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When is Correcting Language Productive?

I once believed a certain way of correcting was helpful but have since found to be rather embarrassing. When is it beneficial for young learners to receive language correction, and when can it be harmful? Do you rely on students to self-correct?

Learning is highly emotional and motivational based.

I've witnessed various methods for assessing comprehension. While this is a subjective matter, I believe it can be made more objective.

When I started teaching for the first time, I confess that I used to deduct points for every incorrect accent or spelling mistake. How is that productive? Does that evaluate comprehension?

You may agree that correcting a student's writing is important, but is it really necessary to destroy a 12-year-old's confidence in French over a misplaced accent? Absolutely not! PAS DU TOUT!

As a language facilitator, the focus should be on evaluating a child's comprehension. Correcting every little spelling error at such a young age can be discouraging and counterproductive.

It's important to consider what we correct and how.

...and whether it's appropriate for the student's age and stage of learning.

Sometimes, a student may have understood the question perfectly and provided the right answer, but made a minor mistake in spelling or grammar. Should we really penalize them for that? Do they even understand what they are being corrected on?

The problem with language learning is that it can be very detail-oriented and overwhelming for young learners. In the beginning, those types of corrections are necessarily needed. We have to be mindful that his hyper corrections can lead to a lack of motivation and confidence when it comes to speaking. Allow space for explorative mistakes.

language learners are some of the bravest and most resilient people out there.

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Happy learning,


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