Community Web Version Now Available
How do you correct your language exchange partners during voice chats? Some people don't like to be corrected at all, others get annoyed when you interrupt them with your corrections, the third like to get your 'amendments' in written form(either on the spot or after conversation), and so on and so forth.

How about you? What's your take on it and which group do you belong to? How do you carry out voice language exchange sessions(in terms of corrections)?
Mar 11, 2018 1:16 AM
Comments · 10

Hi, Samir. Usually if I’m speaking to a basic speaker it seems better for their learning to just let them speak rather than interrupting the flow of the conversation, then offer a few suggestions when there is a pause. When people are beginners you can’t possibly correct all their errors, and it would be very discouraging for them. It is easier to receive correction when you give a compliment first. I often ask, do you mind if I make a suggestion? Once you get to know them better you’ll develop a rapport and corrections will become a matter of course.

For intermediate level speakers, I just repeat what they said the correct way. For instance, If they say, I speak to him yesterday, I may say, you spoke to him yesterday? They will usually correct themselves on the spot. If it’s a more complicated correction I’ll type it so they can read the words. This is what I prefer also.

I find people pretty responsive when my facial expression and tone of voice convey support. A little praise goes a long way.  “I see you’ve been practicing the past tense!”

If someone is really annoyed by corrections, I would question their suitability as a language partner.

March 12, 2018

I like to write down the corrections and also prefer if my partner writes down the corrections. This way we can both review the corrections after the session. But I would only correct major mistakes, unless the partners wants to have everything corrected, because it can be very discouraging to receive too many corrections.

Depending on the mistake I wouldn’t always write it down but using the riggt form in my reply. Let’s say the partner says: “I have two childs.” I might reply: “Ah, you have two children? I have three children.”

March 11, 2018
I think maybe we should ask them before if they would like to be corrected
March 11, 2018

I don't have a language exchange partner yet, so I did not have any experience in terms of corrections, especially on a voice chat. However, I have a few tips for that. The first is: Always let a student finish a sentence. Do not stop him right in the middle, he'll forget what he wanted to say. I suppose that to some people, I'll have to let even come to a particular point the way to which is a bunch of phrases. If a person wants written notes,  we'll compile right during his speech till he comes to a sense point.  I think this scheme will work with pre-intermidiate and higher. What to do with beginners till intermediate. I suppose their speech will be less correct and if I interrupt them every time we won't have a conversation. I think that they shall be corrected step by step. My task as a "teacher" will be to find out the main problem he's struggling with now and explain it right after the common conversation. Again written notes will be helpful for us both.

If a person does not want to be corrected, do not correct him or her, at least do not correct grammar. Correct only vocabulary.

I personally get upset when I see loads of mistakes corrected by my teacher. Afterwards, when I understand why he corrected me I feel joyful ahahaha

March 11, 2018
I like when someone types the correction (and this is also now how I correct others). It allows the person to continue talking and finish the point they are making, but there is something you can go back and review later. 
March 11, 2018
Show More
Language Skills
English, Other, Russian
Learning Language