Osvaniur Osvaniur

Mistakes and errors
Upper Intermediate level


This is a listening lesson where the ss also do some reading and speaking. In this lesson the ss gain awareness of the different kinds of mistakes or errors frequently made by ESL learners through a listening activity. The lesson starts with a discussion about mistakes or errors, then comes the listening stage and finally the ss get to do some speaking in a discussion of a topic similar to the one they heard being discussed in the listening. SS will have to make their own notes for this final activity.


Abc HO-4
Abc HO-5

Main Aims

  • To provide practice in listening for gist and for detail in the context of frequently made mistakes by ESL learners from a variety of countries.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To expose ss to English spoken with a variety of accents. To raise ss' awareness of the different categories of mistakes ESL learners make. To give practice in speaking for fluency in the a context similar to the questions discussed by the speakers in the recording.


Warm-up (6-7 minutes) • To introduce the topic and highlight potentially difficult vocab they ss will encounter.

Put the seats in a "horseshoe" Write on the WB: Do "mistake" and "error" mean the same thing? What types of mistakes do learners of English usually make? Let SS discuss this for a while. Give SS HO-1 and let them read and discuss if their ideas from the first phase of the discussion were right. Monitor but be careful not to over-correct.

Listening for gist. (8-10 minutes) • To get ss acquainted with the text and expose them to a variety of accents

Instruct ss to listen and decide what kind of mistake each person says he/she makes. Clarify that we need only the category of mistake, not an example of a mistake that he/she made when speaking. Give ss HO-2 and play the CD twice or three times if need be. Do peer-checking and FB between each listening. (Make them check with their partners and provide answer key). HO contents Which kind of mistake are these people talking about? Hao, China……………… Eldar, Bosnia………...... Frank, Germany……….. Antonia, France……….. Patricia, Brazil…………. Erica, Italy………………. Maria, Spain ……………. Faisal, Saudi Arabia…... Kinds of mistakes or categories. A. Vocabulary mistakes (differences between words, wrong words) B. Grammar mistakes (tenses, word order) C. Pronunciation mistakes (pronouncing letters or words wrongly

Listening for detail (7-8 minutes) • To provide practice in listening for detail and expose ss to different accents.

Check ss know what acronyms are. Give ss some examples e.g. BBC, VOA, CELTA. Is FBI an acronym? Yes. Is NATO an acronym? Yes. Is "radar" an acronym? Yes. Is laser an acronym? Yes. Ask ss to match the person to the specific kind of mistake he/she is talking about in the CD. Play the CD once or twice if necessary after doing peer-checking and giving FB between the listening. HO3 Which speaker or speakers… 1. mixes up words with similar meaning? 2. does not pronounce the letter ‘h’ in her own language? 3. mixes future forms? 4. pronounces acronyms incorrectly? 5. confuses his and her? 6. makes mistakes with prepositions? a. Hao, China……………… b. Eldar, Bosnia………...... c. Frank, Germany……….. d. Antonia, France……….. e. Patricia, Brazil…………. f. Erica, Italy………………. g. Maria, Spain ……………. h. Faisal, Saudi Arabia…...

Language focus (5-6 minutes) • to raise ss' awareness of a particular piece of language present in the listening

Put ss into groups. Ask ss to match the error to category. Distribute HO-4. FB. Make one ss from each group come to the WB and write the corrected version of the sentences where there are vocab or grammar errors. HO4 Identify the error in each sentence and match it to one of the categories below. Sentences 1. Well, I ‘ope you will be very ‘appy in the new ‘ouse. 2. Don’t mention football, he’s been very sensible about it since his team lost. 3. Next week I will have a party at my house. Would you like to come? 4. My wife loves books. This is his favourite one. 5. It’s a movie about the history of the CIA (pronounced “see-ah”). Categories A. Vocabulary errors (differences between words, wrong words) B. Grammar errors (tenses, word order) C. Pronunciation errors (pronouncing letters or words wrongly)

Speaking activity (8-9 minutes) • To provide freer speaking practice and encourage ss to think about their English.

Tell SS to make a list of: 1. Three things you often get wrong 2. Three things you almost always get right 3. One kind of mistake you want to stop making 4. Something you used to find difficult, but now you think is easy 5. One piece of advice about speaking English correctly Distribute the list in HO 5 give time for ss to write their answers. SS stand up, mingle and tell each other about what's on their list. Take notes about what they're saying during the speaking activity and provide some feedback e.g. by praising their good ideas

Error correction (2-3 minutes) • To provide correction for common mistakes noticed during the speaking activities

Keep a record of common or repeated mistakes during the lesson and finally present them to the ss and elicit their correction. If it's a pronunciation mistake then use the phonetic alphabet, if it's a grammar or vocabulary mistake, use timelines, clines, CCQ and examples.

Extra activity (3-4 minutes) • To provide freer speaking practice.

SS tell about their personal experience using English as a lingua franca to communicate with speakers of other languages which they don't know.

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