Find the mistake! This is a form of activity that I always use in my classes. It is good for any level of language and gets students thinking about correcting themselves. I like to use teaching techniques that require students to really examine how they are learning English so they can take an active role in their learning process. It is always important to encourage students to be aware of their mistakes and self-correct. I’m going to walk you through how you can do this as a form of feedback in your class and also give you a FREE Resource.
This kind of exercise is just one of the many I like to include in my classes to give my students autonomy in their language learning. I want to teach them how to teach themselves and progress their English as much as they can on their own. Mistake correcting activities helps students recognize common grammatical mistakes they make and gives them a chance to slowly begin to change it with first noticing and then repetition of the correction.
I’ve gone through the process of how I correct mistakes in my blog post on Feedback. It provides tips on how to give effective and worthwhile feedback and how to include students in the feedback process. Read this first to get your warmed up!
How I create quick mistake correcting activities in class
I like to do small correcting activities as a form of feedback for my students. So, what I normally do is take notes during a lesson of any re-occurring mistakes my students make. (Again refer to my Feedback post for how I do this more specifically). After the activity is finished, I write the mistakes out for the students (or highlight them if it’s writing) and see if they can self-correct first. If they can’t, we work through them together to find the answer. Rather than just giving them the answer they take part in the correcting process and learn skills that they can use to correct themselves outside of our classes.
So let’s break down those steps:
- Write down or highlight any mistakes the student makes in their speaking or writing.
- Encourage them to correct the mistakes themselves first! (Give them clues, circle the mistake etc.)
- If they still don’t know, work through the correction together and explain why it is incorrect.
- Give them a couple of practice exercises to make sure they understand the error and have corrected it.
I have created a great a Find the Mistake! Present simple grammar activity that you can get in my Free Resource gallery! For purchase the Find the Mistake! Resource Pack go to My Premium Resource Gallery.