Note – participants get the handout at the end of the session
Aim:To assess participants’ attitude towards error and explore the negative connotations of the words ‘error’ and ‘mistake’. 1.Tell the participants to write down 6 words that they associate with the word mistake and then let them compare with a partner. 2.Elicit some of their answers in class feedback . 3. Discuss how the words that they come up with are likely to be negative in connotation e.g. error, fault and the task serves to sum up the fact that most societies see ‘mistake’ as negative thing and this attitude carries through into learning and language learning. If you wish to exemplify further go to next slide.
The point is that society’s view towards error has spilled over into language teaching and for many years methodological approaches did their utmost to prevent English students from making a mistake. The Confucius quote is quite revealing, if you consider it from a student’s point of view e.g. cautious seldom err = a student who barely speaks will seldom make an error = such a student is NOT developing their language. Making mistakes should be seen as a learning step Thankfully these days most of us have moved away from such error restricting methodologies but that in itself has brought a new set of problems, it’s no longer how do I prevent students making errors, but more a case of how do I deal with the student once they have made an error and that is what we’ll look at in this session. Ask the participants what they would say if a student asked them ‘what is an error.’ Allow some time for discussion then get some ideas before showing the next slide
Aim: To get a working definition of error that we can use for the basis of error correction Ask the participants to discuss if there is error or not and then discuss as a group. Answers 1. Winningest is one of the new words in the OALD. It is standard US English (however as this is talking about a UK team it sounds out of place to a Br Eng speaker) 2. Mwah, another new word in the OALD, describing the sound of a kiss on the cheek. 3. Wicked in the dictionary means evil but is commonly used in UK English by young people to mean excellent. 4. According to the grammar books fewer not less should be used with plural nouns. 5. It’s a plural so should be there are but it’s easier to say there’s, linking with the following ‘s’ of seven, than to say there’re. It’s all about ease of speech. After the discussion on these, go back to the definition of error and try and get an agreed definition. The OALD defines error as ‘a mistake’, as something ‘that causes problems or affects the result of something.’ The question would then be what is the norm e.g. UK English differs in the north and south, UK differs from US and so on. The OALD definition of error is a good base for error correction and is a good one to use with a student who claims to want everything corrected – I interpret ‘one that causes problems or affects the result of something’ as meaning well if they the student makes an error but I still understand it then why correct? Take this example from Lewis in the lexical approach ‘We don’t must to go to school tomorrow’ - it contains an error but is perfectly understandable so should we correct? And is correction not overlooking the fact that 90 percent of the sentence is correct? Also doesn’t it depend on whether the student has ever been taught that ‘must’ doesn’t take ‘to’? Or that ‘mustn’t has a different meaning from ‘don’t have to’. So perhaps we need to see an error as a learning step and approach it that way – does the student know the rule? Are they experimenting?
Aim: To quickly review some of the causes and types of error as a first step towards being able to correct them. 1. If the errors are learning steps there are two things that can influence the learning – us (the teacher) and them the student. Ask the participants to think of some of the ways ‘us and them’ can cause errors e.g. lesson can take place late in the day so one reason that might lead students to make an error is tiredness.
The slide shows some of the factors that might be the teacher or students fault. It is by no means complete and is open to addition from the participants. You may need to develop some of the points i.e. In overgeneralisiing the rules we refer to some and any. In coursebooks it is introduced to students with the rule - some used in positives, any in negatives and questions. A level or so later they students will meet some in questions (for requests) Having established some of the causes of error the next step is look at some of the error types.
