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There are many definitions of error made so far and there seems to be no consensus on a single definition. Researchers like Allwright and Bailey (1996) have rightly become aware of the importance of speaking context, the intention of the teacher and student and the prior learning of the students in the process of deciding what an error is. Therefore, researchers dealing with error treatment have chosen the definition applying to their own research context.
Making errors is the most natural thing in the world and it is evidently attached to the human being. But, how do we define error? There are different definitions of the word and as Ellis (1994) explains "learners make errors in both comprehension and production, the first being rather scanty investigated. Children learning their first language (Ll), adult nativ e speakers, second language learners; they all make errors which have a different name according to the group committing the error. Children's errors have been seen as "transitional forms", the native speakers¶ones are called "slips of the tongue" and the second language (L2) errors are considered "unwanted forms" (George, 1972).
According to Lennon (1991) an error is "a linguistic form or combination of forms which in the same context and under similar conditions of production would, in all likelihood, not be produced by the speakers' native speakers counterparts". In the second language teaching or learning process, the error has always been regarded as something negative which must be avoided. As a consequence, teachers have always adopted a repressive attitude towards it. On one hand, it was considered to be a sign of inadequacy of the teaching techniques and on the other hand it was seen as a natural result of the fact that since by nature we cannot avoid making errors we should accept the reality and try to deal with them. Fortunately, little by little the error has been seen from a different point of view being made obvious that we can learn from our mistakes.
From another perspective of viewer, error correction is µa response either to the content of what a student has produced or to the form of the utterance¶ (Richards and Lockharts, 1996: 188). When the focus is on forms, it is supposed to help learners to reflect
It is the teacher reaction that transforms. ibid). However. what errors to correct. including responses with repair of the non-target items as well as utterances still in need of repair (Lyster &Ranta. 2003: 42) states. 2 . who. the term ³corrective feedback´ or ³error correction´ needs to be defined. More specifically. Hence. An oral error is broadly defined as a form unwanted by the teacher in the given teaching/learning context (Mosbah. there are many issues which need careful consideration such as teachers¶ and learners¶ roles in error correction. learners¶ level and attitudes need to be taken into consideration. cited in Ferris.1977). µthe correction of grammatical errors can help students improve their ability to write accurately¶.on the wrong forms and finally produce right forms (Krashen. Stern (1992: 51) includes it as µa part of the grammar learning processes. The correction may come from the student. It is quite obvious that errors are integral parts of language learning and error correction has a significant role in improving learners¶ writing accuracy. as Truscot (1996. error correction can be very complicated since all these factors will influence its efficacy. Also. a peer or the teacher. 2007). how much. In addition. 1987). Another term in need of clarification is ³uptake´ that refers to different types of student responses following the feedback. and how. disapproves or demands improvement of the learner utterance (Chaudron.
LITERATURE REVIEW An article related to this topic is written by Azizollah Dabaghi from Iran. Mackey 1999). it compared the effects of timing of correction (immediate versus delayed correction) and manner of correction (explicit versus implicit correction). This research has focused mostly on whether teachers should correct errors in student writing and how they should go about it. Each participant was required to read and then retell a written text in their own words during an oral interview with the researcher. Statistical analyses were conducted on the scores participants received on their individualised tests. Much less has been done to ascertain L2 writing teachers' perceptions and practices present as well as students' seeks beliefs to and attitudes the regarding errorfeedback. This finding lends support to the argument of Schmidt (1994) concerning the role of metalinguistic awareness in language acquisition. Another research that related to this topic has been conducted by Icy Lee from Hong Kong. Correction of morphological features was found to be more effective than that of syntactic features. significant differences were found for the manner of correction. It is argued that morphological features are generally learnt as items whereas syntactic features involve system learning. Participants who received explicit correction gained significantly higher scores than those who received implicit correction. It also investigated the relative effects of correction of morphological versus syntactic features and correction of developmental early versus developmental late features. Data were gathered from three main sources: (1) a 3 .This finding lends support to suggestions that corrective feedback (like other types of form-focused instruction) needs to take into account learners' cognitive readiness to acquire features (Pienemann 1984. Correction of developmental early features was found to be more effective than correction of developmental late features. Data for the study were collected from 56 intermediate level students of English as a Foreign Language in Iranian university and private language school settings. The investigation explore existing error correction practices in the Hong Kong secondary writing classroom from both the teacher and student perspectives. Specifically. However. This article reports on a study which investigated the effects of correction of learners' grammatical errors on acquisition. Results showed no significant differences for the timing of correction. the researcher corrected the participants' grammatical errors implicitly (using recasts) or explicitly (providing metalinguistic information). During or following the interview. Individualised tests focusing on the errors that had been corrected were constructed for each participant and administered.
