Correcting mistakes made by adult students is already quite challenging, even more so when the lessons are taking place in their offices and they are perhaps executives who aren’t used to being corrected. However we must remember our goal is always to guide our students on how to improve their skills and to that effect, here are some ideas observed in successful classes:
- during a class discussion have a notebook and write down mistakes under each student’s name; after the discussion is over, go over the mistakes
- elicit the correct versions from the students – ask students first, they might be able to produce the right version, DON’T repeat or write the wrong versions for them
- write down mistakes in two columns under 2 headings GRAMMAR/ VOCAB and show this sheet to your students, use markers to correct the mistakes together
- after prepared oral presentations, give students general feedback, and later send each student an email with detailed report of their performance
- save one part of the whiteboard to register the corrections and great phrases of today’s class and come back to them at the end of the class
Correcting every single mistake. Not necessarily. If you have introduced new vocabulary and students have to use it in their speeches, let them know you will concentrate on the target vocabulary. In that case, forget grammar as long as it doesn’t IMPEDE understanding. Ignore minor grammar mistakes; clarify the most serious ones.