Best TESOL methods for error correction

 Although the ESL industry has been around for a long time, it’s still a work in progress. As research develops, we learn more about what TESOL methods best facilitate language acquisition processes. However, until now, there’s a teaching practice that tends to hinder free expression of learners and may hinder fluency development. It’s a tendency to prescribe language. Teachers with traditional ideas about TESOL have a habit of telling learners what they should say (prescriptive teaching) instead of showing learners there are multiple ways to say something (descriptive teaching).

This leads to a barrier of student expression in a world of ideas where multiple possibilities for expressing yourself are available. Today’s blog will present the differences between requiring learners to express themselves using formulaic structures (prescriptive language teaching) and allowing learners greater flexibility in communicating their thoughts (descriptive language teaching).

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Correcting student mistakes TESOLLanguage mistakes are a natural part of learning a language. When students make spoken or written mistakes, it is a sign that learning is happening. Mistakes also provide essential feedback for teachers as they show if students have grasped the topic or if the teacher should do some revision or reinforcement on the topic in subsequent lessons.

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Fossilized Error Correction TESOL teaching   What is a Fossilized Error? – Error Correction TESOL

A ‘fossilized’ error is an error that has become a habit, part of a student’s repertoire and used subconsciously as if it were the correct form.  A Linguistics professor once told our TESOL class that when it came to grammatical errors that learners make in developing their second language, the expression “practice makes perfect” should be revised to “practice makes permanent”. As he stated, “only perfect practice makes perfect”. He was a strong opponent of  ‘accuracy over fluency’.

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Error Correction in ESL TEFL course trainerHow Much Correction?

Everyone comes to teaching with underlying beliefs about what a language is and how a language is learned. To be reflective in teaching, it is important to examine beliefs: where they come from, if they are well-founded, and if they need to be challenged and possibly changed.

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Error Correction in the ESL class - tips and solutionsESL teachers and students often have differing views on the importance of error correction. Some students insist that they want the teacher to note and correct all errors made at any time in a lesson. Some teachers want to encourage their students’ confidence and don’t feel comfortable correcting students as they feel corrections may interfere with the development of the students’ fluency in English. What’s a teacher to do?

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Error correction is a very important part of teaching a language. ESL teachers have to know when to correct mistakes and how to do it effectively. This article will teach you why students make mistakes, how to reflect on the types of mistakes that students make, and what you can do to help them improve. You will also find various links to other resources on error correction in the ESL classroom.

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