Most Effective Error Correction Games - (2023)

I want to start this article on error correction games by saying that I'm generally not a fan of error correction being fun. If your students are bored with error correction, it's probably a sign that they're getting too many error corrections and/or don't realize the importance of what they're being corrected on. This is likely to become a bigger problem when the teacher comes up with a good game that lets the students sit through a few more hours of (possibly pointless) error correction. In all but the least motivated grades, students should not enjoy finding out that something they have been saying for years is incorrect, that something could be misunderstood, that something is not directly translatable in L1 English, that an apparently English one word was invented somewhere else, or that no one is actually saying anything their middle school English teacher taught them.

The problem is that even a correction that makes students say, "Really? I never knew that. That is interesting. I really have to try to avoid that in the future," probably won't be enough to stop her from making the same mistake again. The focus in the following games is therefore on making the language more memorable. This can be achieved by having students think carefully about the language before correcting it and by repeatedly exposing them to common mistakes. These factors can be further increased by having students create example sentences or entire texts and then adding mistakes to test with other groups, or simply by including several similar mistakes in one activity.

The following activities are listed in roughly the same order of how often I use them. Many of my favorites add more hearing and speaking, a weakness of traditional error correction. They're all pretty fun, too, by the way - so make sure you and your students don't get carried away and go bug-fixing crazy!

error correction race

Students try to find mistakes as quickly as possible. I find this works best with errors scattered throughout text, but students may need some cues such as being told how many errors to find or that there is one error per line. My favorite version of this starts with distributing an email with just one mistake in it so students can quickly find the (single) mistake. Any group that guesses wrong cannot guess again until the next round. In the next round I give them another email, this time with two errors in it. This continues with more and more emails with one additional error each, usually up to email number seven with its seven errors. In this activity, to make sure they don't just correct and forget, I usually give each email examples of the same types of errors you've seen in the previous emails plus one more new type of error. For example, I could write a formality issue in the first email; then a formality problem and missing closing greeting in the second email; then a formality problem, missing closing greeting and incorrect closing line in the third email; etc.

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Error correction pair work

Pairs of students are given Student A and Student B worksheets with the same sentences, but each with an error in one of the two versions, e.g. “I've been here three times” on Student A's worksheet and “I've been here three times” on Student B's worksheet. B. a conversation are given. Perhaps, after collaborating with someone on the same worksheet to find out where the mistakes are, the students will be divided into Student A and Student B pairs. Without showing each other their worksheets, pairs of students try to figure out which bits are different in their two versions, and then decide together whether student A's or student B's version is correct each time. The person who has the version with an error then corrects it to match their partner's worksheet.

When students think they're done, it's good if you can give them a hint to help them and get them to check again. For example, you could tell students that there should be an equal number of mistakes on each sheet and get them to look again if they “corrected” more sentences on one worksheet than on the other. After they have checked their answers as a class or with an answer key, you can give them another worksheet with exactly the wrong sentences to correct, this time you can see all the sentences but without help.

Error correction mastermind

The students try to correct a text or a collection of sentences and can check at any time whether they have corrected everything or not. The teacher just says how many errors are now in the text (including any errors he added because he changed something right into something wrong), and the students try again (and again) until there are no more errors . This activity can be done as a race.

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Error correction simplest answers games

In this simple and lively game, students have to indicate as quickly as possible whether they think something is a mistake or not. The easiest version to explain is to give each student a card that says "True" and one that says "Wrong" to run to keep. However, given the numerous possible errors that exist in the English language, it is very difficult to judge correctness based on just one sentence. Instead, I usually put sentences in pairs and ask students to hold up their "A" or "B" card depending on which sentence they hear they think is correct. These pairs can be the same sentence with an error in one version (“A: We still need to do some research” and “B: We still need to do some research”), two different sentences with the same grammar (“A: There are some problems” and "B: There is some information") or two completely incoherent sentences. You can also trick them with two sets that are both right (in which case they should raise both cards) or both wrong (in which case they should keep both cards down).

Other variations include (running and) hitting the cards (good for young learners) and holding up "Informal" or "Error" cards in response to phrases like "Was busy?" and "How are you?" For monolingual classes, you could also have cards with "Janglish/ Konglish/ Spanglish/ Franglais/ Chinglish" on one side and "English" on the other, or maybe "Different" on one card (for words that have different meanings in L1 and English ) and "Not English" on the other side.

Error list dictation

Students listen to a list of similar things until they can figure out why they are wrong and/or how they should be corrected. For example, if you hear, “I wouldn't trust him. He was in a prison until recently" and "I hated French at school", you can award a point for the first person to notice that the article is not needed in both sentences. You could also give anyone another point that can explain why (in this case that both phrases have a special meaning, specifically "He was a prisoner" and "When I was a student", and therefore not really about the place speak ). This activity takes a lot of preparation but seems to work well - at least until the students find out it's not really a game! To add more of a game element, you could give out copies of the worksheet and ask them to select the most difficult category and examples to test their partner with.

