User:Alma Cardona/Academic writing notes

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The problem is that most learners of a second language tend to make a lot of mistakes. Teachers do not always know if they have to correct every mistake or if they should ignore some mistakes considering them a natural stage in the learning process.


The purpose of this study is to explore the different ways in which students are corrected and the effects of these corrections in the their learning process in order to find the most appropriate way of giving meaningful feedback after a mistake.

Research questions

How should language teachers deal with errors and mistakes?

How should they correct the students’ mistakes?

How meaningful are the teacher’s corrections?


Wei, L. (2008). To correct or to ignore? US-China Foreign Language. Vol 6 No. 5, 25-30

The author is a language teacher of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at the Heichi University. He has done research on the effects of error correction in language learners. Language teachers will find this article very useful since most of them struggle with the decision of whether correct or ignore their students’ mistakes. The author considers that it is not appropriate to correct students as soon as they make a mistake. However, other authors disagree with this idea. For instance, Lightbown and Spada (1999), state that it is useful to bring the problem to the learners’ attention when errors are persistent. In this article, the author compares different studies to his own experience, which is very helpful because it contextualize the information making it easier to understand.

Coskun (2010). A classroom research study on oral error correction. Humanizing Language Teaching Magazine: Vol 12; No.3, 1-12

The author of this article is an English teacher himself. He carried out a study by means of self-observation in order to collect data about the effects of his corrections on his students’ spoken errors. The results of this study are notable and very useful for any teacher because most of language learners tend to make a lot of mistakes when speaking. Nevertheless, this study is only focused on spoken errors. This study can be complemented and compared to the article “Feedback in second language writing” by Ferris (2006) in order to also learn more about how to deal with written errors. This study adds value to my research because it complements other sources of information.

Ibarrola, A. (2009). Reformulation and self-correction: testing the validity of correction strategies in the classroom. Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada, Vol. 22, p189-215,

The author is a teacher at the Public University of Navarra. She carried out a pilot study with Spanish students of English in order to test different correcting strategies and their validity. Any teacher interested in finding new ways to correct students' mistakes will find this article very appealing. The results of this study show that self-correction is less effective than reformulation. These findings differ from Regan’s (2003) viewpoints, since this author states that students should correct their own mistakes. This article definitely adds value to my bibliography since it compares different correcting strategies showing very interesting results.

Regan, L. (2003). Teaching tip 11: Error correction. Retrieved on November 3rd, 2010 from

The author of this article teaches English as a second language. She is also a writer for a web page dedicated to English teachers. Through this web page, she shares tips that are very helpful for any language teacher since she writes about real situations that every teacher has had to face at some moment. She considers that making mistakes is not a negative aspect. On the contrary, she states that students learn best through making mistakes. Nevertheless, in contrast to Wei (2008), the author considers that mistakes should be corrected. She believes that students should correct their own mistakes but if they cannot, a classmate or teachers themselves can help them. This article is very interesting and it will be useful because it shows a different point of view concerning error correction.

Beare, K. (n.d.) Error correction. Retrieved on November 3rd, 2010 from

The author is an ESL teacher, trainer, and content developer. He has taught general English and English for Specific Purposes in different countries. Therefore, this article is especially interesting for all language teachers since it reflects his experience in teaching English as a foreign language. Beare agrees with Regan (2003) stating that it is more effective for students to correct their own mistakes. This article adds value to my bibliography because it supports other sources. Also, it is useful because it provides an exercise where a teacher can teach students to correct their own mistakes.

ESL coaching techniques: Error correction. (2010). Retrieved on November 3rd, 2010 from

This article does not provide information about the author’s background. However, the information that this article provides is very interesting. It is especially useful for ESL teachers interested in learning about error correction techniques. The author differentiates between errors and mistakes. And just as Regan (2003), the author considers that errors need to be corrected for students to develop their skills. On the other hand, this article differentiates from others because it provides different techniques that can be used in order to correct students. The article is very helpful because it strongly supports the benefits of error correction, which is different from other sources in my bibliography.

Ferris, D. (2006). Feedback in second language writing. USA: Cambridge University Press.

