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    • #7471
      Beth Melia-Leigh
      Moderator
          @beth

          Think about your own practice and consider the following:

          • Which methods do you most/least often use? Why?
          • From your experience, what do you think are the most/least effective methods? Why?

          Compare your responses with those of your peers. Are your approaches and opinions similar or different? Comment on at least 2 other posts.

        • #52451
          Robert Dailey
          Participant
              @robertd

              1.     Which methods from Topic 4 do you most/least often use? Why?

              2.     From your experience, what do you think are the most/least effective methods? Why?

               

              1.     Perhaps the most common method I use is repetition/ echoing because it gives the Ss that chance to correct the mistake him/herself and with some strange facial expressions it can be good fun. Just making a funny face can often work wonders. This said, the method I use will depend to a large extent on what has been happening in class. For example, if we have been working with the present continuous and there is a mistake here then I might use metalinguistic feedback, but rather than explain the grammar to the Ss I´ll normally invite them to tell me themselves. If they can´t, then I´ll make it clear.

              A method that I don´t think I ever use is explicit correction/ denial because I think it´s more useful to give the Ss the opportunity to make the correction themselves. This said, I have done this in a writing activity. I wrote the sentence with the mistake on the board and the correct sentence above it and I was very surprised to see how well the Ss took to this.

              I didn´t know the very simple act of pulling two fingers together to show a contraction that is shown in the video and I´m going to use that!

              2.     As mentioned in my answer to number 1, I think that the most effective techniques invite the Ss to correct the mistake him/herself before correcting it for them. (E.g. elicitation, repetition, clarification request). I understand that this results in deeper/ better learning for the student and is an active learning strategy. In many cases, Ss will correct the mistake themselves and in this way show the mistake was perhaps a slip rather than an error.

              I think that an effective method of dealing with errors is to revisit them. I.e. perhaps do a quick gap-fill quiz in the class, or a few classes down the line. This keeps the Ss on their toes and if they can answer the question then this is evidence of learning (at least at the moment in which the test/ quiz takes place).

            • #52453
              Robert Dailey
              Participant
                  @robertd

                  An additional short anecdote about correction. I was a student in a C1 Spanish class with about 20 other students placed in a horseshoe pattern. I said something not too well and the teacher said “Robert, those vowels!” I felt myself redden and although the teacher was a good one, with a doctorate in teaching Spanish and many years of experience, I could imagine that a student could be hesitant about speaking again in a class because of a situation like this. I also noticed that the teacher did not give any follow up instruction/ advice on how to make the vowel sounds. I think I learnt 2 things from this experience: 1. A clumsy correction (perhaps because the teacher was tired etc.) can potentially have long-term consequences. 2. Sometimes a correction is not enough: sometimes we also need to show/ explain how to produce language better.

                  • #52470
                    Gajinder Kaur
                    Participant
                        @gk

                        @ Robert

                        I can totally relate to your experience as a student in a language class. The good thing is it teaches us how it feels to be on the other side of the fence. By learning ourselves, we know how it feels at the receiving end helps teachers develop empathy. I myself feel wary of saying anything in a training class as a student, lest I be ridiculed…

                        I’m sorry the experience drove you into a shell, but we are wiser now, aren’t we?

                    • #52471
                      Gajinder Kaur
                      Participant
                          @gk

                          Which methods do you most/least often use? Why?

                          I seem to unconsciously lean towards using the recast/reformulation method and repetition, especially with lower levels. With higher levels I have used clarification, ccqs, explicit correction and metalinguistic feedback.

                          I think it depends very much on learner level to decide which method is best. Also, I don’ t pre-plan at all- whatever arises spontaneously at the moment, I go with that.

                          From your experience, what do you think are the most/least effective methods? Why?

                          That would vary from teacher to teacher. Personally, I feel the delayed/deferred method is a very weak tool, as is denial. If you don’t bring it to the student’s notice that there has been an error at all, they will never notice it or try to rectify.

                        • #52472
                          Gajinder Kaur
                          Participant
                              @gk

                              Are there any particular errors that you always (or almost always) correct? Are there any particular errors that you don’t correct – either because you chose not to or because you didn’t notice them at the time?

                              I almost ALWAYS correct lexical and pronunciation errors. I seem to let go of certain grammatical errors that might not have been discussed in the lesson. But if it is common across the class, I will find time and address it for the whole class.

                              6. How do you draw learners’ attention to their errors? Do you provide the correct form, e.g. through recasts?

                              By using a lot of appropriate attention-drawing intonation/ facial gestures/ even elicitation and self reflection. Sometimes I might even ask peers todo some correction of obvious errors.

