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Error Correction in the Second Language Classroom

The following is an excerpt from this issue of the CLEAR newsletter.  Please click the link below to read the full article.

The topic of error correction in the second language (L2) classroom tends to spark controversy among both language teachers and L2 acquisition researchers. Teachers may have very strong views about error correction, based on their own previous L2 learning experiences, or they may be more ambivalent, particularly if they have been following the debate among L2 researchers on the topic. Depending on which journal articles a teacher reads, he or she will find error correction described on a continuum ranging from ineffective and possibly harmful (e.g., Truscott, 1999) to beneficial (e.g., Russell & Spada, 2006) and possibly even essential for some grammatical structures (White, 1991). Furthermore, teachers may be confronted with students’ opinions about error correction since students are on the receiving end and often have their own views of if and how it should happen in the classroom. Given these widely varying views, what is a teacher to do? This article will address this question by exploring some of the current thinking about error correction in the field of L2 acquisition research.

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