Error correction strategies in English classroom


Involvement of pupils to study language as the main task of the teacher. The significance of learners' errors. The definition of possible classifications of mistakes by examples. Correction of mistakes of pupils as a part of educational process.

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1.1 Why Correction is Necessary

1.2 The significance of learners

1.3 Studies of learner errors

1.4 Studies of corrective feedback


2.1 Reasons of emergence of mistakes

2.2 Prevention of speech mistakes analysis method

2.3 Ways of correction of mistakes




Since there was a need for training to a foreign language, there was also a problem of search effective ways achievement of this purpose. A huge number of teachers to aspire to create concrete systems of the training, capable to provide each pupil successful mastering by a foreign language. However the difficulties, getting in the way there is a lot of achievement of this purpose. One of difficulties is connected with training oral speech. The methods, allowing to consider specific features of trainees in group aren't developed yet. While methods are developed to the teacher it is necessary to hope for the intuition.

We perfectly know, what even native speakers often commit mistakes in the speech. The person speaking on second, not native to it language, it will be not dependent on the desire to commit a mistake in speech. The teacher in turn should warn, and if isn't present, to help to get rid of mistakes. It should define accurately what reasons of mistakes, develop receptions of correction of mistakes, and the most important to learn their forecasting and the prevention.

The purpose of this term paper is the analysis of various ways correction of mistakes.

Tasks : Study of methodical literature, identification reasons emergence of mistakes and definition possible classifications of mistakes.

Thus, object of our research is communication, and an subject of research are mistakes arising at communication and ways of their correction.

Method: to study strategies work teachers by means of examples and mistakes of pupils.

The structure of my work consists of two chapters. In first chapter I tried to show that language is a communication medium and the main task of the teacher it is involvement of pupils to studied language. Correction of mistakes at pupils is one of the most important in foreign languages. In second chapter on the practice by means of examples disassembled possible strategy of correction of mistakes.


1.1 Correction is Necessary

"An error…reflects the competence of the learner." (Brown) "While mistakes can be self-corrected" (Brown), "an error cannot be self-corrected." (Brown) Student errors are an inevitable part of their learning process and need to be treated as a teachable moment. There are many causes of errors including "interlingual errors...from the native language, intralingual errors within the target language, the sociolinguistic context of communication, psycholinguistic or cognitive strategies, and affective variables."

When learning a second language it is natural for students to at first apply their knowledge of their native language to the target language. Depending on the similar or contrasting characteristic of these languages this may or may not be a successful strategy for the student. "In the beginning stages of learning a second language... (negative) interlingual transfer is a significant source of the native language is the only previous linguistic system upon which the learner can draw." (Brown) An example of this would be students applying their L1 grammar structure to the target language.Errors also stem from intralingual transfer, which is an indicator to the teacher that the student has moved out of the beginning stages of learning. "Once learners have begun to acquire parts of the new system, more and more intralingual transfer-generalization within the target language-is manifested". (Brown) The field of corpus linguistics had amassed copious amounts of data on this subject and provides a great resource to help teachers learn what errors to look out for.A third significant source of student errors can be the result of inferior classroom materials or from the teachers themselves, these are called induced errors. "Students often make errors because of a misleading explanation from the teacher, faulty presentation of a structure of word in a textbook, or even because of a pattern that was rotely memorized in a drill but improperly contextualized". (Brown)

When and how to correct errors. "While it is important to accentuate the positive in learners' journeys to success" it's up to the teacher to discern when to correct or not correct the student. One of the criterions when deciding when to correct student errors is whether the error is global or local. A local error, at the discretion of the teacher, can often be overlooked for the greater good of the students learning process. This is because "Local errors do not prevent the message from being heard, usually because there is only a minor violation of one segment of a sentence, allowing the hearer/reader to make an accurate guess about the intended meaning." (Brown) On the other hand when a student makes a global error, this is probably an error that should be corrected. This is because "global errors hinder communication; they prevent the hearer from comprehending some aspect of the message" the student is trying to convey.There are many strategies and styles of error correction that teachers use, this choice usually coincides with the teaching method the TESOL professional is using. While early L2 teaching methods that focused on rote learning and emphasized students creating perfect output (for example the Audio-Lingual method) used error correction excessively, newer models based on a natural approach emphasize communicative competence and recognize that not correcting all student errors is more productive.A useful tool for interpreting types of error correction is Vigil and Oller's affective and cognitive feedback model. "Vigil and Oller's (1976) communication feedback model offered one of the first models for approaching error in the language classroom". They employ the simple concept of a traffic light and categorize teachers' styles of error correction as green light, yellow light and red light. "Green light (correction)...allows the sender to continue attempting to get a message across; a red light causes the sender to abort such attempts." (Brown p. 274) "A yellow light ... causing the learner to adjust, to alter, to recycle, to try again in some way".

It is important to balance the types of error corrections. A consequence of the excessive use of green light strategies may result in fossilization of the students learning as the teacher has not provided a framework from which the student can build. Superfluous use of red light corrections "often leads learners to shut off their attempts at communication.

They perceive that so much is wrong with their production that there is little hope to get anything right."Correction is necessary. The argument that students just need to use the language and the rest will come by itself seems rather weak. Students come to us to teach them. If they want only conversation, they will probably inform us - or, they might just go to a chat room on the Internet. Obviously students need to be corrected as part of the learning experience. However, students also need to be encouraged to use the language. It is true that correcting students while they are trying their best to use the language can often discourage them. The most satisfactory solution of all is make correction an activity. Correction can be used as a follow-up to any given class activity.

However, correction sessions can be used as a valid activity in and of themselves. In other words, teachers can set up an activity during which each mistake (or a specific type of mistake) will be corrected. Students know that the activity is going to focus on correction, and accept that fact. However, these activities should be kept in balance with other, more free-form, activities which give students the opportunity to express themselves without having to worry about being corrected every other word.

It is to S.P. Corder that Error Analysis owes its place as a scientific method in linguistics. As Rod Ellis cites (p. 48), "it was not until the 1970s that EA became a recognized part of applied linguistics, a development that owed much to the work of Corder". Before Corder, linguists observed learners' errors, divided them into categories, tried to see which ones were common and which were not, but not much attention was drawn to their role in second language acquisition. It was Corder who showed to whom information about errors would be helpful (teachers, researchers, and students) and how.

1.2 The significance of learners

There are many major concepts introduced by S. P. Corder in his article "The significance of learners' errors", among which we encounter the following:

It is the learner who determines what the input is. The teacher can present a linguistic form, but this is not necessarily the input, but simply what is available to be learned.

- Keeping the above point in mind, learners' needs should be co...