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English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part Four: Let's Put it All Together

Error Correction

Errors are a natural part of language development and, therefore, all errors do not need to be corrected. Over-correction of student performance in both syntax and pronunciation may make the ELL student unnecessarily anxious and may even hinder the progression of language development . There are several strategies teachers can use to correct errors, without causing fear, stress and anxiety.

  • Repeat what the student has said, using the correct syntax and pronunciation.
  • Avoid overly wordy or detailed answers to student questions.
  • Repeat, review, and summarize information to help link concepts for students.
  • Check for comprehension when an error in understanding content has occurred by asking students a question related to the content being discussed. Never ask “Do you understand?” Students will respond affirmatively to save face.
  • In writing, analyze text for a cluster of similar errors. Correct through mini lessons on the particular grammatical concept.