Aim: To explore different examples of error type (again its not a comprehensive list) Ask the participants to work together and look at the sentences to decide what type of error it is, do the first one as a group to exemplify. Give them enough time to discuss then go over them all as a group. T: Are you angry? St: No, I had lunch 2 hours ago Student misheard the teacher (receptive error) In street there was man with large dog lack of articles (could be L1 interference) T: Ask her where she went last night. St: Where you went last night? Mimicking the teacher I was a host at a party last night. My best friend was celebrating her birthday. Wrong word caused by L1 interference (Its a false friend in Czech) He gave me some useful informations. Overgeneralization of plural rule / Experimentation He gived me useful information. Grammar error caused by overgeneralization of the add ‘d’ to make the past tense rule / experimentation My skin is very sensible Wrong word (lexical error) / L1 interference (in many languages sensible and sensitive are the same word. They bought their son a fluffy little pub for his birthday. Phonological error, student has trouble with the /b/ and /p/ sound. I saw TV last night. (lexical - wrong word chosen) “ Hi Sarah, this is John, I was wondering if you would accompany to the disco on Saturday?” Appropriacy - overly formal phrase for disco I went to a disco on Saturday even though I love dancing. Wrong choice of linking word (discourse error)
Aim: To explore some guidelines we can use to help decide if and when error correction should take place. 1. Start with the scenario and ask the participants if they think this is a good way to error correct (obviously not) and what is wrong with it. There is obviously no set answer to this but the aim is to introduce some factors about both the student(s) and the lesson type. Some of the key facts are on the next slide….
The lesson – What type of lesson is it? Did the error happen during a lesson on ‘modal’ verbs or in another lesson? When did the class cover model verbs? Recently or not? What stage of the lesson is it? Is it controlled practice of the form? Is it a fluency stage? What time of day is it? Is the student simply tired? The student - What level of the class is it? Should these students know the rules? Which student is it? Is it one of the ‘weaker’ speakers? How would they react to correction? Correction – Would it be beneficial? Who will correct? Can correction be done efficiently or will it be time consuming? Will correction take us away from our lesson aim? Can the student self-correct (do they know they made a mistake?
Ask the group to consider in what circumstances they would correct a student that said this in class. I would correct this if it was a controlled practice stage of the lesson which was asking the students to produce the correct form. Ask for other possibilities. If the participants can justify their reasons then fine. Drawing some conclusions from the discussion we can say: Correction depends on the stage of the lesson – it could be done immediately (as in the e.g. above), delayed (perhaps more akin to fluency activities) or even halfway (e.g. in a fluency activity where you hear a consistent error that is affecting the performance of the activity) Correction depends on the receptiveness of the student being corrected and their level (we might for example praise an elementary student who said sentence 13 but correct an Intermediate student) Correction can be done by three people – the student, their peers and of course the teacher.
After drawing conclusions, tell participants to look at these sentences beginnings and complete the sentences (on their own) then compare with a partner then pairs compare and finally whole group discussion. Completing the sentences allows the participants to input into how to correct rather than the session merely becoming a lecture. There are many possible answers that will come up but by the end the teachers will have a comprehensive list of guidelines and techniques which we put to practical use in the final stages. As there are many answers here we have included them in the participant handout for you to refer to. The next stage is to look at some situations in which the student has made an error and for the participants to suggest how to deal with them.
Aim: To put into practice some of the correction guidelines. There are 5 situations for the participants to consider. For each one they need to consider, if they would correct the mistake, how they would correct it and when they would correct it. Do the first one together and then go to the next slide and give them thinking time. Obviously there may be a number of solutions that might be discussed. The common response from a previous workshop was: - yes - correct by using quizzical intonation on the words ‘last year’. (You want them to use past simple for specific time in the past.) - correct immediately as it is part of a drill (and therefore accuracy)
Again a number of answers are possible so allow any that can be justified. In fact the more answers the better as it shows what a tricky business error correction is and how there are no hard and fast rules. However for the sake of having one answer these are from a previous workshop: Situation 2: - Most would not correct this as it was a warm up activity but others argue that if numbers had previously been taught then it should be addressed after the warm up finished. Situation 3: - The consensus answer was to stop the activity and deal with this one error on the board before letting the students continue. Situation 4: - Immediate correction, using quizzical tone and allowing self / peer correction Situation 5: This was is a bit of a trick as it is a written error. The teacher could correct as they monitor. Another option is to wait until the postcards are finished and then let students swap and peer correct each others work.
