Simon Thomas answers the question “What causes ESL students to make speaking and writing errors? “ quite comprehensively in a recent blog post at efl-resource.com.
He looks at the differences between “mistakes” (lack of knowledge or understanding) and “slips” (performance errors) – which I think is a distinction originally made by Pit Corder in his 1981 book “Error Analysis and Interlanguage“. Simon goes on to look at possible causes and possible solutions to learner errors.
Since I started typing this – Simon’s just published a further three posts extending and developing the topic (though I haven’t had a chance to read them all yet!):
- Giving immediate correction to ESL students’ spoken errors
- Giving delayed correction in the ESL classroom
- Correcting written work in the ESL classroom
Thursday 20 October 2011 at 06:00
Wonderful collection of resources, and an interesting subject indeed. Cheers, Brad
Thursday 20 October 2011 at 11:12
one of those where other people did all the hard work!
Thursday 15 December 2011 at 20:56
When I think about mistakes versus errors, I think of Chomsky’s distinction between competence and performance. Although there may be a pedagogical advantage of distinguishing the two (if it’s even possible), it still is all about the performance.