In fact. few issues in second language teaching have generated as much controversy as that of error correction. Eleven of them were undergraduate students who had no teaching experience or qualifications. A possible explanation may be the mismatch between what teachers and students consider to be effective feedback on error correction. the participants were asked to detect the errorcorrection moves made by the teacher. whereas the other 10 were qualified teachers of English as a foreign language with between three and 13 years' experience. The results revealed that both teachers and students preferred comprehensive error feedback. The study also showed that the students were reliant on teachers in error correction. detection. (2) a teacher error correction task. An article have been written by David Lasagabaster and Juan Manuel Sierra endeavours to help fill this void. classify them. the teachers used a limited range of error feedback strategies. and that the teachers were not much aware of the long-term significance of error feedback. there is a dearth of research studies comparing teachers' and students' perceptions. and only about half of the teacher corrections of student errors were accurate. and (3) a student survey made up of a questionnaire and followup interviews. Nevertheless. and use of different correction strategies were utilised. The study involved 21 informants. After watching an excerpt from a commercially produced teaching video twice. analysis and evaluation.teacher survey comprising a questionnaire and follow-up interviews. judge their efficiency and record their opinions individually and in groups. Possible implications pertaining to ways to improve current error correction practices were discussed. 4 . one of the most discouraging experiences of L2 teachers is correcting errors especially those that recur in their students' production. The results indicated that a significant percentage of the teachers' error-correction moves went unnoticed. Teachers and students agreed that the most efficient corrections occurred when more time. longer explanations. Although much has been published on error taxonomies.
especially regarding the fact that the learners value and expect teachers¶ feedback on their written work. Teachers should also identify common errors learners make so that they have some thought of what to do next with their teaching methodology (Leech. 2003). by understanding the source of errors and implementing the ³process of simplification´ so that they are able to transfer their knowledge in such a clear and simple way to learners at different proficiency level (Leech.Roles of teachers in error correction Language teachers hold the authority to correct learners¶ errors. 1997: 44. In addition. 1994). to get new ideas on error correction methods. Thus. and hopefully. 1994). Thus. 1996: 120). they should update themselves with what is going on inside their classroom. Preferably. teachers have to put themselves on learners¶ shoes. Scott. teachers should always concern about what is best and suitable for learners. This way. teachers are advocated to exchange information and experience with other colleagues to expand their insight. 5 . language teachers play several important roles as follows: Judges As the one being authoritative in the classroom. For instance. However. to be able to make right pedagogic decision to apply particular error correction methods. vocabulary and so forth to enable them to provide correction to learners¶ writing (Leech. teachers must act as scholars. Designers As designers. teachers have the right to set the standard of what the learners have to achieve in the writing course (Creme and Lea. learners¶ level has to be taken into consideration so that they are capable of achieving the expectation (Ferris. such as grammar. 1994). who are equipped with knowledge of the target language. Scholars In order to provide correction to learners. teachers have to adjust their expectation and teaching method to suit the learners¶ level.
they have to pay more attention to those errors. 6 . Positive comments on their work are also accommodating to motivate learners to pursue more (Wright. That is why teachers have to inspire and convince learners that teachers welcome their questions and worries. This way. 1987. 2004). Trainers Teachers have to boost learners¶ confidence and train them to be more independent in their learning.Motivators Learners¶ affective side also plays important roles in enhancing their language progress. thus. Xiang. Teachers should also help learners to identify their individual errors. Generally. learners will be equipped to learn how to self correct their writing (Ferris. Richards & Lockhart. 1996). 2002. Teachers are encouraged to give learners more chances to have peer feedback session so that they will go through the process of correcting others¶ work. it is unpleasant experience to be corrected and some of learners may get frustrated and demotivated because they might not know what to do. Motivation is a powerful desire which drives learners to accomplish more.
