Find the Errors

A red pencil making editing corrections on a typed paper

Purpose:  To help learners practice using correct grammar, and to develop proof-reading skills so that learners can become more independent with self-corrections

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  A short passage with several errors, or sentences or a worksheet with errors

Suggestion: This activity shouldn’t be a full grammar lesson. It can function as a review for previous lessons or as a warm-up at the beginning or class. You can give your learners a variety of errors to correct: word choice, word order, punctuation, capitalization, etc. depending on their level.

Procedure:

  1. In advance, prepare a worksheet or write a short text with several errors. You could even take a previous workbook activity and reproduce it with errors. The sentences or passage should practice previously studied points of grammar by having errors of that sort: word choice, word order, punctuation, capitalization, etc.
  2. Begin by asking learners a few review questions about whatever rules they are practicing or have learned recently. (“When do you use capital letters?” or “What is a run-on sentence? How can you fix it?”)
  3. Hand out the passage or worksheets. Have learners go through and correct the errors. The can work independently, in partners, or small groups.
  4. After the learners have completed editing the text, go through as a class and ask them to explain why they made the corrections.
  5. Once all of the errors have been corrected, have them write the sentences or passage correctly in their notebooks.
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