I’m currently preparing for an ELT conference in
where I’m going to talk about error correction and feedback. To cut a long story short - I need your help to prove that what I’m planning to say is not sheer theory. Vienna
Here are some basic, immediate ways of correcting students’ utterances. You may or may not like them but the truth is we all use them, from time to time and sometimes automatically, during out classes.
My request is for you to spend a few minutes and let me know which technique(s) you use most often to correct your students. Are there some you never use? Can you think of other ways that I, in my ignorance, haven’t mentioned?
I’ll be extremely grateful for your replies J
- Explicit Correction – Teacher provides the correct form and clearly indicates that what the student had said was wrong.
S ‘Yesterday I go to the cinema’
T ‘Yesterday I went to the cinema’. went is the past form of go. If you talk about yesterday you have to use went not go.
- Recasts – Teacher reformulates all or part of the student’s utterance.
S1 ‘Are you agree with me?’
T ‘Do you agree with me?’
S2 ‘Yes, I agree.
- Clarification requests – indicate to students that what they said has been misunderstood by the teacher or that the utterance is incorrect in some way. Repetition or reformulation is required from the student and the teacher may use phrases such as: ‘Pardon?’ ‘Excuse me?’
T. ‘What did you do yesterday?’
S ‘I play football’
T ‘Excuse me?’
S ‘I played football’
- Metalinguistic feedback – contains comments and information about the student’s utterance without providing the correct form. Metalinguistic comments indicate that there is an error somewhere but they are also an attempt to elicit the information from the student. Teacher may use grammatical terminology or a word definition.
S. She like bananas.
T. What’s the ending of the 3rd person singular when we use Present Simple?
- Repetition - Teacher repeats student’s erroneous utterance typically by adjusting the intonation to highlight the error.
S. I watch TV in Monday.
T. IN Monday? (rising intonation)
Please, don’t be a lurker and drop me a line :) If you have more time you can also mention the level and age of your students.
Thanks a million!