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spotting errors

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Lentre, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. <font size="2">Hi,</font><font size="2">I am fairly new to this page and I am still learning. In the past I have used some activities of colleagues who were good enough to share their great ideas with the rest of us. </font><font size="2">My question is: If you spot an error in one of these activities, how do you go about to inform/ mend without offending the author?</font><font size="2">Can I contact authors privately? </font><font size="2">Thank you for your advice </font><font size="2">Kind regards</font><font size="2">Lentre</font>
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    You can pm them
  3. Just as a (sort of ) aside, how do others go about tactfully pointing out errors made by other colleagues? For example, I've been working with small groups of y11 helping them with their speaking work and saw their notes contained errors in them that the teacher had told them (c'est belle/ si tu pourrais aller en France/wrong genders/etc) -if I told them to change it then it's like undermining their teacher?
  4. When people contact me about errors on my site, I tend to think that all the powerpoints and word documents are customisable, so they can ammend as they see fit. If I have the time I may ammend it myself, but I am not a native, and I am not responsible for the content of about half of the material on my site (it has come from very kind colleagues).

    GU I think it would be ok to correct it if it would affect the pupil's mark negatively to keep it incorrect.

  5. I think that this is a very interesting topic. Recently on mumsnet there are been several topics about teacher spelling errors. They attract a lot of posts not a few a little gleeful, with helpful hints like sending the errors to the head or bring it up at parents' evening. There was one post which drew the attention of many mumsnetters on the subject of a French teacher's pronunciation. Another complaining that the school had a Mexican Spanish teacher with a non standard accent.
    In the light of that if I saw an error by a colleague, that was likely to get home, I would say something. I would do that because the awkwardness of doing it would far outway any hastle later on.
    Beyond that I would hope that the members of the department would be sufficiently relaxed with one another to be able to share any errors in a relaxed way. It can so easily be done discretely via email.
    It could even be a regular fixture in dept meetings.If approached in the right way. I appreciate that in a 'point scoring dept' that would not work.
  6. foroff2233

    foroff2233 Occasional commenter

    a case in point
    discreetly and discretely.
  7. Well there you go. Theory put into practice.
  8. Problem is, if your website says that you are a language teacher, then people would assume that everything on your site is 100 per cent correct, since you would not allow incorrect material appear on your site, would you? And if someone found anything that had errors in it, that would tell them that you don't know the language very well (since you did not spot the errors), and people would be very wary of using any more of your resources...
    It is possible to speak a language perfectly without being a native, or even having lived in the TL country. A question of meticulousness and spending a daily 2-3 hours on maintaining the language outside the TL country.
    Why would you put anything on a professional website that you haven't checked it, haven't decided whether it was valuable or not?

  9. I teach both French and German and am making minor errors in both languages all the time - although French more than German tbh... I find that if I don;t know something I admit it to the pupils and then get it double checked. We look up words, or we look up genders. Pupils can see how to work out the right answer properly.

    I have NEVER had a pupil question my knowledge when I have done this and find that it helps them when I say things along the line of 'Look, we all make mistakes but there is nothing wrong with it!'

    I also, again especially with French, get my colleagues to check through powerpoints or new worksheets/reading tasks I have made before I use them. This ensures that everything is correct. I double check my pronunciation of some words if I am unsure.

    NONE of my colleagues would EVER criticise me for asking them these questions or working in this manner. It would work exactly the same way if they taught German and they were asking me for help and reassurance.

    If there is a mistake, point it out, in a friendly and funny way... 'Oh, isn't that supposed to be such and such... ha ha! You made a mistake... hee hee!' ... and then forget it.