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error correction reactions race

Students listen and try to react as quickly as possible when they hear something wrong, e.g. raise their hand as soon as they feel they've heard a grammatical error. If someone does something like this when nothing is wrong, they lose a point or cannot participate until the next round. I usually do this with the students listening carefully, but you can also do it as dictation. This can be done with a single piece of text like an anecdote, or it can be a list of similar phrases or sentences (“some cheese,” “some hats,” “some clothes,” “some fabric,” “some t-shirt”), or with different versions of the same sentence (“There is a lot of news”, “There are many newspapers”, “There are a few newspapers”, “There are a few newspapers”).

You can also get students to react quickly when they hear a misspelling. Spell out a list of words, phrases, or sentences letter by letter, and get them to quickly raise their hands if they think you said something wrong. Before you start spelling, you might want to say everything they're going to hear, but it might be more fun if you don't so they have to figure out what's being written too. The game can be played with students writing down everything they hear or just listening carefully.

Grammar Auctions and Variations

In this well-known TEFL error correction game, students try to outbid each other for grammatically correct sentences and avoid sentences with mistakes, with the person who got the best sentences for their money being the winner. This is a nice fun activity, but incredibly time-consuming, doesn't require a lot of speaking from students, and in my experience doesn't make the corrections particularly memorable (and badly named, too, because it's not necessarily about grammar). As a result, I literally never play the original version of this game these days.

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To make the language more memorable, it's best to get students to form right and wrong sentences to get other teams to bid on them (with the teacher double-checking if they're right or wrong, like the team intended before using them).

To speed up the game, instead of asking for bids and taking the highest, you could simply give the set to whoever says they want it first and then reveal if they were right. Alternatively, you could have all teams bid as much as they want, and each team that gets it right double their money, making it more like a bet than an offer. You might also give them a chance to double their money again if they can actually correct the sentence.

Copyright © 2017 Alex Fall

Written by Alex Case for

(Video) Back-hand english (BHE) for english (sidespin) deflection (squirt), from VEPS II (NV B.71)


What is error correction in English? ›

What are error corrections? Error correction is a process by which students have to identify the error/mistake in a sentence and convert it into a grammatically correct sentence.

What are the 10 common errors in English? ›

10 Common Grammar Mistakes Writers Should Avoid
  • 1 Overuse of adverbs.
  • 2 Too many prepositional phrases.
  • 3 Ambiguous (“Squinting”) modifiers.
  • 4 Misuse of lie/lay.
  • 5 Ambiguous pronoun references.
  • 6 Comma splices.
  • 7 Run-on sentences.
  • 8 Wordiness (inflated sentences)
Nov 28, 2019

How to solve error correction in English? ›

Rules to Solve Spotting Errors
  1. Read the sentence carefully. ...
  2. Most of the time, there are spelling mistakes in any part of the sentence.
  3. Check for the correct usage of helping verbs as per the subject in a sentence, for eg., ...
  4. Check for the correct usage of main verbs in a sentence, for eg.,
Jan 19, 2023

What are the 3 types of errors? ›

Types of Errors
  • (1) Systematic errors. With this type of error, the measured value is biased due to a specific cause. ...
  • (2) Random errors. This type of error is caused by random circumstances during the measurement process.
  • (3) Negligent errors.

What are the three 3 types of errors? ›

Types of Errors
  • Gross Errors.
  • Random Errors.
  • Systematic Errors.

What are 3 error detection techniques? ›

Error Detection Techniques

There are three main techniques for detecting errors in frames: Parity Check, Checksum and Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC).

How do you trap errors? ›

To trap an error, enclose a group of statements in a statement block marked with BEGIN and END and add an ON EXCEPTION IN statement at the beginning of the statement block. If an error occurs in the block that follows the ON EXCEPTION statement, you can take recovery action.

What is the most common method of error detection? ›

One of the most common techniques for detecting transmission errors is a technique known as the cyclic redundancy check (CRC).

What are 4 common types of code errors? ›

Programming errors
  • syntax errors.
  • logic errors.
  • runtime errors.

What are the 4 most serious writing errors? ›

The article “Four Most Serious Errors” illustrated four most common errors in english writing, including fragments, run-ons,problem with subject-verb agreement and problems with verb form and tense.

What is the most effective way to correct errors? ›

There are three basic approaches to correcting written work: 1) Correct each mistake 2) Give a general impression marking 3) Underline mistakes and/or give clues to the type of mistakes made and then let students correct the work themselves.

What are the two main methods of error correction? ›

Error Correction can be handled in two ways: Backward error correction: Once the error is discovered, the receiver requests the sender to retransmit the entire data unit. Forward error correction: In this case, the receiver uses the error-correcting code which automatically corrects the errors.

What is the 4 step error correction procedure? ›

The error correction procedure is the same as the teaching procedure, but with an “End” step. End the trial wherever the student makes an error and go back to the beginning (the prompted trial) with a More Intrusive prompt. Prompt-Transfer-Distract-Check! If an error occurs, End-Prompt-Transfer-Distract-Check!

