Noticing, What is it? How does it help error correction?


You notice something new… could this help error correction?

Have you ever had that experience where you learn a word then suddenly you hear and see it everywhere? Strange, isn’t it? It makes you wonder:

Has it always been there?

Most likely, yes. Unless it’s a new [tooltip title=”This is very informal language that certain groups of people use (i.e. young people)”]slang[/tooltip] term, for example, chances are that you’ve seen it before but have never questioned it. The meaning was more than likely always clear from the [tooltip title=”The situation and the rest of the language present.”]context[/tooltip].

How did I live without it?

Understanding – The context probably did the difficult work for you if you heard/saw it in a natural environment. Or perhaps it was quickly explained/simplified and you only took in what you understood. This is a very common occurrence. If we do not see a need for a particular piece of language, we don’t often try to learn it.

Production – People, including natives, tend to use [tooltip title=”A word with similar meaning.”]synonyms[/tooltip] of or [tooltip title=”To say something using different words.”]paraphrase[/tooltip] the word to get around using it.

The only difference is that you’re NOTICING the word more.

Noticing happens in many areas of language learning; including vocabulary, pronunciation, grammatical structures, question formation and sentence building.

Noticing will help error correction

Just the act of noticing an [tooltip title=”In linguistics, incorrect language due to a lack of knowledge or understanding is classed as an error.”]error[/tooltip] or [tooltip title=”A mistake is classed as a ‘slip of the tongue’ or random piece of incorrect language when a learner is normally able to use this piece of language correctly.”]mistake[/tooltip] can work wonders for your language learning. This is because you will find you are more aware of it and motivated to correct it.

As teachers, we can help you notice your errors and new language. Different teachers have different ways of doing this and it also depends on the student(s) and how they learn best. Here are a few examples.

‘I’m sorry, could you repeat that?’

‘Oh, you meant … You actually said something different. I understood but a stranger may not. Try…’

Write it on the board.

Take the next lesson to cover the point.

‘I just want you to be aware that you do this Try and do that in future.’

Leave it. They can see that the student will naturally correct it themselves as they progress.

We do all we can to teach you, correct you, and point you in the right direction.  Once we get to know you, we’ll look deeper into your errors and understand why they started to occur. In fact, sharing my thoughts on why errors are made always makes my students more aware of their language learning. As a result of this, students feel more confident and willing to experiment with new language – thus accelerating their progress further.

Where do errors come from anyway?

Errors could come from [tooltip title=”The way that a learner’s language is affected by their native / other languages.”]interference[/tooltip] from your other language(s), over-generalising rules or vocabulary that you have learnt, [tooltip title=”Layout, customs, punctuation (‘hi’, etc.)”]stylistic[/tooltip] features in writing, or [tooltip title=”The parts of speech which give meaning to the words. (intonation, stress, pitch, speed, etc.)”]prosodic[/tooltip] features of speech.

But what can you do to help yourself?

1. Use every opportunity to use your new language.

The more you see, hear, and notice your issue, the more motivated you will be to correct it. You will also have a variety of situations in which to experiment and practise.

2. Take every opportunity to use new techniques, structures, vocabulary etc.

A sports coach once told my team, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” He had a valid point – if you keep practising the same mistakes without attempting to correct them, what progress are you making?

3. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Many students believe that they should be able to go out into the world and immediately use everything they learned in class just hours before, or that in one lesson all of their errors will be corrected. This, in the real world, sadly isn’t the case. It takes time to adopt new language naturally, it takes time to experience language in a variety of different scenarios and test it out.

It is especially difficult to change your habits, and language that comes automatically.

4. Communicate!

If you don’t understand something, say or ask! It is so important.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer an alternative view.

We’re all human, and we all see languages from different perspectives depending on our  mother tongues and other languages we know, how we were taught in school, our life and career experiences and our ways of thinking.

Your teacher will be able to adapt their explanations and clarify points to match your way of learning.

Here at SpeechRevision, we tailor our Skype Tutorials to you. Our teachers studied language analysis and error correction and can help you notice and correct your own errors. You can always book more tutorials and sessions to discuss your progress and language development.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *