Is it true that you learn from your mistakes?

roles of mistakes in language learning

The saying “You learn from your mistakes” is inspiring, but to use mistakes as a source of growth, one has to identify and analyze them. Correction is a part of learning. However, teachers and language exchange partners should be careful about WHEN, WHAT, HOW and HOW MUCH to correct. 

Students’ confidence is undermined by overcorrection and nurtured by positive feedback. Moreover, educator’s comments are a form of differentiated instruction that has great influence on students’ development.

Overcorrection is, on the contrary, de-motivating. When the “work is covered in red ink”, students can’t focus on their genuine errors. Concentrating on accuracy may cause fear of making a mistake. However, it is not a learner’s error but teacher’s overcorrection that should be avoided at any cost.

As a conclusion, error correction aims to give students a basis for improvement. Educators should couple it with an attempt to keep learning experience as positive as possible.

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