Xiang. This step will lead them to be autonomous learners that are able to self correct their written work (Gower. for instance. & Walter. 2004). but also on their own. they can always review what they have read so that they can ask their teachers for help or further practices.Roles of learners in error correction Teachers¶ effort will be less effective unless learners want to give right responses. Phillips. It is not an easy task for teachers to identify and acknowledge each language problem of their learners. on their notebook or error awareness sheet. They are expected to help teachers set expectations of the classroom. Learners can take notes of their errors and correction. So. Attentive monitors of learners¶ progress Learners are encouraged to monitor their progress by paying more attention to their common errors. Autonomous learners Learners¶ progress depends not only on the teachers¶ effort. Then. 7 . possibly by expressing their problems in writing and how they want to be corrected. thus learners¶ cooperation is needed. learners have to involve themselves in the error correction process by playing the following roles: Active participants in the class Having good interaction between teachers and learners is crucial to establish a conducive learning atmosphere. learners need to be engaged in the error correction process because it will enhance their language acquisition. they help teachers to make the right pedagogic decision on error correction methods. Thus. 1995: 165. Thus.
Coded feedback and direct correction are two strategies which can respectively reflect the main features of indirect and direct feedback. the codes are designed according to learners¶ common errors as a class group. The following will be devoted to the explanation of coded feedback and direct correction. In our teaching experience our error codes serve to indicate learners¶ common errors in grammar. the codes are designed according to learners¶ common errors as a class group. Meanwhile. the necessity of adopting reformulation for the sake of learners¶ improvement in learning skills is also explored. is implemented through underlining the errors and providing the right forms in the learners¶ written work. requires the teacher¶s responsibility to offer the correct forms to learners. In real pedagogical situation. but also types of mistakes by using a correcting code¶ (Bartram and Walton. those 8 . 1991: 84). However. in which teachers indicate the errors and it¶s learners who correct them (Ferris 2002). direct and indirect feedback constitute the most important dichotomy (Ferris 2002). as the title notes. this method involves learners in the self-correction process and helps them learn more effectively (Gower. whereas indirect feedback involves both teachers and learners in the error correction process.Suggestion methods of teaching in error correction Knowing teachers¶ and learners¶ roles in giving feedback to learners¶ learning is only the beginning to ensure correction efficiency. Direct correction. Phillips & Walters. it arouses learners¶ responsibility in correction and improves their writing accuracy in the long run (Ferris 2002). Besides. since codes just cover the common errors and limited. Coded feedback makes correction much neater due to the simple and systematical codes (Harmer. The definitions show that both of the correction methods indicate learners¶ errors but differ in how to indicate errors and who to correct them. It is crucial for teachers to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of correction methods according to the learners¶ real situation. Furthermore. In real pedagogical situation. as one common form of direct feedback. vocabulary and spelling. Direct feedback. Coded feedback µdoes not only indicate where errors are located. 1995). 2001). Coded feedback VS direction correction Among the methods used in error correction.
