What mistakes do ESL teachers make in writing materials?

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What mistakes do ESL teachers make in writing materials?

Post by Eric18 » Tue May 29, 2007 11:28 am

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?

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Post by [email protected] » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:12 pm

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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Post by silencedobetter » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:31 am

Confusing affect and effect, than and then, who and whom, I and me, making run on sentences, using "like" as a conjunction - these are just few of the common mistakes made even by native speakers. Below are some tips on how to teach your students to avoid them:

http://goldstarteachers.com/5-common-en ... kes-avoid/

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