The author is a teacher at the California State University in Sacramento, USA. She carried out a study in order to gather evidence on the effects of error feedback in writing classes of English as a second language. This study will be especially interesting for teachers who are interested in learning the different ways to correct the students’ writing and their effects. However, this study is only focused on written errors. This study can be complemented and compared to the article “A Classroom Research Study on Oral Error Correction” by Coskun (2010) in order to also learn more about how to deal with spoken errors. This study is very valuable for my research since it shows important data related to the effects of error correction.

Lightbown, P. & Spada, N. (1999). How languages are learned. USA: Oxford University Press.

The authors of this book are language teachers. They decided to write a book where they provided information about findings and theoretical view in second language acquisition. The main reason of writing this book was that they wanted to help second and foreign language teachers. In this book, they state that errors are a natural part of language learning. However, they believe that it is convenient to correct students if they errors are persistent. This contradicts Wei’s (2008) idea of ignoring the students’ mistakes. The book is very valuable for my bibliography because it takes into consideration both pros and cons of error correction.

Mishra, K. (2005). Correction of errors in English: a training course for the teachers of English as A Second Language. New Delhi: Oscar Publications

The author of this book is teacher in the English department of Govt. Degree College, Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh, India. He has written several research articles and in this book he researched practical techniques for helping students to accept and learn from their common errors without being discouraged by them. This article is very useful for both language teachers and students since most of language learners tend to lose motivation when they make errors. Unlike articles like Feedback in second language writing (Ferris, 2006) this book goes further taking into consideration the factor of motivation within error correction. It is important to know how to keep the students’ interest and motivation. Therefore, this article adds great value to my bibliography.

Gass, S. & Selinker, L. (2001). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.

The authors are graduates from the Michigan State University and the Birkbeck College, University of London, respectively. They have done plenty research about second language acquisition and how languages are learned. Therefore, this book is very appealing to anyone interested in linguistics and language teaching. Unlike other sources in my bibliography, this book considers and compares different points of view related to error analysis. This is very helpful because it gives a wider perspective of what an error is, different errors that students make, and the possible reasons of those errors. It is very interesting because it is not only important to know how to deal with errors but also what are the causes of those errors. For that reason, this book adds great value to my bibliography.


Write a small paragraph including

1. Evaluate the authority of the author, is it a valid author, background of the author

2. Comment on the intended audience

3. Compare or contrast thee work with other authors.

4. Explain how this work helps your literature review.


a) Problem statement

b) Purpose

c) Research questions


M main idea

E evidence

A analysis

L link



Author's last name, First Initial. (Year).Title of the article. Name of the journal, Vol. Section, page number.doi (#).

Example: Li-di, M. (2008). Survey on the relationship between developments of language transfer theory and second language acquisition. US-China Foreign Language, 6(12), 15-22.


Author's Last name, First Initial. (Year). Title of the book.Place of publication: Publisher

Example: Cook, V. (2002) Second language acquisition, 1 : Portraits of the L2 user. Clevedon: GBR: Multilingual Matters Limited


Stewart, B. (1999). Ben goes on vacation. Retrieved on September 28, 2010 from

Ben goes on vacation. (2010). Retrieved on September 28, 2010 from

Stewart, B. (n.d.). Ben goes on vacation. Retrieved on September 28, 2010 from

Author's last name, First initial. (Year). Name of the article.




Title page


Literature review (background information)

Method (participants’ description, instruments

Results section

Discussion section (analysis)




  • Sometimes the results and the discussion section can go together.
  • Do not use the word Bibliography instead of References


It focuses in one or few individuals because these people are unique. You want to find out what’s different about them, what’s unique about them


It is internal. The researches and the participants are the same.


The investigation is in a real context. Investigating participants in a natural set, context, environment.


1. Title Page *

   Running head

2. Abstract * (120 words)

3. Table of contents *

4. Literature Review

  The heading is the title of the paper
  The first word of every paragraph is indented (0.5 inch)

5. Method


6. Results


7. Conclusion

  It should not be more than 1 page (250 words)

8. References *


All text is justified

All lines are doble spaced

All headings are in bold text

Only headings are in bold text

* Separated page


Good start on your notes page, Alma. Keep adding to it as we process throughout the course! --Benjamin Stewart 01:56, 12 October 2010 (UTC)