First Advisor

Jeanette S. DeCarrico

Term of Graduation

Spring 1996

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Japanese speakers, English language -- Errors of usage



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 114 pages)


Correction of oral errors in foreign or second language classrooms has been an issue of great concern. Although the literature on error correction is abundant, the studies on student reaction to this pedagogical practice are few.

This study investigated the preferences for correction of classroom oral errors among university students of English in Japan. Data were collected from anonymous questionnaires. The study examined the students' attitudes toward the views about correction of oral errors which have been controversial among foreign and second language educators. The study also investigated the students' preferences for correction of different types of oral errors (e.g., grammatical errors) and particular types of correction as well.

The results showed that the students had a strong positive agreement regarding teacher correction of oral errors. They showed a tendency toward agreement concerning peer correction, and a slight tendency toward agreement regarding selective error correction. Concerning overcorrection of errors, they showed a tendency toward disagreement. There was no significant difference among the different levels of oral English proficiency.

The students had positive attitudes toward the correction of all five types of errors listed in the questionnaire: grammatical errors, phonological errors, and errors regarding vocabulary, pragmatics, and discourse. Pragmatic errors received the strongest preference. A significant difference among the proficiency levels was observed in only preference for correction of discourse errors.

Preferred methods of error correction were: 1) the teacher gives the student a hint which might enable the student to notice the error and self-correct, 2) the teacher explains why the response is incorrect, 3) the teacher points out the error, and provides the correct response, and 4) the teacher presents the correct response or part of the response. The methods disliked were: 1) the teacher ignores the student's errors and 2) the teacher repeats the original question asked of the student. A significant difference among the groups was observed in preference for only one error correction method: the teacher presents the correct response or part of the response.


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