What is the zero error? ›

Answer: It is a type of error in which an instrument gives a reading when the true reading at that time is zero. For example needle of ammeter failing to return to zero when no current flows through it.

How many error types are there? ›

Generally errors are classified into three types: systematic errors, random errors and blunders.

What type of error is human error? ›

A human error is an action or decision which was not intended. A violation is a deliberate deviation from a rule or procedure.

What are the two main types of errors? ›

Errors are not always due to mistakes. There are two types of errors: random and systematic.

What are random errors examples? ›

An example of random error is putting the same weight on an electronic scales several times and obtaining readings that vary in random fashion from one reading to the next. The differences between these readings and the actual weight correspond to the random error of the scale measurements.

What are the two classes of errors? ›

Systematic Error (determinate error) The error is reproducible and can be discovered and corrected. Random Error (indeterminate error) Caused by uncontrollable variables, which can not be defined/eliminated.

Which one is the strongest error detection method? ›

Cyclic redundancy check is the most powerful and easy to implement error detection mechanism. Checksum uses addition, whereas CRC is based on binary division. In CRC, the data unit is appended at the end by a sequence of redundant bits, called cyclic redundancy check bits.

What is the simplest technique for detecting error in the codes? ›

Parity Checking of Error Detection

It is the simplest technique for detecting and correcting errors. The MSB of an 8-bits word is used as the parity bit and the remaining 7 bits are used as data or message bits. The parity of 8-bits transmitted word can be either even parity or odd parity.

What are 5 types of errors? ›

The true value is the average of the infinite number of measurements, and the measured value is the precise value.
  • The error may arise from the different source and are usually classified into the following types. ...
  • Gross Errors.
  • Systematic Errors.
  • Random Errors.
  • Gross Errors.

What is a human error trap? ›

Summary. An error trap is a situation that could lead into avoidable harm if not mitigated. It is a situation where the circumstances in combination with human cognitive limitations make errors more likely.

Which error is hardest to detect? ›

Logical errors are the error that are hard to detect.

What are classic mistakes? ›

Classic mistakes are ineffective software development practices that have been chosen so often, by so many projects, with such predictable results, that they deserve to be called classic mistakes. Steve McConnell first introduced this concept in Rapid Development in 1996.

What are six mistake proofing principles? ›

This module addresses six major principles of mistake proofing:
  • Elimination.
  • Replacement.
  • Facilitation.
  • Detection.
  • Mitigation.
  • Patient Involvement.

What are the five most common types of errors made on exams? ›

5 most common exam mistakes!
  • Last minute cramming. How many times have you seen people stand outside an exam room pouring over their notes trying to get every last ounce of information into their brains? ...
  • Getting infected by 'Stress-merchants' ...
  • Forgetting to breathe. ...
  • Read that question... ...
  • Running out of time.

What are the types of errors and give one example of each? ›

There are four types of systematic error: observational, instrumental, environmental, and theoretical. Observational errors occur when you make an incorrect observation. For example, you might misread an instrument. Instrumental errors happen when an instrument gives the wrong reading.

Which type of error is most harmful in programming? ›

Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Mistakes
  • Use of a Broken or Risky Cryptographic Algorithm. ...
  • Hard-Coded Password. ...
  • Insecure Permission Assignment for Critical Resource. ...
  • Use of Insufficiently Random Values. ...
  • Execution with Unnecessary Privileges. ...
  • Client-Side Enforcement of Server-Side Security.
Jan 12, 2009

What are basic errors? ›

An error is something you have done which is considered to be incorrect or wrong, or which should not have been done.

What are the four C's of strong writing? ›

They give us the four C's of effective communication: clarity, coherence, control and credibility. If you want the reader to follow your thought, you need to do three things: Tell the reader where you're going, present your information or explain your thinking and offer your conclusion.

What are the three most common word choice errors? ›

Using the Correct Word Stem with the Wrong Prefix or Suffix. Translation Errors and Collocations. Spelling Mistakes That Can Change Your Meaning.

What are the 4 rules of writing? ›

Hemingway's 4 Rules for Writing Well
  • Image credit:
Dec 21, 2011

What is error-correction with example? ›

The most classic example of error-correction is the repetition code, where for each bit in an input message, we duplicate each bit multiple times. For example, if you had the message 01101 we could encode it using this repetition method and it would become 000 111 111 000 111 .

What is an example of error-correction in English grammar? ›

For example: Incorrect: Its a cold day in October. Correct: It's a cold day in October.

What is an example of a correction? ›

When you correct a misspelled word, you've made a correction. Well done! Correction also applies to punishment, which is another way to right a wrong. A correction is an improvement or a revision when there's something that needs to be fixed.

What is error-correction in a class? ›

Error correction is often done by the teacher providing corrections for mistakes made by students. However, it is probably more effective for students to correct their own mistakes. In order to do this, students and the teacher should have a common shorthand for correcting mistakes.


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