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Strategies on how to correct students’ errors effectively (the case of first to forth year English
students at UP – Niassa)
Chapter I. Introduction
1.1.Background of the problem
It is natural and inevitable to people make errors when speaking, especially when students learn a
language either second or foreigner. In this respect, in learning environment it has been admitted
that making errors is a part of learning. Additionally, students´ errors let us know how far these
have progressed over time and what remains to be learned. In this regard, it is important therefore
to ensure the feedback we give to students is appropriate and if the students recognize it as a pivotal
part to their learning process. However, this study is written specifically to tackle on “Strategies
on how to correct students’ errors effectively the case of first to forth year English students at UP
– Niassa)”. For that reason, the chief idea is to know how teachers correct students’ errors in ELT.
In further regards to the structure of the work, entails freezing that it will be organized under
chapters. In the first chapter regards the statement of a problem, critical questions, hypothesis,
objective and rationale. The second chapter regards literature review. It is in this chapter in which
we discuss all of the theoretical regards of this study. In the third chapter regards research design,
target population and sample. At last, in the fourth chapter regards the expected results, timetable
of activities, budget and resources and dissemination.
Apart from all of the chapters mentioned so far, there is one last page to be described. In it, there
are presented the reference bibliography in which tally the credibility of the information so far
1.2.Statement of the problem
In the course of training, the researcher witnessed some of the students felt seriously inhibited and
embarrassed when being orally corrected, that is, the students felt refrained from speaking owing
to the fact of scaring making errors. Thus, the strategies applied by the teachers to correct errors
demotivated their students making further efforts in using the target language.

1.3.Critical questions
 How teachers correct students’ errors?
 What is the appropriate treatment of students’ errors?
 What are the students’ attitudes toward error corrections in ELT?
 Do teachers know when and how to correct students errors in a lesson?

The researcher thinks that the hypothesis to this problem might be:
1. Teachers don’t know when to correct students errors;
2. Ineffective ways of correcting students’ errors;
3. Students don’t know how important is correcting errors;
4. Students feel devalued (put-down) when corrected.

The objective of the study are mainly:

1.5.1. General objective

 To know how teachers correct students’ errors in ELT.

1.5.2. Specific Objectives:

 To describe strategies of which teachers use to correct students’ errors;
 Identify effective strategies for correcting students’ errors;
 To explore teachers and students’ understanding towards the correction of errors.

Obviously, there are high range of Ss’ making errors at UP – Niassa. As a result, teachers correct
their student’s errors quite often. In turn, when these students are being orally corrected feel
inhibited and embarrassed. Noticing their difficulties, the researcher therefore, developed an
interest in knowing more about the effective strategies of which teachers could apply so as to
correct Ss’ errors effectively without in turn demotivate them making further effort in learning
process. Yet in this regard, for the research to conduct this survey, it is because these students
could hardly take part in language learning process. And if students are discouraged from learning
at the beginning of their learning process, then they are unlikely to make some progress.
Thus the researcher finds it worth conducting its findings would be very useful to all teachers in
that they are morally responsible for correcting all Ss’ errors in language learning. In turn, students
feel motivated and engaged language learning without caring being influenced negatively when
orally corrected.
Chapter II. Literature Review

In this chapter afforded the researcher to focus on all of the theoretical points which make part of
this body of work. The researcher begins with the stage related to discussing term errors. As a last
regard, concentrates on the strategies on how teachers should correct students’ errors effectively.

4.1.Discussing terms

For a start, the researcher concerns with defining the term errors. Following Ellis (1994), an error
can be defined as a deviation from the norms of the target language. Inasmuch as the researcher is
concerned the definition of errors, it is worth referring that this study will be focused on how to
correct students’ errors effectively, i.e., without demotivate them. Additionally, in Harmer (2005),
errors are mistake which they can’t corrected themselves and which therefore need extra

In a forward looking note, Harmer (2010:142), a distinction is often needed between accuracy and

4.2.Importance of errors in ELT

The researcher previously dealt with the definition of errors. This instance goes to its importance
in ELT. As far as Scrivener (1989) is concerned with the role of errors making in language teaching
and learning process, errors are evidence that progress is being made. In addition, errors show that
students are experimenting with the language, trying out ideas, taking risk, attempting to
communicate, making progress. Quite apart from that, errors helps us to clarify exactly which level
the students have reached.

Inasmuch the researcher is concerned to this issue, errors making plays a pivotal role in language
teaching and learning. In this way the researcher reflexive, understands that errors making help
teachers to detect their level of progress and how much they are engaged in the target language
through trial of attempts, experimenting to see what works and what does not work.
4.3.Strategies on how to correct students’ errors

In dealing with errors, teachers often look for correction techniques and strategies that help the
students to make their own correction.

Scrivener (1989) and Harmer (2010), in the point related to strategies on how to correct students’
errors, have pointed out some principles for the teachers to know how to correct students’ errors
effectively. That is, a great consideration should be given to the aim of the activity. Deciding
whether the aim is to improve students’ accuracy use of English. In this case constant correction
is helpful. If the aim is to encourage fluency, interruptions, and corrections are not welcomed.

4.3.1. When to correct errors

“Often the spontaneous reaction on hearing an error is to correct immediately” (Bartram &
Walton, 1991:04).

