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.

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