Error correction is an important part of learning. It can be easy to let small errors slip by, especially if you don’t want to disrupt the flow of a lesson. But it is a vital part of teaching. Here’s why.
Why make corrections
For one thing, it’s a positive step. It’s not a telling off, or an opportunity to single someone out. Error correction is an essential step in realizing one’s own mistakes and understanding the correct way to say something.
When should it be done?
On the other hand, it would be almost impossible to correct every mistake in the EFL classroom, so you are left with the question of what should be corrected and when.
Which mistakes should be corrected depends mostly on the circumstances. The following should serve as a guideline:
Offer corrections for mistakes using:
- The target language
- Language previously taught (especially if it recent)
You should also correct:
- Common mistakes (made by either the class or individuals)
- Mistakes that alter the meaning of a sentence
I’ll be writing more soon on how to correct errors, which includes a variety of methods, so come back soon.