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What mistakes do ESL teachers make in writing materials?

 
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Eric18



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 151
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: What mistakes do ESL teachers make in writing materials? Reply with quote

What good mistakes do teachers make?

As an English teacher at a California university, I often try to encourage students to stretch themselves and "make good mistakes" in my class so we can make new, different, and better mistakes in the future. A good mistake, from my perspective, is a reasonable - even predictable mistake that we can learn from and move on. For example, a student confuses the spelling for the number 2 (two) with the preposition (to). Homonyms give even native speakers a headache.

On the other hand, some structural problems are deeply ingrained "good mistakes" that will take a long time and focused effort to correct and overcome. For example, if a Korean student "forgets" to use the articles "a", "an" or "the" on a paper, then I also consider that a "good mistake." We often learn best by identifying good mistakes. But to know, and not do, as the ancient sages remind us, is to not know.

But I would like to put the shoe on the other foot for this online discussion. What good mistakes do you think English teachers make in writing materials? Do they write outside their area of expertise? Do they try to be too current, too hip, or too political? Or do they avoid any controversial topic out of fear of offending somebody? Do they use too many unfamiliar words? Do they forget their target audience? What good mistakes do they make that limit their ffectiveness?

Consider me curious.

Eric
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mdavis@tkcs.org



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Eric,

I feel like the most common "good" mistake I make when I am writing curriculum for my ELL's is stuffing too much material into small periods of time. Either I am trying to keep the pace moving and interesting, or at other times, I am surprised by how long I need to teach a concept. I have learned that a flexible plan that allows for extra instruction time on some days, and a more rapid pace on others works best for me. In order to do this, I try to build margin into my curriculum that I can use if I need it, or fill with supplemental material (often cultural) otherwise.
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