There are students who want to
be corrected by you all the time & others who don't want
any correction. Here's an idea to promote an awareness of
your correction policy.
Cut out & paste together some stand up
triangles - one for each student in the class. Colour each
of the sides in the colours of traffic lights: red, green
& amber. Put a triangle on each desk.
Each colour represents the amount of correction
they want: green means 'correct me all the time', red means
'don't correct me at all' & amber means 'correct me at your
As the students show the side they want,
follow their instructions. They usually begin by wanting
to be corrected all the time & then switch to no correction.
After a while, in theory, the students should be fed up
so they then put their triangles on amber & let you correct
at appropriate times.
This should go hand in hand with a discussion
on your correction policy.
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Do you 'drill' your students
i.e. ask them to repeat specific sentences in order to give
them pronunciation practice?
There are a variety of different types
of drills & the mumble drill is a variation on a repetition
drill i.e. students simply repeat the sentence you give.
After you model the sentence a few times,
get the students to mumble it to themselves. This can give
them the opportunity to practice it 'privately' before being
asked to join in group or individual repetition aloud.
While the students are mumbling stay out
of the way & give them a minute to get their mouths & heads
round the new structure. Then on to a bit of choral & individual
Back to the contents
High speed dictations/dictogloss
A variation on a normal dictation.
Here you choose a short passage & read
it out at the same speed that you would normally read aloud
- not at dictation speed. The students have to take notes
- as much as they can catch which will be the stressed,
'content/information' words rather than the 'grammar' words.
After one or two readings the students in pairs or small
groups have to reformulate the text i.e. write a passage
using their notes so that it makes sense.
The idea isn't really to produce an exact
copy of the original but a logical, coherent text. While
they are getting the passage together you could go round,
helping out & correct/introduce alternatives. The groups
could then compare their versions to see if they have the
While you are reading have a look to see
how much they are getting down. This will tell you if they
need another reading or not.
You could compare the students' versions
with the original but this would change the aim & could
be demotivating if the students feel their versions aren't
The choice of the text you read out could
be based on the theme or the actual language content; grammar
or vocab - better if they are both linked in to what you
are doing in the lesson/timetable.
For more on this check out 'Grammar Dictation'
by R.Wajnryb (OUP)
the Past Teaching Tips