Nevertheless. be consistent with and accustomed to the codes (Bartram & Walton 1991. learners who receive only corrective feedback still need to go a long way to improve their 9 . spelling and punctuation to make the written work acceptable. Direct correction gives learners right answers beside the marked errors. However. In addition. grammatical forms. when coded feedback is used. 1995:168). Also. but learners who got coded feedback looked confused about how to correct and asked for a lot of help from their classmates and teachers. The learning results through direct correction are worse than coded feedback to some extent. Ferris 2002). Phillips & Walters. the dangers of its spoon-feeding effect are that learners overlook their own role in the correction process and may become passive (Hedge 2000). coded feedback is threatening and hard to be self-corrected for low proficiency learners (Ferris. teachers normally focus on correcting the wrong use of basic vocabulary. learners especially those with low proficiency find direction correction less threatening and thus helpful before they have acquired the ability to correct their own errors (Ferris 2002). Although teachers can let learners revise their writing. They seldom asked us questions about how to correct. To make full use of the advantages of coded feedback and direction correction and avoid their disadvantages. That is to say. 2002). teachers can consider combining them together. Otherwise chaos may occur due to the misinterpretation of the codes. learners can just mechanically copy the ready-made correction without figuring out the reasons. For instance. coded feedback is too limiting because not all errors are meant to be coded and some errors are too complicated for codes. Our learners all looked relaxed when we required them to rewrite their writing marked with direct correction. Reformulation as a supplementary method When giving feedback to learners¶ written work. such as appropriate word dictions. native-like organizations of the whole writing. but ignores the µhigher-level¶ style.individual errors may be ignored. Cohen (1990: 117) claims that the evaluation is µpartial¶ since it mainly focuses on the µlow-level¶ accuracy. one point teachers and learners must bear in mind is that they must understand what the codes mean. This is quite understandable since µerrors are usually made by individual students¶ (Gower. thus direct correction is necessary to create the convenience.
So. teachers should make great efforts to improve their L2 level to help learners as much as possible. Cohen (1990) suggests that learners should revise their writing until its well formed in grammar and mechanics. However. They are not satisfied with their errors being corrected. they may ask their nonnative L2 teachers with high proficiency to do the job. 1991). it is predictable that there is still a gap of realizing some of the stylistic subtleties of the language between a non-native teacher and a native speaker (Cohen. Reformulation. Nevertheless. then reconstruct it to make it reflect what they mean to say based on a teacher¶s or a native speaker¶s comment. as another form of indirect feedback. Of course. And the reformulator should be reminded not to twist the original meaning of the writing so that learners can really recognize the gap between their acceptable writing and the stylistic one produced by a native speaker. Also. 1990). learners with a certain level in the target language have the intention to produce natural target language writing and have a stronger desire for evaluation on this aspect. Actually.target language writing style. but also want to know how to rework their expression to make it sound natural (Bartram & Walton. 10 . For learners who can not find a native reformulator. and finally learners can ask a competent native speaker to reformulate the entire reconstructed writing or part of it. teachers should try to offer learners chances to know some native speakers or help them ask for help through the pen-pal channel through internet. reformulation is primarily for intermediate and advanced L2 learners because they have acquired the ability to learn form it. Learners are expected to be exposed to native-like expression for the same idea and thus improve their writing skills as they compare the reconstructed and the reformulated version. the personalized feedback can motivate learners to pay much attention to and benefit form it. can meet learners¶ need.
Lane and Lange. it is very important for teachers to have a clear understanding of the nature of errors. it is. As Krashen (1987: 74) says that they are inevitable and plentiful as learners learn and experiment the use of the language they are learning. which include feelings and attitudes (see Bates. comments like ³what¶s this?´ or ³I don¶t understand what you are saying here?´ are harmful to learners¶ self-esteem. As Raimes (1998) points out the tremendous impact of feedbacks and their potential to influence students¶ attitude in writing. cited in Ellis.Developing learners¶ positive attitudes towards correction in L2 learning In order to achieve an effective error correction method. the following negative reactions frequently manifest in L2 error correction. hence it should be viewed with openness and acceptance especially during their early stage of language learning. In terms of language learning. 1976. 11 . especially when corrections are given without explanation. 1993: Krashen. Resistance It is based on the learners¶ belief of what is right and wrong. Also. necessary for teachers to reflect on the manner for which corrections are given. errors are inherent to learners¶ works and the feedback teachers give to their works play a vital role in developing their writing skills. Therefore. Error correction touches not only the cognitive skills. 1995: 22) explains that errors are learners¶ way of testing their hypothesis about the nature of the language they are learning. In short. As Corder (1967. 1987. cited in Cook. Arnold and Brown. & Cathcart and Olsen. 1999. it depends on their level of proficiency and previous knowledge. However. it is a must for teachers to know learners¶ level and previous knowledge to avoid this reaction. therefore. students¶ responses to these corrections should be taken into consideration. 1994). This attitude comes from fear of not knowing what to do with the correction given by the teacher. More importantly. but also the affective aspects of language learning. which need to be understood by the teachers: Discouragement Learners who lack the confidence about their L2 knowledge will likely to be discouraged with correction feedback.
