Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

The importance of learners’ errors

Analysis of second language learners’ errors can help identify learner’s linguistic
difficulties and needs at particular stage of language learning. In general, error analysis has
several implications for the handling of learner’s errors in the classroom. According to
Corder (1967), correcting learners’ errors is significant in three different ways: First, they
indicate the teacher about the learner’s progress. Second, they provide explanations about
how language is learnt. Thirdly, they are important for the learning and acquisition of a
language. Nevertheless, even though many teachers sustain that errors’ correction can
become intrusive and may discourage students from communicating in the target language;
it can be highly beneficial for the development of a second language.
To begin with, errors’ correction may help students to improve writing and oral skills and
also to reduce the fear of committing them. This is clearly shown by the fact that students
from different countries and levels speak and write very well in their academic contexts.
The reason for that is that errors are a necessary element during the learning process and
they are an intrinsic part of language learning if we view it as a creative constructive
process. Students’ errors are nowadays considered as evidence of the progress achieved in
language learning. What is more, repetition and practice are necessary elements for
correction to facilitate the students to learn the new language item correctly. A further
positive aspect of error correction is that students feel confident both of themselves and
their teacher when the correction is gently. This will help to clarify all the students’ doubts
and errors encouraging self-correction after applying positive feedback.
Another point to consider is that errors’ correction can improve writing and oral skills

However, many claim that correcting students can have a detrimental effect on them. This
can be related to the fact that a lots of teachers correct all errors committed by their
students, which may result in undermining their motivation. In the view of Krashen (1981)
and Truscott (1996) error correction may have some consequences such as anxiety, stress
and negative feelings for learning a second language. This means that if the experience of
an L2 is different from the L1 experience learners will not enjoy the learning process
creating a barrier to acquisition. Moreover, the frequent correction of errors disrupts the
process of language learning and discourages timid students from using the second
language. Nevertheless, language learning can improve if learners’ experiences rely on
facilitation, empathy and motivation to learn the new language correctly. For instance,
pleasant classroom, convenient teacher’s intervention and encouraging participation can be
strengthening in order to reduce these drawbacks.

To conclude, it is true to say that error correction does bring about some negatives effects.
Nevertheless, it can be observed that correcting students constitutes a good way not only of
encouraging them to learn the language properly, but also helping students by providing
them with confidence and self-esteem.