Home Forums iTDi TESOL Certificate 5.1.2.8 Language learners and errors

5.1.2.8 Language learners and errors

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    • #8810

      communityadmin
      Keymaster

       

      • How accurate do your students need to be?
      • How do you feel when they make errors?
      • How do you react to their errors?

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

       

    • #8890

      Barbara Bujtás
      Participant

      My business English students should be fairly accurate, as they want to make a good impression.
      My exam prep students’ priority is the efficiency of communication, a variety of vocabulary and structures, fluency in many areas, some mistakes or errors are excusable.
      Teenage and young learners are trickier, it’s not yet clear what they are going to do with the language, accuracy is of high importance.

      I feel quite bad, to be honest, especially when I hear my own errors in recorded lessons 😀 But a large number of errors are developmental, so if errors occur, development is happening.

      I usually pick on recurring errors and draw my students’ attention to them. In the case of younger but fluent learners, who most probably have picked up the language from various sources, I present and make them practise the language structure they use with mistakes (typically over-generalizations).

    • #8901

      Steven Herder
      Keymaster
      • How accurate do your students need to be?
        I think it completely depends on the context, the personality of the learner, and the individual’s goal.
      • How do you feel when they make errors?
        I’m only concerned when the error affects meaning. If I can’t understand or respond to the learner, then I hope      they will try again.
      • How do you react to their errors?
        It always depends on the personality of the student, the context we are in, and the level of the student.

        I do my best to get to know as many students as I can, in order to have as individual approach as possible.

    • #8928

      Rhett Burton
      Participant

      I want my students to be very accurate because they are imitating me (pre a1 level). If they can’t do it with accuracy, I will tailor my language so that they can. I am flexible with the language if it has a higher probability of being learned. I do sometimes over-simplify. I will present, practice, and produce language until I start to get the desired results.

      I am not too concerned when they make mistakes because I know that I can provide additional activities, tasks, and exercises to provide intervention. My learners are in a developmental stage. I am more concerned when they aren’t using any l2 language during tasks and activities.

      How do I react to errors?
      I usually provide them the input required to change. I sometimes ask corrective questions, but it depends on the level and the ability of the student. I believe it is more constructive to help them say it correctly than teach them the meta language to make the changes themselves (in pre a1 only). A student who has learned the language to a certain level are expected to incorporate several meta language processes to help scaffold error correction. I talk more about it in the next forum post.

      I am very interested in learning more about this at different stages.

    • #8956

      I teach and have taught a wide range of learners with significantly different abilities, needs, goals, and motivations.

      How accurate do your students need to be?

      Some students only need to be communicative for travel or simple social purposes. Young kids mostly want to enjoy playing with friends, playing games, watching cartoons, singing and listening to music. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve taught teenagers and adults facing high-stakes exams, managers who need to negotiate successfully in business, diplomats who want to engage in polite small talk at official functions, and doctors who need to explain medical procedures precisely but also show empathy towards patients.

      How do you feel when they make errors? How do you react to their errors?

      Mostly, I’m not thinking about how I feel since I’m trying to identify the cause of the error and see if it’s something the student can correct themselves, something they need to review, something they haven’t studied yet.

      However, with students I’ve taught a long time (or my own kids) I notice I can feel a sense of frustration. But if I feel frustrated, how must they feel? The only time I’ve admittedly lost my patience and temporarily stepped away from helping a student is when they’ve not made any effort and/or been rude – which is very rare, fortunately.

    • #11187

      Masatoshi Shoji
      Participant

      I do agree.

    • #11188

      Masatoshi Shoji
      Participant

      How accurate do your students need to be?
      It depends on the student’s goal and his/her circumferences.

      How do you feel when they make errors?
      I do feel they made a mistake. However, I try not to interfere unless that utterance is meaningless.

      How do you react to their errors?
      As in the above, I will try not to interfere unless the utterance is meaningless.

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

      • #11328

        Yes, each student has their individual circumstances, but how about the students in your current classes? How accurate do they need to be? And is it different for each class or for different activities?

        For example, in conversation, I also focus on the communication of meaning. However, in practice activities, the focus may change to fluency, pronunciation or accuracy, so my feedback and correction will reflect that.

    • #13694

      Rhett Burton
      Participant

      How accurate do your students need to be?
      How do you feel when they make errors?
      How do you react to their errors?

      I expect higher levels of accuracy during different exercises, activities, and skills. Example – During phonics activities, I hope students to improve upon their listening and pronunciation slowly. I often interleave the exercises so that they get daily practice for years. This long-term approach eliminates many of my concerns that they won’t learn. However, I have had some students who take way beyond average amounts of time to hear the sounds.

      My reaction varies by my attitude and emotional state of mind. I know I get triggered from time to time, and my reactions become hard and sharp. I usually feel this way when the content or skills is too difficult because the students haven’t learned it yet (not enough practice, motivation, etc). It also happened when I confuse the students’ playfulness with “just clowning around’.

      I feel responsible as a teacher. I often wonder if I have been doing too much. Or Not allowing them to see or hear how they can make the changes to their development. It is tough to change your teaching style – especially if you aren’t exactly clear on why you are doing it. An emergent classroom experience isn’t about presenting, practicing, and producing language in tightly defined parameters.

      • #13711

        I like how you appreciate the different needs/demands relative to the learning activity/process and the learners themselves.

        Your reflection with regards to how you react is honest and valued. Indeed, we can all get triggered from time to time and have to manage ourselves, too. It’s really good to recognise some of those triggers, too, then be proactive about how you plan to address them. Having a ‘management plan’ can also help reduce our stress and be less reactive when we hit inevitable bumps in the road.

      • #13749

        scott gray
        Participant

        I am glad you are reflective and aware that they can get to you. That I think is important in a teacher. Keep at it.

         

        As for changing teaching styles I think it depends upon your attitude more than anything else. Video is also a great help in seeing yourself and making the change just don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes we all make at one time or another.

         

    • #13725

      Jessica Sohn
      Participant

      I mostly teach elementary school kids.

      How accurate do your students need to be?
      The more accurate the better but I think it depends by class, for me. With my phonics classes(foundations), I feel it’s important they identify the exact sounds. So, those classes require accuracy and I’m more strict in teaching, whereas with my other classes like speaking class, grammar, reading I feel more flexible.

      How do you feel when they make errors? How do you react to their errors?
      Before, I felt very frustrated and didn’t know how to exactly react. Sometimes I felt I was doing too much and sometimes not. But nowadays I’m more settled. I feel responsible and want them to have confidence in using the language. I want them to have the freedom. And, I started to use their errors as my check point so I can see where to go back.

      I also feel the same as Phil mentioned above in his comments. It’s just hard to keep my patience when the students don’t put any effort and be rude. It’s not them making the errors but their behavior/attitude that trigger me.

    • #13747

      scott gray
      Participant

      Depending upon the situation I hate to say. For communication they do not need to be so accurate but for University entrance exams and interviews they have to be spot on. I try to be nice and gentle but also they need to learn to deal with making a mistake is not the end of the world type of thinking.

      I also find most of my students want correction just not to feel like they are beaten over their head with it. So getting the point across without pointing fingers is the most important.

       

       

      • #13755

        “Getting the point across without pointing fingers” is a very good way of putting it!

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