Inasmuch as the researcher is concentrated on the quotation above, it has been stated that teachers
can resort to the aim of the activity so as to know how to correct students’ errors effectively. With
this respect, accuracy and fluency aims gain importance in here according to Scrivener (1989). In
depth on going, the same author explains that if the objective is accuracy immediate correction is
likely to be useful; but if the objective is fluency, the lengthy, immediate correction that diverts
from the flow of speaking is less appropriate. We either need to correct briefly and unobtrusively
as we go or save any correction for after the activity has finished or late.
Chapter III. Methodology

This chapter deals with the methodology which will be used to gather the data. Firstly, the
researcher refers to the type of research methods which will be employed for the survey. Secondly,
goes on to regard the techniques and instruments of data collection. Thirdly, deals with procedure
which will obey the administration of the research instruments. In the last view, the researcher
deals with both target population and sample population of the study.

3.1. Research approach

To begin this instance, the researcher refers that the research will be based on both quantitative
and qualitative approach. Gil (2008) points out that qualitative approach is used for unquantifiable
data in making questions about how, what, when and where in the data gathering. Whilst,
Quantitative approach is according to Dawson (2009:23), characterized by the collection of
information which can be analyzed numerically and the results of which are typically presented
using statistics, tables and graphs, whereby, the results of can confirm or refute hypotheses about
the impact of the problem in case. In this respect, the researcher refers that has chosen to conduct
through these approaches so as through quantitative measure the data to formulate facts and
uncover patterns in research and through qualitative gain insight into a phenomenon through
exploring experiences, behaviour and attitudes. Therefore, so as to gather information for the
study, structured interview and observation method will be used for data collection of the research.

3.2. Procedures

For a starting, the researcher refers to the stages at which the structured interview will obey. In the
last moments will concentrate on observation method. In the following review, the structured
interview will be administered through the sample of the research will be randomly selected from
students attending English Course at UP – Niassa from year one to four and teacher directly
engaged to the teaching of English language at this Institution. The researcher finds worth
underpinning that, all the participants (students) taking part in this study, there will be set out a
day for the interview take place in a common classroom. While in the process of interviewing the
teachers, the researcher will set out a day so as to meet with each teacher involved in the study to
carry an interview.
To what entails the observation method, the research will set out two weeks to observe lessons for
each year (first to four), to witness how the feedback corrective is done during lessons mainly in
the course of speaking activities.

3.3. Target population

In this respect to this stage, entails saying that the target population of this treatise are all the
students attending English Course at UP – Niassa from first to fourth year, which are described in
number of 89 (eight-nine), their teachers in number of 5 (five). In this way totalizing 94 as the

Chart I: Target population of the research

Target Population Male Female Subtotal

Teachers 5 - 5
Students 45 44 89
Total 50 44 94
Source: dr. Humberto Malize - Deputy of English Course

3.4. Sample

The sample of the research will described in numbers of 40 students (Ss’), of both sexes attending
English course at UP - Niassa from year one to four, plus 2 teachers directly concerned to language
teaching. In this way, comprising the number of 42 participants.

Chart II: Sample of the research

Sample Male Female Subtotal

Teachers 2 - 2
Students 32 8 40
Total 34 8 42
Source: The researcher, 2016
Chapter four: Expected results, Schedule, Budget & Resources, Dissemination and

4.1. Expected results

It is expected that this research would cause an impact on the students attending English taking
Portuguese Course, consequently, feel motivated and engaged language learning without caring
being influenced negatively when orally corrected. Quite apart from that, it will provide strategies
which will help teachers correct all Ss’ errors and mistakes in language learning process

Chart II: Schedule
Nr. Activities Months / 2016
Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
01 Researching
02 Data analysis
03 First submission
04 Correction
05 Second submission
06 Re-correction – dissemination
Source: the researcher, 2016

4.5.Budget and resources

Chart III: Budget and Resource
Nr. Resource Quantity Price Cost
01 A4 1 300,00mt 300,00mt
02 Writing and printing 50 20,00mt 1.000,00mt
03 Pen 2 10,00mt 20,00mt
07 Copy 100 2,00mt 200,00mt
Total 1.520,00mt
Source: the researcher, 2016
In order to divulge the findings of the present research, it is worth highlighting that will be
disseminated in several ways of target population reach, such as an oral presentation and organize
a written report which will be made available in the institution holding this research.
5. Reference bibliography
1. Malize. H – Deputy of Portuguese Course Interviewed in 08th Jully, 2016.
2. BERG, L, B (2001). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. United States
of America. Allyn & Bacon.
3. Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University
Appendix 2

Question for students’ interview

1. Is error making an essential part of the learning process? (yes__ / No___. Why?)
2. Do you resent it when you make an error? (Yes__ / No___. Why?)
3. Should the teacher interrupt you when you make a mistake or error? (Yes_/ No_ Why?)
4. Should the teacher correct you once you have finished speaking? (Yes__ / No__. Why?)
5. Should the teacher correct you in private? (yes__ / No___. Why?)
6. How do you feel when corrected in front of the class? (Why?)

Thanks you very much!

Appendix 2

Question for teachers’ interview

1. Is error correction an essential part of the teaching process? (yes__ / No___. Why?)
2. Do you interrupt your students to correct their errors or mistakes? (yes__ / No___. Why?)
3. When do you correct students’ errors or mistakes?

Thanks you very much!

Appendix 3

Points to be focused on while observing lessons

1. How the teachers correct students’ errors or mistakes?

2. When do the teachers correct students’ errors?
3. What is the students’ attitude toward correction?