                              • #53180
                                Vasiliki Zinonos
                                Participant
                                    @vasiliki

                                    Hi GK @gk,

                                    I agree with you that some methods seem to be more effective for lower levels of students and some for higher levels. There is of course a lot unanticipated errors that can occur in a lesson, so you cannot pre-plan for those and need to be ready to respond as you see fit in the moment.

                                    You make a good point about the deferred method being a weak method, as that might make feedback unrelated if it comes much later and not when it’s most needed (almost immediately or soon after).

                                     

                                • #52632
                                  Aytaj Suleymanova
                                  Participant
                                      @aytajs93

                                      Hi everyone.

                                      I often use gestures in face-to-face lessons. I find it works well both with children and adults.

                                      For adults delayed correction is more useful, in my opinion as they are more capable of reflection and it also leads the students to make self-improvement goals.

                                      CCQs are very important as well because they help the students refresh their background knowledge and it usually leads to elicitation.

                                    • #52850
                                      Erica
                                      Participant
                                          @erica

                                          Which methods do you most/least often use? Why?

                                          I have to say that I agree on many things Robert wrote on his post.

                                          First, I share his believe in error correction as active learning. After all, error correction is part of learning and therefore it should be useful and well-received by students. I think giving students thinking time is beneficial and it may also lead to self-correction (which is likely to become self-awareness in the future if the error is recurrent).

                                          My top methods are: echoing (I completely agree with Robert’s comment on smiley and funny faces), elicitation, clarification and recast (which I kind of mix with repetition as I provide the students with 2 examples, what they said and the correct form of it before asking them which one is right). I use metalinguistic feedback when appropriate, i.e. when I have used metalanguage to teach grammar the learners are expected to recall and make some sense out of it during feedback/ error correction.

                                          I’ve noticed that I tend to use finger correction only with lower levels.

                                          From your experience, what do you think are the most/least effective methods? Why?

                                          Any method can be effective as long as it helps learners notice the mistakes. I personally love delayed error correction as it involves the whole class and I also use it sometimes to revise language through errors on different occasions (for example, at the beginning of a new lesson, in preparation for a test, etc.). I usually prepare some sentences featuring some common errors (must be something previously done in class) that then students need to correct in pairs/ small groups. Working together generates constructive discussions and peer correction and acting as the teacher gives them a sense of empowerment. During the feedback I ask the students to justify their answers (Why is X a mistake?). It generally works well even if it is no substitute for individual correction, which is expected and vital as well.

                                        • #52854
                                          Manuel Flores Lasarte
                                          Moderator
                                              @manuel

                                              Hi everyone,

                                              It’s been great reading your contributions on error correction so many thanks for adding your ideas and responding to each other’s posts. This is a summary of the discussion so far:

                                              • You all seem to agree that errors should be corrected as this will help learners improve their language further, as error correction (especially when encouraging learners to correct their own mistakes) leads to self-awareness. However, we need to make it clear what the mistake is and how it can be corrected without ridiculing the learner. As Robert concludes as a result of his student experience, “a clumsy correction can potentially have long-term consequences” and “a correction is not enough: we also need to show/explain how to produce language better”. I’m sorry for that negative student experience, Robert (I must admit Spanish people can be quite direct!) but I agree with Gajinder that there was a lot to learn from that experience so thank you for sharing it with us.

                                               

                                              • You are right to say that the most effective error correction technique depends on our learners, the previous learning done and what happens in the classroom. Therefore:
                                                – If it is a slip and learners can correct the mistake easily, echoing / gestures or CCQs can be effective techniques.
                                                – If it is not possible for learners to correct their mistakes (e.g. because it is beyond their level), then recasting/reformulation can work well and this is why it can be well used in lower levels.
                                                – If learners have been taught the structure before and know the terminology to talk about it, we can use metalinguistic feedback by guiding learners with CCQs or elicitation and asking learners to justify their answers. CCQs are especially useful when dealing with recently introduced language/rules but they require important preparation as it is very difficult to come up with them on the spot. Thinking about the potential problems learners may have with the target language should help us identify the key points to be clarified.

                                               

                                              • We also need to consider the type of activity:
                                                – If immediate error correction is needed, gestures and finger correction are quick, easy, immediate error correction techniques. Although they may be used a little bit more with lower levels as Erica mentioned, finger correction can also be useful with word order at higher levels, for example. The good thing about gestures and error correction is that they do not interrupt and they can be a useful visual aid in helping the correction to stick in students’ minds.
                                                – If fluency is more important, then we may want to do delayed error correction. This can be done in groups to focus on the most common mistakes made by group of learners and it can happen at the end of the lesson or in subsequent lessons as a revision exercise.

