Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Error Correction

ELL-U, the English Language Learner University, teaches courses for language learners and teachers.  A course I am taking right now, "English Language Acquisitions - Myths, Beliefs and What the Research Shows," has added something to what I will be teaching new tutors on the subject of error correction. 
Screen capture from ELL-U
The style of correction I have been promoting, known to Literacy Network tutors as the "understanding response," is listed below as a "recast correction." Some of the methods they mention, e.g. "metalinguistic feedback" seem too abstruse for a learner outside of a university course. But the techniques taught in the course are, overall, humane and positive enough to keep a learner talking without drawing glaring attention to their errors. Anyone can register for free.  Sign up and learn what you can.

See below:

Clarification request Teacher uses phrases like "Pardon me?" or "I don't understand." to indicate an error or lack of clarity, and the need to repeat or rephrase.
Recast correction Teacher implicitly rephrases the student's error or provides the correction, but does not directly indicate the student's error.
Elicitation Teacher asks questions, pauses to allow sentence completion, or asks students rephrase, to elicit the correct form from the student....
Repetition Teacher repeats the error with rising intonation to call attention to it.

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