Error Correction Workshop:
Workshop Objectives: to discuss issues surrounding error correction
What is the role of error in language learning?
What decisions do teachers need to make regarding error correction?
What techniques can teachers use to correct student errors?
1. Discussion: Statements about the role of error
Place participants into pairs and ask them to discuss the two statements
Elicit feedback from the group
Ensure the following points are introduced
Language learning is a process of creative construction
Errors are inevitable and positive
Errors reveal the development of learners’ interlanguage
Take a moment to introduce the difference between errors and mistakes (slips).
(Errors: Where students cannot correct themselves resulting from a lack of competence)
Mistakes (slips): Where students can correct themselves (resulting from a performance slip)
2.“Why do learners make errors?”
Elicit ideas from the whole group
Reveal the slide, and discuss the items
Gaps in knowledge: This refers to something the learners have not been exposed to yet.
Interference: Can occur from L1 transfer, or from negative effects of previous or subsequent learning.
Developmental errors: When learners overgeneralize a rule they have learned, and confuse it with another rule they have learned. i.e. *She is more nicer than him – more for comparatives mixed up with comparative adj formed by adding –er.
Forgetting: Sometimes people just forget something they have previously learned,
High demands: Under time pressure, or high cognitive demands learners can be led to making slips
Experimenting with language/Taking Risks. Learning is often a process of trial and error, and students may experiment to see what does and doesn’t work. These errors are generally viewed as being very positive.
3.“Why correct students?”
Elicit ideas from the whole group
Review the information on the slide
4. “What decisions need to be made concerning error correction?”
Briefly elicit from the trainees the different kind of language errors that students make
Reveal the information on the slide and ask for any examples they can think of
Place the trainees into small groups, and ask them to discuss errors that are typical of their learners using information from the workshop pretask, and any new idea that they have
Lexical Errors: My jacket is broken (instead of torn)
Phonological Errors: ‘PHOtographer
Grammatical Errors: I like to shopping
A: Did you like that movie?
B: Maybe (lack of coherence)
Sociocultural Errors: How much money do you make? (lack of appropriacy)
5. “When to correct?”
The main factor in deciding whether to correct and when to correct is if the activity is focused on accuracy or fluency. During fluency focused activities it may be more appropriate to delay
correction, or not correct at all.
Place the trainees into groups, and ask each group to think of examples of when they would correct immediately, delay correction, or not correct at all. (ie. During a role play it is often best to delay correction, unless correcting will help the students move forward.
Elicit feedback from the group.
6. “Who will correct?”
Review the different options with the participants
Invite opinions on when different option are best used
7. “How to correct?” –correction techniques
Review the material on the slide, and demonstrate any techniques you feel trainees may not be familiar with.
Place trainees in pairs, and ask them to review the list of typical errors of their students from earlier in the workshop.
Ask them to choose 5 of the errors, and decide what technique they would use (every pair should try to use finger correction and a timeline at least once)
8. Follow-Up Task
Introduce the follow up task
All trainees are to plan an error correction strategy for each stage of an upcoming lesson.
Lesson plans should be submitted for discussionprior to the lesson, and a feedback session should be held with all of the trainees to discuss how appropriate the decisions they made were
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