A worksheet to make you think about how you correct and why.


1. What is a mistake?
Write three sentences which include the word 'mistake' to show your understanding of the word.

2. What do you think is the difference between an error, a mistake and a slip?
An error is ....
A mistake is ....
A slip is ....
Scroll to the end of the page to see my three simple definitions.

3. Correct the sample writing below, and then compare your corrections with colleagues or with examples of previous correction you have done while addressing the following questions:
What is the red pen syndrome?
Are we aiming for accuracy or fluency? Why?
Are we looking at language, content or task completion?
Is use or usage more important?
How are the above three questions tied together and how are our answers reflected in the way we correct?
Are correction codes being used? What are they?
How do students learn from their mistakes?
How can we minimise the teacher's correction load?
Can conferencing with students help them?
How can journals and letters be used to develop students' writing?

Correct the following sample of student writing as though it were given to you by one of your students.
The task set was:
"Women should start taking more responsibility in the UAE workplace."
Comment on this statement, giving your opinion and reasons for holding this view.

However this point is right,, the situation here that 25% women workers only, so these percentage should be increase to many reasons.

I agree with this point as it is good for society and family, because it develop the countries in many fields. If women have target, she will feel that encouraged and embolden., so she will work hard to reatch his target. There are some jobs which are suitable for women, as well as, there are some jobs which are suitable for men.

On other hand, some people disagree with previous point, because they thinks that this not the right time to women to take more responsibility in the workplace. They also thinks that women should work in her house only, due to they don't allowed women to work out there house. They thought that men can do all the jobs, so they did not need for women out of house.

In conclusion Im sure that my opinion is correct.

4. A past DipTEFLA exam question:
A. 1. Look at the following task and the resultant piece of student writing.

Reply to this letter:
I'm a 42-year old bachelor and I'm in love with a divorced woman of 40. We're extremely happy together except for one thing. I love the country and want to settle there - she hates the country and says we can only live in a town. How can we resolve this difference of opinion before we get married? (To advice column in magazine)

Student Writing
Dear Mr. X,

I have read your letter from the Playboy magazine. I interested with your problem and if you don't mind I want to help you to look for solving of your problem.

Why don't you give more information about advantages and disadvantages live in country and live in town? If she doesn't trust your information, you can take moderate thinking.

I think you should live in subbub, because you can go to the country if you wish and your wife can go to the town if she want.

That is my advice. I hope you'll consider it before you take finally decision.

Thank you

First put similar kinds of errors into small groups and give a heading to each group.
This is not part of the exam question, but is a very good way to prepare your answer for Question 1 in the DELTA.
A. 2. Mark the above text as you would correct it.
What advantages / disadvantages does your method of correction have?
B Assuming that the errors are typical of those made by other members of the same monolingual group, describe the remedial steps you would take to deal with them.

Error = needs to be taught
Mistake = needs to be corrected
Slip = needs to be jogged