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Correcting students' speech - When and how do you? 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post Correcting students' speech - When and how do you?
First, I want to say, this concerns speech and not written English.

One reason teaching children is so great is that they tend to experiment with language much more freely. They have things they want to say and they use paterns they've learned to try to epress that.

My own 2 year old daughter started talking at 11 months and hasn't shut up yet. She's recently begun saying, "I'm run awaying." and "Mommy isn't wake uping." I think it's adorable but again she's 2.

Now, I don't bother to correct her. I somethimes just repeat back, "Oh, mommy isn't waking up?" (called recast) but sometimes I just let it slide because I like it. :mrgreen:

The same thing happens with young students in class. I have some young students who say things like, "I take a bathed yesterday." I generally again go with recast and maybe recast with emphasis, but don't bother with repitition.

Here's my reasoning....

1. The students know the rules. We have structure sections and sometimes worksheets that explain the set up and usage. The students understand and just need to hear the English over and over again to get the pattern correct. That's how native speakers learn.
"Daddy, my toy breaked."
"Oh, your toy broke. Well, let's fix it."

2. The students are on track and enjoying communicating. I don't feel the need to hammer in Kenny's mistake and discourage him from experimenting.

This is just something that's been on my mind and I was wondering what are some others' opinions on when and how you correct speech with children.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:36 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:03 am
Posts: 71
Location: Athens, Greece
I totally agree with your view. There is a time for cirrections and a time for communication. I don't even substract points from written work for such mistakes like your "breaked" "broke" example. I accept it as correct since the tense was correct.. I just write the correct form next to it, or according to the class I get children to correct their own mistakes. Another thing I do is collect mistakes I hear when kids speak or see in the written work and put them
on a sheet of paper and specify at the end of each sentence how many mistakes are to be found and get the whole class to correct them.
A game of Snake and ladders with correct sentences and incorrect sentences collected from the students' spoken or written language works fine too.
I agree with you that learning is a process and the more kids are exposed to l correct anguage the sooner they will adopt it.
Kids are amazing when they make those mistakes like your daughter does.
Don't correct all of her mistakes. Let some of them be and adopt them.
They are so cute. I still use some of my daughters created words and they still keep my heart warm even after all this time.

Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:55 am
Post speech correction
It's always nice to hear different views on all kinds of topics, so now I'll voice my own about speech correction.
If these kids were learning English in my class, the mistakes would be dealt with before the end of class. I understand your view about not really stressing that it's a mistake, but concentrating on delivering the correct version. If you do it this way, and just hope that they catch on that your sentence was different from theirs, then that's leaving the door open wider for more mistakes. I believe that mistakes should be dealt with either right away, or write them down and deal with them just before the end of class. I know that it might be boring using repetition, but generally it works. You just need to do it with fun, and the kids won't even notice. Well...just my 2 cents worth.

Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:26 am

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:36 am
Posts: 32
Location: Miyagi, Japan
I let mistakes go if I easily understand the student's meaning.

Manuela's post reminded me of something my German teacher used to do in high school. At the begining of most classes, she passed out a paper with 5 sentances, each containing a mistake found on previous homework papers. We then split into teams and raced to see which team could correctly write all 5 sentences on the board first. Usually only took 5 minutes to complete.

Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Kep - I like that idea of examining some common mistakes as review.

I'm going to try that!

Thanks :mrgreen:

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:22 pm
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