useful when I am interacting with the class but when students are involved in pair or group activities, delayed correction is better.

During pair or group work

I listen while the students are working and make mental notes of the most important mistakes. I let them complete the activity. Then I draw attention to the mistake and invite the student to correct it.

In speaking tasks

Most mistakes in speaking are what we call ‘slips’. Slips are mistakes that the student can correct if I draw attention to the mistake.

I Personally Use the Following Techniques to Correct My Students:

  • Asking for repetition without indicating where the mistake is. In many cases, students will be able to self-correct when I just indicate there is a mistake.
  • Drawing attention to mistakes using stress to indicate the position of mistakes and prompt the student to self-correct.
  • Using Peer correction as sometimes the students cannot self-correct (although they should always be given the opportunity). In this case, I can prompt another student to provide the correction. After doing this, I return to the original student to get the self-correction.
  • Allowing two or three students in the class to become the ones who always provide peer correction. The correction of mistakes should be a task shared by all the students in the class.

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