Dealing with spoken errors- ignacio mejia
Dealing with spoken errorsDealing with spoken errors
Write down 6 words you associate with the word‘mistake’*Compare your words with a partner* Note in this session error and mistake are used interchangeably
“ Mummy I got a B in my English Exam”“That’s good but how many mistakes did you make?”Error is worse than ignorance (Philip James Bailey)The cautious seldom err (Confucius)
How do feel about these sentences? Correct or not?1. Manchester United are the winningest team in English football.2. As she kissed him loudly on the cheek the mwah rang out acrossthe park.3. Gareth is wicked, he is the coolest person I know.4. There are less people here than yesterday5. There’s seven cars in the car park.
Types / causes of error• With a partner, can you think of somecommon errors made by languagelearners and then discuss what might bethe cause of them.• NB: It may be that sometimes the teacher(current or previous) is the cause of the error. Itcould be first language interference.
Teacher’s fault• Unclear presentation oflanguage• Not giving the students enoughpractice of the language• Teacher overgeneralising therule (e.g. add s to make aplural, add s in the 3rd person)• Teacher oversimplifying therule (e.g. some/any)• Overloading the students (e.g.too many tenses in onelesson)• Presenting language to a toolow level (e.g. doing the 3rdconditional with beginners)• Giving the wrong rulesStudent’s fault• Too tired, stressed from worketc• Not paying attention in class /copying down wrongly from thewhiteboard• Not studying outside of school• Experimenting with thelanguage• Mishearing the teacher• First language interference
Causes of error1. T: Are you angry? St: No, I had lunch 2 hours ago2. In street there was man with large dog3. T: Ask her where she went last night. St: Where you went last night?4. I was a host at a party last night. My best friend was celebrating her birthday5. He gave me some useful informations.6. He gived me useful information.7. My skin is very sensible8. They bought their son a fluffy little pub for his birthday.9. I saw TV last night10. “Hi Sarah, this is John, I was wondering if you would accompany me to the disco onSaturday?”11. I went to a disco on Saturday even though I love dancing.
The lesson has started, the teacher and students arediscussing together, in open class, the answers to thehomework exercise that the teacher has set theprevious week (on phrasal verbs). There is a knock onthe door and in walks a late student. As the studententers he speaks: “I’m sorry I’m late my father hastaken to hospital”To which the teacher replies: “No, not has taken buthas been taken.
If and when to correct errorsThings to consider:• The lesson– Stage– Focus– Time of day• The student– Level– Existing knowledge– Personality• Correction– Necessary / beneficial?– Who?– How?– Time it takes
I must to go to work laterI must to go to work later
1. Teachers simply echoing the student’s mistake is not an effective way to correct because…..2. Teachers verbally interrupting a student can be a bad thing because…..3. Assuming we want a student to try and self-correct immediately, three ways to avoid verballyinterrupting are….4. However teachers should be aware that some of the disadvantages of self-correction are….5. A teacher might decide not to correct if …6. Some ways of dealing with delayed feedback are….7. Overall, five practical ways of dealing with spoken errors are….
With a partner decide how you would deal with the errors in these situations.Discuss each situation and decide:Would you correct the error or mistake?How exactly would you correct it?When exactly would you correct it?Situation 1You are doing a drill to practise the present perfect and past simple.You ask, “Have you ever been to the mountains?”A student responds, “I’ve went to the mountains on France last year.”
Situation 2You are doing a warm upactivity with your class. Inthe activity a studentsays, “Last week was mymother’s birthday, she isfive and fifty .”Situation 3Your learners are workingin groups; their task is toplan what to do togetherat the weekend. Severallearners in differentgroups are making thesame mistake, saying “Wego to the restaurant” or“We go on a trip.”Situation 4Your class has just beenintroduced to the function‘Let’s do something’. Youare organising a trip withyour class and you arediscussing what to do; alearner says, Let goswimming.Situation 5Your learners are writinga postcard in pairs abouttheir summer holiday to afriend at home. One pairhas written, ‘I am go torestaurant every day.’Adapted from Tasks for Teacher education by Tanner and Green published byPearson Education
RECOGNITION Has a mistake been made?DESCRIPTION What kind of mistake?How serious is it?EXPLANATION What caused it?REMEDY Should I act?How should I act?When should I act?Four steps to error correction