Error correction in a communicative class
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Error Correction in a Communicative Class. Katherine C. FitzSimons English Language Fellow Guayaquil, Ecuador 2008-2009 09 4664 358 celular [email protected] Do you agree with this statement?. “We learn by making mistakes.”. Creating an Environment in Which Mistakes are OK.

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Error Correction in a Communicative Class

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Error correction in a communicative class

Error Correction in a Communicative Class

Katherine C. FitzSimons

English Language Fellow

Guayaquil, Ecuador 2008-2009

09 4664 358 celular

[email protected]


Do you agree with this statement

Do you agree with this statement?

“We learn by making mistakes.”


Creating an environment in which mistakes are ok

Creating an Environment in Which Mistakes are OK

  • If you believe that we learn by making mistakes then it is critical to create a classroom environment in which mistakes are OK.


Error correction

Error Correction

  • Errors are natural and normal.

  • Errors should not make a student feel bad, sad, nervous, or stupid.

  • Before students can be ready for an exam they need to understand their errors and how to correct them.

  • However, not all errors need to be corrected for successful real world communication.


Warm up what kind of corrector are you

Warm-up:What kind of corrector are you?

  • In groups, read dialogues 1-6 from the handout ¨Sample Correction Techniques¨.

  • Think about who corrected the students in the dialogues, when, where and how they were corrected.


What techniques did the teacher use in dialogues 1 6

Gets answer from another student

Gets answer from same student

Says answer was wrong

Provides model of correct answer

Indicates error with rising intonation

Says what was wrong

Asks students to repeat correct answer

Uses gestures or facial expressions to indicate wrong answer

Asks for the rule

Provides correct language naturally in passing

What techniques did the teacher use in dialogues 1-6?


Your opinion

Your Opinion:

  • Why do students make errors?


Why do students make errors

Why do students make errors?

  • They are practicing a new language.

  • They are nervous or forget.

  • Teachers focus too much on reading and writing so speaking and listening are difficult.

  • There are differences between the mother tongue and the new language.

  • No one speaks perfectly.


Your opinion1

Your Opinion:

  • Should errors be corrected?


Why correct errors

Why correct errors?

  • Students want to be understood.

  • Students expect to be corrected by the teacher.

  • Students want to improve and feel confident.

  • Students don´t know they are making mistakes.

  • Students want to complete tasks successfully.


Your opinion2

Your Opinion:

  • Which errors require correction?


Which errors should be corrected

Which errors should be corrected?

  • Errors that detract from successful completion of a task.

  • Errors that affect students´ ability to be understood.

  • Repeated errors.

  • Shared errors.

    NOTE: Mistakes are different from errors because they are not repeated often. The student knows the rule but simply forgets it temporarily.


Your opinion3

Your Opinion:

  • When should error correction happen?


When to correct errors

When to correct errors?

  • Immediate—At the exact moment of production

  • Delayed—Note the error and correct it later (at the end of the student´s speech, task, lesson, day)

  • Never—No correction


Activity when to correct

Activity: When to correct

  • Read the handout ¨Correction Techniques: Summary¨.

  • Discuss with a partner WHEN to correct the student in each situation and put an X in the box Immediate, Delayed, or No Correction.


Your opinion4

Your Opinion:

  • Where can we correct errors?


When to correct errors1

When to correct errors?

  • In Public—Make one student´s error a lesson for all

  • Individually—Working only with the student who made the error


Activity where to correct

Activity: Where to correct

  • Read the handout ¨Correction Techniques: Summary¨ again.

  • Discuss with a partner WHERE to correct the student in each situation and put an X in the box for Individual or Public.


More information about when to correct errors

More information about when to correct errors

Error correction depends on many factors including:

  • Learner sensitivity

  • Learner situation

  • Learning purpose (fluency or accuracy)

  • Task type (reading, writing, speaking, listening, individual, group work…)


Your opinion5

Your Opinion:

  • Who can correct errors?


Who can correct errors

Who can correct errors?

  • Self-correction—The student corrects himself

  • Peer correction—The group helps to correct another student

  • Teacher correction—The teacher demonstrates the correct form

    Which type is the best? Why?


Activity who can correct

Activity: Who can correct

  • Read the handout ¨Correction Techniques: Summary¨ once more.

  • Discuss with a partner WHO can correct the student in each situation and put an X in the box for Self-correction, Peer correction, or Teacher correction.


Your opinion6

Your Opinion:

  • How should corrective feedback be carried out?


How should errors be corrected

How should errors be corrected?

  • For repeated or shared errors, the teacher needs to provide a model of the correct language.

  • Grammar errors may require a review of rules and extra practice.

  • Pronunciation errors may require more minimal pair or sentence stress practice.

  • All error correction should be done with sensitivity to avoid embarrassment and fear.


Role of the teacher in communicative error correction

Role of the Teacher in Communicative Error Correction

The teacher can be:

  • Reference Book

  • Partner

  • Helper

  • Enemy

  • Authority Figure

    What do these terms mean?

    Which one is best? Why?


Activity the teacher s role

Activity: The Teacher´s Role

  • Read the handout ¨Teacher´s Role¨.

  • Work in groups. Tell each other which role you think the teacher plays in each situation.

  • Try to predict the student´s reaction to each situation.


In conclusion

In conclusion…

  • Several studies report that indirect feedback leads to either equal or greater levels of accuracy than direct feedback over time.

    (Ferris et al., 2000; Ferris & Helt, 2000; Frantzen, 1995; Lalande, 1982; Lee, 1997; Robb et al., 1986).


Thank you

THANK YOU!!!

Katherine C. FitzSimons

English Language Fellow

Fundación Ecuador-Aprendamos

[email protected]

09 4664358 celular


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