Moscow City University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 6750-6754
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1437
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Most teachers and students assume that corrective feedback should be made by the teacher only as both of them feel “sometimes uneasy about the teacher’s backseat role” even during communicative activities (Bress, 2009: 56). Moreover both teachers and students in my context think that “mistakes have to be avoided at all costs” (Lightbown and Spada, 2006: 41).

Efficient error-correction can be stimulating and motivating for students’ autonomy. As Edge points out “if the mistake does not lead to misunderstanding it is not worth correcting” (Edge, 1989: 2) or it is useful to use different error correction techniques depending on the aim of the task (Harmer, 2015). Some teachers in my university, however, do not use any of the recommendations above, but keep using the same techniques that are not effective.
Moreover, the students being used to ‘interruptive’ error-correction and high focus on accuracy find it unacceptable when the teacher allows them to make mistakes, which might lead to undeveloped self-correction mechanisms.

Questions raised by Hendrickson (Hendrickson, 1978: 388) about error correction are essential and should be considered by any teacher before giving corrective feedback:
1) “Should errors be corrected?;
2) If so, when should errors be corrected?;
3) Which learner errors should be corrected?;
4) How should learner errors be corrected?;
5) Who should correct learner errors?” (ibid).

Different authors’ opinions on these questions were looked into.

Based on the author’s teaching context and review of the literature, an observation instrument was designed to focus on the following areas:
1. The type of error that is being corrected – Grammar, Vocabulary, Phonology (Thornbury, 2005);
2. When it is corrected;
3. Error correction techniques;
4. Who corrects the error (refers to question two, four and five raised by Hendrickson respectively).

The observation instrument was devised to guide the observer through error correction incidents occurring in the lesson in real time. The form required minimum writing only putting ticks in the suitable box. Extra writing was required when noting down the error itself and adding comments.
The results of the data gathered were described according to the four areas the author aimed at concentrating initially. Conclusions were made on the effectiveness and variety of error correction techniques used by the teachers observed.
Error correction, fluency, accuracy, corrective feedback.