Language is a system of rules that the learner has to acquire, and that ‘trying
out’ language and making errors are a natural and unavoidable part of this process.
Furthermore, learners’ errors are a very fruitful way of presenting what they have and have not learnt. Concerning errors not always a sign of failure but it could be a positive indication what we as teachers need to exert more effort to teach aiming the holistic approach.
Obviously, if we try to prevent students from making errors we can never find out what they do not know.
“Tell me, and I forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will learn.”
Correction is a vital tool in the educational process. It’s not a daily/ weekly/ monthly or yearly routine established though learners know only their results. Correction is an evaluation.
Therefore, teachers should pay great attention should focus and work on errors and neglect mistakes.
Up to a point, Penny Ur (2002) showed that the two terms are not considered to be synonyms.
Errors are consistent and based on “Mis-learned” generalizations however, mistakes are occasional, inconsistent slips.(Penny)
Moreover, a mistake makes reference to a performance error that is neither a random guess nor a “slip,” in this case the lack of success happened due to not making use of a known system accurately.
While an error is a noticeable deviation from the learner grammar of a native speaker, shows the competence of the learner.
In the same way, Mistakes have referred to as performance errors (the learner knows the system but doesn’t succeed to use it) while the errors are an outcome of one’s systematic competence (the learner’s system is in error).
As a rule, mistakes could be self-corrected by native or non-native speakers while an error occurs for in competence in the language so it can’t be corrected.
So error correction techniques are very crucial in the learning process. Error correction techniques are a helping hand for teachers check out learners perfectly, and to value them with the accurate feedback. For the time of correction teachers should pay great attention on errors and ignore mistakes.
Besides, teachers should focus to errors that occurred from the incompetence of what is already known by learners.
Therefore, Applying one method with all learners won’t be a fruitful idea. For the most part teacher shouldn’t apply mainly on one method of correction techniques because learners differ on so many levels.
In the following lines, below is a discussion of the most usefulness methods and techniques with a focus on the way of error correction adopted in each of the methods.
Self-correction is one of the most effective techniques in error correction.
This technique is conduct after finishing the writing given tasks for learners, teachers wrote on the board, shuffled cards or newspaper sheets write down the errors. Afterwards learners asked to re-read their work again and find out on their own the errors. Then teachers collect their work to be evaluated.
This technique helps the learners to get involved and engaged in the learning/ educational process.
Moreover, this technique supports learners to defeat the obstacles they face during their learning. Another good point for this technique, it promotes the class from teacher-centered to student-centered, and nowadays this is highly recommended.
On the whole learners mostly prefer this method they find it is better for them to find their errors and correct them by themselves.
Moreover, it paves the way for the learners for being more independent. This feeling helps learners to be self-assured and hopeful to learn. This technique is very fruitful. Namely if learners have the ability to correct themselves, it will be helpful. Also it will be beneficial for learners who have knowledge about the rule but lacks practice on its use.
Peer – correction is another interesting error correction technique.
Learners work in pairs. This is more effective as students find it easier to see others’ errors. This technique is considered one of the less stressful methods applied as the correction presented from the learner’s pair not the teacher. Also peer correction it is student-centered technique where learners are engaged easily in the class activities. It’s also an attempt for learners to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. It is essential for teachers to give clear, precise instructions to make sure that this technique was well achieved.
Group – correction is the same like “peer-correction” technique.
But the techniques differs it include more number of learners, more than two learners. It allows learners to work in groups instead of pairs following the same instructions for peer – correction. This technique gives hand to the learners in group correction to improve language learning and be more confident.
As mentioned before, it is a student-centered technique. To make sure this technique will be applied effectively it requires cooperation from both the teacher and the learners.
teacher – correction is the most classical method been applied for ages. It’s considered to be crucial and vital in the learning process. Moreover using this technique teacher should mainly differ from explicit and implicit correction technique. Teacher-correction is teacher-centered technique so basically teachers vary in applying more than method or correction technique in the classroom.
All things considered that correction techniques and methods differ according to : (the taught – targeted skill / type of the error / purpose of activity / holistic approach).
These main factors can help teachers to depend on the most suitable technique and assured the accurately of learners feedback.
All in all, here are some Appropriate Techniques Appropriately Focused:
While free activities took place, the teacher shouldn’t stop at each and every error made unless the error is committed by all learners.
In correcting spoken errors, the teacher shouldn’t disgrace his learners for making an error. Let questions pass by another learner, let learners have a try to correct their own ideas. Moreover it’s a good idea for teachers to use some facial expressions, gestures and non-verbal phrases.
On the other hand , dealing with written errors, teachers should take into consideration that the writing skill is a long term process. Teachers should focus on while errors are important and reject the ones which are less important. Basically teachers should be aware which correction technique must be applied. To illustrate,
– Self-Correction Without Indication of Errors: It’s an attempt for learners to find out their own mistakes with the teacher’s guidelines and instructions.
– Peer / Group Correction: Mentioned before.
– Errors underlined and coded: teachers should develop their codes and it’s a must that learners are familiar with it.
Teachers should bare in their mind those two 2 main words: (good timing ) and (appropriate). When to pay attention to choose the right time to correct mistakes and when they let learners speak freely. On the other hand the method or technique used should be suitable and effective so the learning process can take place smoothly.
Finally error correction is considered to be essential in learning process. It enables teachers to evaluate learners correctly and satisfactorily. To end on the contrary side it helps learners to know their weaknesses and pave the way for them to improve their skills.