  10. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    I don't think people need to worry too much about pointing errors to others. Most people want to know ehn they are wrong. I am frequently guilty of typos and some of them get on to my frenchteacher.net site. I am happy when I am told of errors, though it annoys me when I make them!
    I come across quite a few fairly basic errors in powerpoints and other documents I find on the net, but they are easily adapted.
    We all make mistakes. Plus, we don't expect a physics teacher to grasp the fine details of quantum mechanics, so we shouldn't expect a language teacher to know every detail of vocab and grammar.
  11. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    For "ehn" read "when". (This forum should let you edit your posts!)
  12. In my native, Eastern European country you had to have Proficiency level before starting university training as an MFL teacher. All your lectures, seminars, reading material and assignments were in that language (English in my case) and you were put through your paces using the most detailed grammar book that existed then - meaning you had to be able to stand up and deliver a lecture on any topic of English grammar off the top of your head any time, even woken up at night from your sleep by the time you were 2nd year at uni. Knowing grammar and detailed vocab in a MFL is considered a-little-post-A-level knowledge in other countries - how can you say that it cannot be expected of a language teacher? The point is exactly that knowing a language isn't quantum mechanics. A family member of mine works as a public service interpreter, speaks 3 foreign languages, has recently worked in the European Parliament and you can't catch her out, not in grammar and not in vocab in any of the 3 languages, and you bet she isn't living in 3 countries at the same time.
    Btw have you seen the article in last week's TES about "Language teachers not ready to use TL in class"? Well, that's coz people are trying to teach languages they don't actually speak.
  13. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Consequence of the continual lowering of standards to ensure continued " record results " ?
    We all know that GCSE is closer to CSE than GCE O' Level, don't we ? There are many language teachers that would probably struggle to pass the old O'Level let alone A' Level in the language they teach. Even textbooks present howling errors : " Je danse &agrave; la musique pop "
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I can indeed alter shared resources that have mistakes but if I don't inform the originator I will feel responsible for the errors being passed on to unwitting pupils by other users who do not pick up on the errors.
    I often wonder at some resources which seem to be nothing more than verb tables, often with missing accents; surely those are available in the correct form in at least one text book in the teacher's school? I'm happier trusting professionally edited work or using my own resources.
    I get quite concerned about posts on here where teachers don't seem to know the differences in the following words: affect/effect, practise/practice, passed/past, their/there/they're etc.
    Spelling is another issue. So many teachers spell profession as 'proffession' or occasion as 'occassion'. Hassle and amend are also written as 'hastle and ammend'.
  15. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Logo 4 for AQA has a bad one: "Ich habe mein Bein gebrochen." and the like. You'll also find references to "Kursarbeit", which - according to a former assistant - doesn't exist. One double-page spread is called "Die Bundesbahn", which hasn't existed since the beginning of 1994.
  16. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    With the best will in the world, when you are writing a resource yourself, you are very close to it, and sometimes can't see mistakes for looking - it takes an outsider to see what is in fact blindingly obvious. When I have written things for publishers they have asked me to have it checked by a third party for this reason.
    If you find a mistake in a resource on the TES, I think it would be a good idea to PM the author to let them know. I don't think it's good form to put it in a vitriolic comment on the ratings for that resource, especially when the contributor has been kind enough to share their work.
    If someone emails me to tell me that there is an error on a resource on MFL Sunderland, I thank them, then check and double check it. Then I edit the resource. Particularly if it's a primary one and there will be non-specialists using it. (And because my boss wants the site to be accurate!)
    Let's be supportive and nice to each other. Compared to most of the rest of the country we are geniuses at languages, and even geniuses (genii??!) make mistakes occasionally.
  17. [​IMG] Could not agree more.
  18. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I think there's a world of difference between published work, which should have undergone a lot of checking and proof-reading by editors, and materials which people put on the internet. We all make mistakes, and two emails I've sent today contained typos, which I didn't notice until I looked at them in the sent items folder.
    The authors of resources placed online at TES Connect, Sunderland's MFL site, and the Sutton Academy &ndash; to name a few &ndash; are not just sharing their finished product with the rest of us. They also sharing their effort, imagination and time, in the hope that others can use them, adapting them if necessary, to inspire and motivate pupils, and for that we should be eternally thankful.
    A few errors here and there don't really matter when we consider that there is some really brilliant stuff available through other teachers' sheer generosity.
  19. Oh dear, I have had a great week at school and was feeling rather positive so thought I would browse through the forums and maybe spread some cheer however now I feel rather down! It seems according to 'spool' I should quite language teaching all together. I will never have a full and complete grasp of all the grammatical concepts of any language. I make mistakes in English (native language) so how can I ever expect to avoid making mistakes in a foreign language! I have made mistakes which colleagues have pointed out to me and I have corrected mistakes of colleagues. The world didn't implode. Mistakes are a part of life. If we all stop teaching until we are flawless and have a complete and full understanding of our subject then the world will have a lot less teachers!!!
  20. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Thank you [​IMG]
    That's a kind thing to say, and makes it all worthwhile.

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