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Common mistakes

Common mistakes

Blog / Tips and tricks

Your student saying, “THEY are some apples on the table” or writing, “WHO’S book is this?” probably drives you up the wall, no matter how much you enjoy teaching. Having been in those same shoes ourselves, english4tutors has decided to introduce a new lesson category – Common mistakes.

Why is this category important?

Whether they are Pre-intermediate or Proficiency ESL learners, they all make mistakes, some of which are repetitive throughout their (or should we say THEY’RE, ha…ha 😥) learning journey. We’ve come to the realization that some mistakes cannot be taken lightly and should be purposefully corrected. If the teacher doesn’t put an end to these errors at an early stage, it will become difficult for the student to break the habit of making them. 

You’ve probably wondered why your student keeps making the same mistake even though you keep correcting it. One reason is that they’ve made it so many times that, at one point, it started to sound right to them. Another reason is that teachers often make quick corrections without providing further explanation, so students simply don’t register the corrections since they are preoccupied with what they intend to say.

Fortunately, we at english4tutors managed to identify mistakes common to most ESL learners, regardless of their language learning level, educational background, or nationality, and decided to nip them in the bud once and for all. 

What do Common mistakes lesson plans include?

The whole point of the Common mistakes lesson plans is to point out a mistake to the student, teach them the correct alternative, and allow them to practice what they learned until it comes naturally.

The lesson plans in the Common mistakes category are either 30 or 45 minutes long since the lesson topics are very specific. Therefore, we believe they don’t require more than 45 minutes to teach. 

Each lesson plan in this category contains a video that exemplifies a mistake or gives a clear explanation with example sentences. The explanation is followed by multiple exercises intended for the student to test their knowledge. 

These lesson plans do not only focus on grammar sins but also deal with common errors that are related to punctuation and word choice.

One thing to keep in mind when teaching common mistakes

To ensure that the student doesn’t feel embarrassed about being corrected, they should be made aware that native speakers are also prone to making these same mistakes. They should know that, generally, people will understand their message even if they make a mistake but will most likely look down on them for their poor use of grammar or word choice. This should encourage them to work harder on self-correction, which should, as a result, make their teacher’s job easier. 🙂

About Tijana
About Tijana

Tijana is an ESL Teacher, Teacher Trainer, and ESL Content Creator with a decade-long working experience. She designed 300+ lesson plans for Lingua Britannica where she also acted as a Head of Content. Tijana holds a B.A. in Applied Linguistics from UVic, an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from UBC, as well as a 120-hour TEFL certificate.

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