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Reformulation and Error Correction - Lexis Course

Lexis Distance Learning Course - August 2014

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Comment by Min Lin on December 31, 2014 at 1:33pm

I really like the structure of the video. It's very rigorous. The examples in the video do show that in some cases, students pick up the correct model after it's been provided, and other times they are not because this approach doesn't draw particular attention to their mistakes. I do think that for students who are already very conscious of making a mistake, this approach is very good for fluency and confidence building! Good one Dex!


Comment by Clare Voke on December 23, 2014 at 12:21am

Hi Declann. I really enjoyed watching your video and I found the examples of reformulation in the classroom very interesting. I often find reformulation to be hit and miss as a correction technique, but your video showed clear examples of how it can be an effective method of error correction without interrupting the flow of the class. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Ross Thorburn on December 22, 2014 at 5:55pm

Very clear video Declann. I thought the video examples were intersting. There are some examples where students clearly noticed the error (e.g. "watch the cartoon movie together") and some where they didn't (e.g. "I do many translations").

Presumably, some of the corrections students didn't pick up on could be dealt with later (in delayed feedback)...

Well done on the video!

Comment by Jennifer Michel-McNally on December 22, 2014 at 3:28pm

Hi Declann - Great video - I particularly like the drawbacks section at the end. Reformulation is quite natural sounding, so the student doesn't always pick up on the correction you've just given them. However, with a pointed effort, like in your video, students will benefit. Lovely work!

Comment by Laura Wilkes on December 22, 2014 at 3:28pm

Hi Declann,

Congratulations on completing the Lexis Course. It's been great fun working with you in both the Phonology and this Lexis Course. Thank you for being proactive in sharing your ideas and feedback to peers in both of these courses. 

Reformulation is a great topic to choose for your final assignment for the following reasons:

- it connects to the bigger debate about error correction - whether we should correct and if so when, how and who? This is a contended topic that generates interesting discussion

- reformulation has advantages and disadvantages and you look at both 

- you provide tangible examples of what it looks like in the classroom and show us the genuine reactions of the students. This is something Scrivener and Lewis write about but their scripted examples feel staged and not genuine.

You tackle this topic by starting looking at the big picture and narrowing down to focus on how reformulation can be integrated into conversation. You highlight the positive impact reformulation implies for student motivation as well as increasing input for learners. It's worth adding that in your examples reformulation keeps the conversation going and enables you to gauge what the learner is able to self-correct and what you need to support them with. In your examples you reformulate lexical and grammatical errors - do you think reformulation can work as effectively for pronunciation or non-verbal errors?

I'm glad that you touch upon the drawbacks of this strategy. I think we can add that there is a risk of our TTT increasing and turning into unplanned talk which can prevent us from fulfilling aims of a lesson -this could be interpreted as a good or bad thing. Additionally, students may become frustrated with this approach if they are expecting more hard feedback from the teacher. 

What's your conclusion on reformulation as an approach?


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