Should teachers correct student´s mistakes?

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  • Publicado : 15 de noviembre de 2011
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Rosa Zárate Fernández

How and when teachers have to correct students’ mistakes? According to some researches correction is usually made up of two distinct stages. In the first teachers showstudents that a mistake has been made, and in the second if it is necessary, they help students to do something about it. The first set of techniques are any really beneficial for what we are assumingto be language slips rather than mistakes can be fossilized. The students are expected to be able to correct themselves once the problem is pointed out, that is why teachers should correct students’mistakes which can avoid the learning process.

While students are practising oral skills, they frequently make mistakes. This fact does not mean that a student who commits a mistake does notknow the language rules. That is why teachers have to correct them. According to Lightbown & Spada (2006), some of the feedbacks teachers can use are: Explicit correction, Recasts, Clarificationrequests, Metalinguistic feedback, Elicitation and Repetition.

When students make mistakes during the accuracy, the teacher has to draw their attention to this mistakes in order to push them toself-correction. According to Harmer (2001), there are a set of techniques devoted to do so: repeating, echoing, statement and question, expression, hinting and reformulation. But if students commitmistakes during oral production the teacher may respond to them after it. This is more commonly done with fluency-based activities in which, according to Brumfit (1984), teacher intervention to correctshould be minimal. In fact, the main purpose is communication so, we do not want to distract students: we will only correct when communication cannot take place. That is to say, we have to correctduring the lesson but not during production. Here correction is made up of two stages: observation and correction. Observation may include noting down mistakes in a paper or in separate cards and...
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