The relevance of the error correction notebook will depend on how the teacher will use this in helping learners become independent. There could be various reasons for this attitude and they require teachers¶ generosity to spare their time and effort in order to identify them. Secondly. Both teachers and learners have to be willing to embrace the journey of transforming the negative reactions to positive outlook. the effectiveness of a particular error correction depends on its implementation. This will help learners monitor their errors and review the corrections made. give positive comments and acknowledge learners¶ progress in L2 learning. but rather will discourage him/her. This self-evident suggestion touches on learners¶ motivation and willingness to improve. A teacher¶s response of µThis is wrong! Rewrite it!¶ will not encourage a learner. On the other hand. Given these negative reactions. The important thing here is for the learners to build up their confidence in responding to their own errors through the error correction method used in class. coded feedback which requires self-correction. This will give learners the chance to reflect on their errors and hopefully avoid or lessen them. for example. This will also give them the chance to see for themselves if they could cope with the chosen correction method. The following are some suggestions: Firstly. but with the right and businesslike approach it can be overcome in due time. What do you think?¶ or something like µI like what you¶ve written here. give the learners the chance to evaluate the method based on their capacity to self-correct.¶ Or µthis is interesting¶ and so on will boost learners¶ morale.Passiveness This is a difficult reaction to deal with. conduct an error correction orientation/workshop before implementing a particular method. perhaps you would like to revise it. In additional. In the orientation or workshop. ³Do you mean this?¶ or ³This is not clear. The orientation will familiarize the learners with the method of correction to be used. The notebook will contain error entries and corrections made. The positive comments will neutralize the negative emotions created by the corrections on 12 . encourage learners to keep an error correction notebook. a comment like. Perhaps the teacher could check the notebook once in a while or may complement it with a journal entry after two or three writing assignments. Teachers must provide the necessary assistance. that is.
and vocabulary. In short. Just make sure that no names are mentioned when highlighting the errors. 13 . spelling. Lastly. This is face saving for learners whose errors will be highlighted because it will console them that they are not alone in making those errors.grammar. give remedial session highlighting learners¶ recurring errors to develop learners¶ awareness of common errors. the feedback should be for clarification of the learners¶ ideas and meanings rather than for confrontation purposes.
Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. Education level: SPM level. Ethnic group: Malay. Education level: SPM level. Ethnic group: Malay. Ethnic group: Malay. Education level: SPM level. Correction: I dare not ask my boss for a raise. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 3: ³The movie that i watched last night was such a amazing movie. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. don¶t it? (Details of speaker: Age: 25. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. but he like tea. aren¶t it?´ Correction: It¶s raining out there.´ Correction: My brother doesn¶t like coffee. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) 14 . Ethnic group: Malay. (Details of speaker: Age: 25. Education level: SPM level. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 4: ³My brother don¶t like coffee. (Details of speaker: Age: 25.Error Analysis Error 1: ³I¶m not dare to ask my boss for a raise´.´ Correction: The movie that i watched last night was such an amazing movie. (Details of speaker: Age: 25. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 2: ³It¶s raining out there. but he likes tea.