                                               

                                              • Denial or explicit correction does not seem to be a very popular correction technique in speaking as it can feel quite ‘brutal’ to students. However, it could be used successfully in writing, especially if learners are guided to finding the right correction.  The important thing to remember is that as teachers we obviously want to create a safe learning environment where our learners feel comfortable to experiment with language, make mistakes and learn from them.

                                              A very good discussion so far. Just some follow-up questions:

                                              – Gajinder mentions that she tends to correct pronunciation and lexis more often than other mistakes. Is it the case for you too? Why do you think this happens?
                                              – There seems to be controversy with delayed error correction. Aytaj indicates that delayed error correction can lead to great reflection and improvement whereas Gajinder finds it a weak error correction technique. Who do you agree with and why? What are the benefits of delayed error correction and what should be considered to make this technique successful? (e.g. Erica talks about group work and Robert talks about gap-fill quizzes). Do you have any other delayed error correction activities you like using in your lessons?
                                              – It is clear that reformulation and echoing are gentle, subtle ways of correcting and they can be popular amongst teachers. However, is there anything teachers should consider before using these popular error correction techniques?

                                              I look forward to continuing reading your ideas.

                                              Best,

                                              Manuel

                                            • #53183
                                              Vasiliki Zinonos
                                              Participant
                                                  @vasiliki

                                                  Which methods do you most/least often use? Why?

                                                  I use more or less all the methods, depending on the level of the student. I believe that these methods work better when the teacher is always pleasant and vibrant when correcting. I try to stay away from denial, as that might interfere with the confidence of the student.

                                                  From your experience, what do you think are the most/least effective methods? Why?

                                                  Finger correction, gesture and echoing might not be very successful if student’s knowledge is not there/level is low and the student cannot self-correct. Deferred correction might be more useful in higher levels, especially in online recorded mock presentations, where the student can get formative feedback and can replay their presentations to locate mistakes. Other than that feedback might not be as effective or have much learning impact if they are given much later after the task.

                                                  • #53390
                                                    Nicholas Northall
                                                    Moderator
                                                        @nick-northall

                                                        Hi Vasiliki,

                                                        Thanks for sharing your ideas here. I do agree with your point about denial. I wonder though if the teacher says ‘no’ with a big smile on their face whether this would work:). It’s certainly not my favourite technique.

                                                        You make a great point, which Gajinder also makes above, about learners receiving feedback much later after the activity: i.e. can they actually remember what they said! I guess this is similar to observer feedback on a lesson. Although there are many reasons to give ‘cold’ feedback (i.e. a day or so after the lesson), much later can result in a loss of memory for all involved!

                                                        Cheers,

                                                        Nick

                                                    • #53432
                                                      Peter Wilson
                                                      Participant
                                                          @peterw

                                                          Hello

                                                          During  whole class speaking tasks I tend to use echoing and gestures because it quick and easy to correct. I’d use elciitation, meatlinguistic feedback and CCQs after a group fluency task by putting some common errots of the board. I think these are effective in the sense that they don’t damage the learners’ self-confidence. IT can be true thay they keep on making the same mistakes though so then it’s sometimes useful to try other methodas. Often for writing I do simialr things to Erica suggested and gather some errors then focus on them in the next class getting students to work in pais or groups to correct and explain errors. I also use a writign error correction key. I think as to which is more effecive it depends on the learner so it’s good to use  a variaty of techniques. As Robert sas, reviting common errors often can be really useful to make sure mistakes don’t become fossilsed.

                                                          • #53517
                                                            Nicholas Northall
                                                            Moderator
                                                                @nick-northall

                                                                Hi Peter,

                                                                I like your ideas about focusing on typical, common errors. I also do something similar compiling examples from my learners writing and then giving them some time (often a lot of time) to work through these. I find these tasks to be very motivating! I know both Vasiliki and Gajinder aren’t in favour of delayed error correction – but I guess that only relates to speaking, right? Often writing correction is not done at the time of writing.

                                                                Cheers,

                                                                Nick

                                                            • #53461
                                                              Andrew Burke
                                                              Participant
                                                                  @andrew

                                                                  I would say the ones I use most are repetition, recast and metalinguistic feedback. I want to quickly correct and move on, so I don’t belabour it, as it may not be the main aim and can interrupt a student’s flow. My classes are often quite grammar based so I use metalinguistic feedback a lot.

                                                                  Hard for me to say which are most effective as I don’t analyse the effects but I’d say they all have their place at various times.

                                                                  • #53518
                                                                    Nicholas Northall
                                                                    Moderator
                                                                        @nick-northall

                                                                        Hi Andrew,

                                                                        Well that’s a classroom-based research project for you:). You make a good point about not wanting to interrupt a student’s flow, but I also wonder whether in some cases it is worth focusing on repeated, consistent, common errors?

                                                                        Cheers,

                                                                        Nick

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