The role of correction in language learning – very limited and only with permission.

The role of correction in language learning – very limited and only with permission.

I recently did two youtube videos that are related to this subject, one in English and one in Spanish. This has generated some lively discussions. Some people felt that I was somehow too sensitive or proud and should accept correction by others. Another person said that we learn languages like children, and children are regularly corrected when they speak, so we should also be happy to be corrected.

Is that really so??? It is my impression that the amount of correcting that parents do is only a small part of the communication that a child engages in. There are parents who correct more, and parents who correct less. I suspect this has little outcome on how correctly the child speaks. What matters more is how his or her friends speak, the ones that he or she hears.?? This is certainly true of immigrants who arrive in a country at the age of 3 or 4 or 5. The parents are not in a position to correct them in many cases, and yet the kids learn to speak very quickly. So I do not believe the the parents correcting children has much influence

I also do not think that teachers correcting learners has much influence. There are some studies that show this, but I am always suspicious of these studies, even when they agree with my views. I notice that the people who learn to speak well are those who become committed to learning a language on their own, and do a lot of reading and listening or mix in with speakers of the language. Without the motivation all the correction in the world will have little effect.

That being the case, the question is really whether the correction motivates the learner. This fact, whether it motivates or not, is far more important than the specific grammatical structures or word usage problem identified in the correction. Here is video on?? the subject


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