The classroom teacher can, of course, help to prevent the occurence of errors in the classroom, making drills unnecessary. Holley and King (1971) found that a 5-10 second wait time before either supplying a hesitating student with a re- sponse or cutting off a student before he com- pleted his utterance, eliminated-over 50% of the time-the need for teacher intervention at all. This suggests that classroom errors may de- crease as teachers lower the level of tension in the classroom. The authors further suggest that if wait time alone doesn't produce a correct stu- dent answer, then careful drilling, such as re- phrasing of the question, cueing the learner with a word of phrase, or giving a full or partial sample sentence, might provide the necessary stimulus. The following are examples of how the teacher can rephrase, cue, or otherwise help the students generate simple sentences that are correct: 1. Rephrasing the question. Teacher: Why did they come home so early? Student: They. . . (hesitation). Teacher: Why were they so early? 2. Cueing. Student: He has . . . there (pause). Teacher: Work, worked . . . Student: Worked. He has worked there. 3. Generating simple sentences. Teacher: What has the boy just done there? Student A: He has . . . there (pause). Teacher: What kinds of things can he do? He has ... Student A: Played. He has played there Student B: He has eaten there. In the third instance, the teacher senses when the student is unable to answer a very specific ques- tion and correspondingly eases the constraints to allow a wider range of acceptable answers. George (1972) stresses that forms must always be corrected in a realistic context. He also notes that the teacher shouldn't require imitation but should simply present his version. This is con- sistent with Holley and King's suggestions,which are also intended more to prompt than to elicit exact repetition. Corder (1967) even suggests that instead of supplying a correct response, the teacher should just hint at the correct form or supply it indirectly (as parents do for children). In this way the learner will be using the process of discovery, whereby he makes inferences, for- mulates concepts, and alters his hypotheses. The above sample drills might still be too direct a form of correction in Corder's schema. Actually, Corder (1974) would really hope that the teacher could relate correction to the student's language learning strategies. Except with small groups of learners, however, the teacher is unlikely to be able to do this. Some curricula have actually developed stan- dard protocols for correction of students' second- language utterances, so as to assure a consistent pattern of correction. One such curriculum, for primary school children, has the teacher ask for peer evaluation of a student's response, followed by teacher verification of the evaluation. If the student's response is incorrect, the teacher then follows a specified set of steps in correction. For example, if a student makes an error, the teacher models the correct answer and then immediately presents the learner with the same task over again. If the learner still produces the incorrect
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- Fall '19