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From Grammatical Mistakes to Lexical Opportunities

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Leo Selivan

on 15 February 2019

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Transcript of From Grammatical Mistakes to Lexical Opportunities

Leo Selivan
From grammatical mistakes
to lexical opportunities

To correct or not to correct?
make a(n)
did it by
cannot afford any more
learn from your
Responding to errors
From reading to writing
make a(n)
it may contain
trial and
What is the difference between errors and mistakes?
failure to utilize a known system correctly

a sign that learners are learning L2

may occur because of over-generalisation or misapplication of a rule

native speakers make them too
noticeable deviation from the norm

occur because learners probably don't know
a particular point of a target language

cannot be self-corrected

native speakers don't make them
The Truscott / Ferris Debate
John Truscott
Dana Ferris
1996: Error correction is harmful and should be abandoned
1999: The research is not conclusive; we need more compelling evidence
Reasons against
Error correction
Reasons for
Students repeat the same mistakes

Students don't pay attention to corrections

May lead to avoidance behaviour
Students expect it

Teachers may be seen as "not doing their jobs" if they don't

Reactive focus on form
How do you correct?
Photo by richardoyork via Flickr
[CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Do you use direct or indirect method?
Do you use a code indicating the type of error?
(e.g. Gr / Sp / Coll.)
Do you write up students' mistakes on the board?
Do you give praise for well-formed language?
Errors are BAD

Error correction

Discrete items
(grammar, spelling)
Errors are learning opportunities

Responding to students' writing

Look at the whole
(what the learner is trying to say)
I suggest you to go with me.

He is becoming to mature.

She learning in my school.
Grammatical mistake or lexical gap?
I want
you to go
with me.
She asked
me to help
They told
us to leave
Incorrect sentence structure?
suggest +
1. If nothing don’t success me I have a bad day.

2. When I get a bad grade on a test or when somebody sick from my family.

3. [Did it help you understand the poem better?]
Don’t because that don’t change anything to what I know.

4. I forgot to practise for a math test.

5. He says that we live to help each other to live our life easier and good life and it relates to the poem because the poem talking about helping other people and make’s other people feel better and than you feel good and happy.

6. It’s mean that we need to do good act for each other and if we don’t do it so we don’t have what to live for…

7. Other children always laughed at her because her parents bring with the car to the school.
If things don't go well

is sick in my family

doesn't add to my understanding

study for (a test/exam)

To make one another’s lives easier; the importance / purpose of our lives;
a good deed / the message of the poem

fulfill our purpose / our destiny

drove/would always drive her to school
People which work in hotels should be polite.

It's [the film] about people who live in England at the last century.

…and there was a man behind who done it.
Many grammatical errors are actually the result of lexical deficiencies and what is thus needed is NOT more grammar correction and study, but rather more lexical input
Error correction Error collection
Photo by @aClilToClmb
via #eltpics on Flickr
Photo by Niabot via Wikimedia Commons
[CC BY-SA 3.0]
More lexical deficiencies
Dellar, H. (2004)
Pre-writing activities
Brainstorm language
Review language related to the topic
Use "writing frames"
Are school uniforms a good thing?
gap between the rich and the poor
Adapted from Child and Youth Health
Promote "Noticing"
Most parents buy their children computers because they believe this will help them to learn more and therefore do well in school. However, children spend most of the time on the computer playing games, surfing the Internet and chatting with friends. A survey conducted in the USA shows that teenagers spend on average 16 hours a week on the computer.
Adapted from Results for 3 Points by Andrew Wilson. ECB
Public Domain image
Receptive & Productive Vocabulary
Learners use only 13% of recognised vocabulary relevant to a writing topic when writing essays

Writing stagnates at 1000-2000 word level
Lee & Muncie (2006)
*when the Philippines went through its biggest catastrophe

*whenever an earth-queck or another disaster is happened

*aid forces from all over the world arrived to the hitten areas

Article with highlighted chunks:
Integrated skills approach
survivors, perish(ed), recover(ed), unsinkable, evacuated, lifeboat, terror, frantic(ally), doomed

make a fresh start, maiden voyage, the rich and famous, set sail
Composition 1:
of target items
- Additional practice & writing frame -
Composition 2:
of target items
- Two weeks later -
Composition 3:
of target words
of target chunks
Writing after reading + focus on vocab
Lee & Muncie (2006)
Class dismissed!
My blog
: leoxicon.blogspot.com
Reconstruction activities
activate bottom-up processes
move learners from the message
to the medium - 'noticing'
Thornbury (1997)
Memorization and recitation of te
Translation and re-translaton

In language classrooms, learners are surrounded by language from a variety of sources. As teachers we want to help learners make the most of this language, known as input, so that it enters their working systems and feeds into the learning process. Input which becomes part of the learning process is known as intake. In psycholinguistic research, there is a particular interest in the intake of grammar as a result of learners paying conscious attention to the input; this kind of intake is known as noticing.
Batstone (1996)
Thank you
in exam prep classes
Full transcript