November 27 #CdnELTchat: Fossilized Errors


I have been learning how to speak Mandarin for the better part of twenty years, but I still can’t produce the fourth tone correctly. I automatically say the first tone instead of the fourth tone in conversation. I am aware that I do this, yet I can’t seem to correct this bad habit. Is this a fossilized error? Is there anything I can do to overcome this error? What is the best way for my teacher to help me overcome this error? On November 27th, a group of educators discussed these questions and more on #CdnELTchat.

Thank-you so much to the enthusiastic participants who contributed their ideas and shared resources during this chat.

Q1: What are fossilized errors? What are some examples of typical fossilized errors that your students make?
Click HERE to read A1 tweets.

Q2: What causes fossilized errors? How do we push students to move on from interlanguage and ensure that their errors don’t become fossilized?
Click HERE to read A2 tweets.

Q3: How can we identify which errors to correct, especially in larger classes?
Click HERE to read A3 tweets.

Q4: Is it possible to change fossilized errors? Is it worth the effort on the students’ part? How can we approach error correction in a way that helps students tackle fossilized errors?
Click HERE to read A4 tweets.

Q5: How does the concept of English as a Lingua Franca impact how we see fossilized errors?
Click HERE to read A5 tweets.

To read all the tweets on this topic, follow the complete discussion HERE.  

New to #CdnELTchat?

If you have never participated in #CdnELTchat before, go to for more information. #CdnELTchat is self-directed PD, so you determine the level of your involvement. #CdnELTchats usually occur every other Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Feel free to use the #CdnELTchat hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. If you have any have comments about #CdnELTchat , please send  @StanzaSL, @EALStories, @Jennifermchow, or @LINCinstructor a tweet. Please join us for the next #CdnELTchat in December. Add your ideas HERE.


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