Ethnic group: Malay.Error 5: ³There is some milk in fridge. Education level: Primary school. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) 15 .´ Correction: There is some milk in the fridge. (Details of speaker: Age: 25. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu & English. (Details of speaker: Age: 8. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 8: ³She is very beautiful woman. Education level: Primary school.´ Correction: She is a very beautiful woman.´ Correction: Darshen Dave is coming today. (Details of speaker: Age: 8. (Details of speaker: Age: 8. Languages spoken: Bahasa Melayu. Ethnic group: Malay. Education level: Primary school.´ Correction: There are a lot of apples in the basket. Ethnic group: Malay. Education level: SPM level. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 7: ³ Darshen Dave got come today. Mother tongue: Bahasa Melayu) Error 6: ³There is a lot of apples in the basket. Ethnic group: Malay.
studies done in some other settings can yield different results and thus there is a need for further research conducted with different classrooms and learners. As Tedick and de Gortari (1998) suggest. proficiency level. teachers of English should get involved in classroom research and take the role of a pedagogic explorer in order to become aware of their current practices in the classroom. which errors to correct and how to correct.CONCLUSION As a conclusion. Because these factors have an influence on whether to correct. Classroom research will help teachers gain the awareness that each class is a small world requiring special attention with its unique dynamics. age and classroom objectives. teachers should take the teaching context into account and get to know what kind of classroom behaviors they display. They also point out that teachers should practice a variety of feedback techniques as different techniques might appeal to different students in terms of their needs. 16 .
Retrieved from EBSCOhost. in Applied Linguistic. (2003) Response to Student Writing. num. (1997). M. Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd. 1994. J.. (1996). D. & Sierra. Leech. and M. & E. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers Cohen. Ferris. Arnold. 34(1). Journal of Second Language Writing. Chaudron.Hampshire: The Macmilla Press Ltd. J. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 27(1). R. Lasagabaster. Lee. (2006). Language Learning Journal. L. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. A. 29-46. 17 . edited by Martin Bygate.. Ferris. (1995) Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. vol. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. Brown (1999). D. 285-312. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. J. (2004). Oxford: Macmillan Education Lennon. D. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. Gower. V.References: Allwright. Writing at University. Language Learning. (1997). K. Bartram. (1994). Massachusetts: Heinle & Heinle Publishers Cook. 12. D.) Affect in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2002) Treatment of Error in Second Language Student Writing. 1991.. I. and Bailey. 19. London: LanguageTeaching Publications. (1987) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition . (1977). 14(2-3). Lyster. D. 10-13. C. G. Phillips & S. R. The study of second language acquisition. pp. & Ranta. Lea. & R. 180-195. L. (2005). R. "Error: some problems of definition and identification". Arnold (ed. Error Correction: Report on a Study. 13(4). Students¶ Grammar ± Teachers¶ Grammar ± Learners¶ Grammar in Grammar and The Language teachers. ³A Map of the Terrain´ in J. 2. D. D. Krashen. Walters (1995) Teaching Practice Handbook. Error Correction: Students' versus Teachers' Perceptions. Creme. Focus on the Language Classroom: An Introduction to Classroom Research for Language Teachers. A descriptive model of discourse in the corrective treatment of learners' errors. 112-127. 37-66.. Hertfordshire: Prentice-hall International Ltd. Oxford. D. (1990) Language Learning.Language Awareness. and H. P. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Oxford University Pess. Bates. Philadelphia: Open University Press. A. Ellis. Lange. R. Alan Tonkyn and Eddie Williams. S. P. R. Walton (1991) Correction. Error Correction in L2 Secondary Writing Classrooms: The Case of Hong Kong. Lange (1993) Writing Clearly. R. Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Dabaghi.
Mosbah. G. (1987) Roles of Teachers & Learners. A. TESOL Quarterly. T. (1991) Out of the Woods: Emerging Traditions in the Teachingof Writing. Stern. Tedick. Wright. 58/3: 238-246 18 . 25/3: 407±430. Oxford: Oxford University Press. & de Gortari. ELT Journal. The ACIE Newsletter 1(3). (2007). Treatment of Classroom Oral Errors: a Comparative Study Between Native and Non-native Speaking Teachers. (2004) Encouraging self monitoring in writing by Chinese Students. W. H. Oxford: Oxford University Press Xiang. D. A. Research on error correction and implications for classroom teaching. (1998). (1992) Issues and Options in Language Teaching.H. B. Published Doctoral Dissertation Raimes.
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