Errors tell us the teachers where a student is in her

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show us that a student is taking risks with the language in her efforts to communicate. Errors tell us, the teachers, where a student is in her development, and they are key indicators of what needs to be worked on in class. Furthermore, when helping students with mistakes, we want to aim the student towards self-correction, a technique that raises her awareness about English, rather than keeping the student dependent upon the guidance of the teacher. In the process of helping students with their errors, we want to continue building the self-confidence of the learners (always encouraging, never discouraging), making the learners more aware of the language, recognizing the learners’ progress, as well as helping the learners become more proficient in their use of the language. Origin of Learner Errors
What are some of the causes of learners' mistakes in the ESL/EFL classroom? We know through simple observation that learning a new language is a gradual process. However, teachers can often gain insight by analyzing the types of errors that students are making. L1 Interference with Vocabulary and Grammar This is where students use the forms of their native language (first language) and translate them directly into English rather than selecting the slightly different vocabulary word, grammar tense, or structure that should be chosen. These errors will reflect the specific L1 of the learner since that is the language that is mirrored. Example Error: I want to make a party for you. (I want to have a party for you.) Example Error: I am here since Tuesday. (I have been here since Tuesday.) Example Error: She needs book about irregular verbs. (She needs a book about irregular verbs.) L1 interference with Syntax We find many errors in the order of words or phrases of English language learners since English is relatively inflexible when compared to many other languages. It often insists on subject-verb-object. Example Error: Him I asked why he did that. (I asked him why he did that.) Example Error: She’s wearing jeans blue. (She’s wearing blue jeans.) Example Error: The ball to her kicked I. (I kicked the ball to her.) L1 interference with Pronunciation Some sounds are common in English but not used in other languages. In addition, some letters represent different sounds in other languages than they do in many English words. Example Error: Pronouncing hit with the sound of heat. Example Error: Dat is fine wid me. (That is fine with me.) Example Error: Pronouncing frame with the sound of flame. False Cognates False cognates cause students to choose words that are inappropriate in English based on the fact that they look or sound similar to L1 vocabulary. Below are a few examples of false Spanish/English cognates: words that are similar looking in both languages, but which have totally different meanings. embarazada means pregnant, not embarrassed; pretender means to intend, not to pretend; actual means current, not actual; and lectura means reading matter, not lecture.

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