How is it possible to learn from your language mistakes?
Yes, it is possible to learn from your language mistakes and it’s even one of the most efficient ways of improving your level in a foreign language.
It doesn’t mean that you should be pessimistic about your output. You must try to be objective and be able to see what is negative and what is positive. Be happy about what is positive and learn from what is negative.
Analyzing your writing can be a solution:
Your written tests or all the texts that your teacher or a native speaker corrected are precious tools to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Observe each language mistake.
- Try to correct your mistakes yourself. Sometimes you realize that you didn’t apply a rule, for example.
- Write the correction in a different color next to each mistake.
- Ask questions to your teacher to understand each mistake that you can’t correct yourself.
- Ask your teacher to double check your correction.
- Write a list of your mistakes and cross out the mistakes that you shouldn’t make again.
- Memorize this list.
- In the future, try to think of its different elements to avoid making the same mistakes again.
- When you notice a mistake when you write and when you speak, don’t hesitate to correct yourself. What you say and write can always be modified, even in the most stressful situations: interviews, lectures…. By correcting yourself, you will show that you know and you will give a good impression to the people with whom you communicate.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for more exercises when you want to practice a particular point.
The mistakes that you understand are the easiest to correct yourself. Therefore, the quality of your writing and your speaking just depends on your way of reacting when you make a mistake.
It’s not a failure when you make some. It’s part of your learning. And remember that even native speakers hesitate and correct themselves when they speak. Nobody’s perfect!