Инспектор группы
Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Уровень: для всех | Доступ: платный
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Look at statements by these learners. Imagine the student makes the same type of error over and over again.

Spot the error and then make a brief note on how the structure of their own language might be affecting what is happening in English.


Every day I am eating breakfast at 6am.

The student has put present continuous for a regular action.

The tense used in the students own language for regular habits might look like the present continuous - it might have a ‘to be‘ verb in it.

Statement 1

I believe that capital punishment is wrong, this is because the person is not always guilty, there are many people in prison who have committed a crime.

Statement 2

when he had Caught the fish, He thRew it into the buckeT.

Statement 3

I had some a rice with fish and the vegetable for dinner.

Statement 4

I had a genial time in England. I went for some promenades and was very content.


These are all common types of errors by certain language speakers:

Portuguese speakers and in fact a number of other language speakers (see below) will string clauses together with commas or ‘and’ in writing. Sentence length is different in their languages and often one sentence continues for one paragraph. And paragraphs are problematic too. (also see below)

Arabic has no capital letters and these can cause problems for beginners trying to work out where they are needed or just mistaking the forms one for the other- buckeT.

Chinese and Japanese do not use articles and plurals so sorting out this system can be difficult.

Speakers of Latinate languages - in this case French - will come across many ‘false friends’ and assume that the meaning is the same.

The amount and severity of these problems is of course reduced as the learners become more familiar with English but the sooner you can discuss them and watch out for them the better.


People from different walks of life have different attitudes towards error

  1. You can react as a linguist, ie "This is interesting, maybe we should not call this an error, but a stage in the learning process."
  2. You can react as a formal teacher, ie "Oh no, what will he achieve in his exam?"
  3. You can react as a member of the public, ie "This English is very poor", "This person is illiterate", "What do they teach in schools these days?"
  4. React as a child and not care at all!

(Many members of the public just assume that foreigners are not so intelligent because they do not speak THE language, ie our language, English. We have indeed been somewhat spoiled by others needing to learn English as the language of commerce and the number of people in Britain and the US who are fluent in a language other than English is rather embarrassingly low.)

The best way to react is probably as a teacher – researcher: It is very important that you correct your students’ errors, but if this is done mechanically and without at least wondering how and why the error came about and what you can do about it, then you are wasting your time and theirs. Think about language and languages and find out more about these topics as you develop as a teacher (see Unit 4 Module 2 for more on this).


In its advanced form, error analysis is quite a scientifically developed area of research involving collecting and classifying errors, and suggesting possible causes.

We, as teachers of ESOL, do not normally need to formally analyse errors in this way. However, small scale surveys may help us to see patterns such as the ones mentioned above which, ultimately, will help us to help our students.

Teachers study errors in order to give relevant help and to aid planning for future lessons. A study of students' errors shows the students' current problems and helps us to plan something called remedial work. This may be carried out informally, based on written tasks, for example - many of your students are confusing simple past and past perfect tenses - you notice this in their homework and devise an exercise which will hopefully help to eliminate the problem.

More formal collection of data may reveal that only a small section of your class is actually making this mistake. In this case, take that group separately, or write them a homework exercise so as not to bore the rest of the class.

Often ESOL teachers have no time to formally count the number of students making particular errors, however a survey of the errors of one class may save you time by helping you to predict the most likely areas of difficulty for a parallel or future class.

Analysis of errors may indicate areas of language which require special attention or extra practice. It may also reveal teaching techniques which are not working as well as they might for this group of learners, or an order of presentation which may need adjustment; perhaps students are missing what you tell them orally or perhaps they are not good at copying diagrams from the board, resulting in poor individual work based on wrong data.

Some theorists name the collection of data for analysis as 'Performance Analysis' rather than 'Error Analysis'. The term 'Performance Analysis' refers to the collection of errors and of examples of correct usage. It is quite time consuming and we do not recommend it in great detail at this stage though it is something to look into later. You could do this sort of thing with a one to one student. It is worth reading up on how it is done first.


For our purposes, we only need look at the work of our students, note common errors and begin to look at:

  1. by whom they are being made
  2. why they are being made
  3. suitable remedial exercises
  4. how we can help future students to avoid these errors

This is, in fact, often referred to as 'interpretation of error', not analysis, again another linguistic argument could develop here!

In Unit 3 Module 3 we mentioned 3 types of errors:

  • Cultural
  • Phonological and
  • Grammatical/vocabulary

In this module we will be focusing much more closely on this third type.

Splatting red pen all over a piece of work can be very confusing. Look at this small extract!

My brother he very tall and with gold hairs. He like for esports and rok musik. On weekendes to the sinema he often going there is on movies what he like.

What a mess there would be on the page.

Does it communicate? Yes. The errors, though many, do not impede the intended message. Why are the errors occurring? How can we eliminate them?



This is simple yet comprehensive and can be understood by the students.

Mark the errors using the following classification:-

G grammar

SP spelling

WO word order

P punctuation

V vocabulary

PR prepositions

T tense

Use the inverted ^ to show when a word is missing.

Underline the error and write the appropriate abbreviation in the margin. It is useful to get students into the habit of writing on alternate lines - it is often easier to read their script this way, and it is easier to mark.


Using the code, correct the following paragraph by writing in errors on the left hand side of this piece. The first is given. There are about 15, depending on how you count and there are errors of all the types above.

sp Last year I went on a ski trip to Swizerland and

we stayed in hotel in the edge of small village

called Verbier. It was really cold when we get

there below 0 degrees the trees were nearly

frozen and we all had to wear really warm

cloths. We got there at 2:00 on the morning so

we were happy when we got into bed.

It have started off really exciting trip…

We where on the third day for our afternoon run

and we had came down the slope for the last

time. I felt so confiding about what I was doing

and that I could do nothing wrong but then our

group stopped. We were almost at the bottom of

the slop when we came to an icy locale…(cont)

< Лекция 8 || Лекция 9: 1234 || Лекция 10 >
Вадим Бондарь
Вадим Бондарь
Как найти и выбрать тьютора?
Ирина Суханова
Ирина Суханова
здравствуйте! я прохожу курс учитель англ. языка. я отправила тест №1, как долго его будут проверять.
Павел Плахотник
Павел Плахотник
Украина, Днепропетровск
Анатолий Федоров
Анатолий Федоров
Россия, Москва, Московский государственный университет им. М. В. Ломоносова, 1989