This is an activity for B1 students to review some of the most common mistakes they make and also to cut the first turf… or lay the first stone… or get their feet wet… or simply to break the ice. You get the picture 😉

September again. Back to school.

I have created this activity based on the mistakes my new Spanish students made in a recent speaking activity. It was our first class and I gave them a variety of topics they had to use to create questions for each other e.g. food, free time, travel, school or/and work etc. and it worked really well as they were very talkative from the word go. However, it is not always the case and sometimes students find it hard not only to start speaking without inhibitions on the first day but also to come up with questions to ask their classmates. For that reason I thought of having a list of questions they can use … but not without them having to do some work first 😉

Students correct the mistakes in pairs, which is definitely less intimidating and then change pairs to interview their classmate(s) which gives them an opportunity to interact with someone new.

It is a lovely error correction activity, a slightly different way to start a new class and an easy way to assess your students’ language level. Enjoy.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by B1 students

To interview classmates

To cut the first turf

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

This is an activity for (lower) intermediate students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually, write sentences that are true for them and interview their partners. The mistakes in the exercise are genuine mistakes made regularly ;( by my own students.

Level: A2/B1

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by (lower) intermediate students.

To practise changing statements into questions.

To develop fluency and confidence in speaking.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

Write I have 2 childrens on the board and in pairs, or groups, ask students to highlight the error and correct it.

When they have finished, ask them what the error was and underline it on the board. To the right of the sentence, ask them to write gramatically correct sentences that are TRUE for them. e.g. I don’t have any children, I have one child, I have two children etc. Go through them together and clear up any doubts.

Then, in their pairs or individually, ask students to change the statement into a question, e.g. Do you have any children? How many children do you have? Write their examples on the board.

Clarify understanding and explain any incorrect suggestions.

Give each student Can you see the error of your ways threequel… or display it on the screen if you are using Zoom and individually ask students to circle the mistakes in sentences 1 to 30.

When they have finished, check together as a class.

Individually, students then write correct sentences in the second column, making each statement true for them, as per the example ( if you are using Zoom ask students to make notes on a piece of paper and when they are finished copy the examples on the board).

Check together as a class.

Individually, ask students to change the statements from the first column into questions and write them down in the third column, as per the example.

Monitor closely. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.

Explain any mistakes on the board.

Then, put students into pairs, or groups of three, and ask them to interview each other using the questions.

If students need more practice, ask them to switch pairs / groups and repeat the process.

Fast finishers:

Ask students to write down 4 things they have learned about their classmates.

This is an activity for lower intermediate students to review some of the most common mistakes they make in an entertaining way. The students correct the mistakes in the sentences on the board. If they manage to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board until they line up 6 symbols in a row. The mistakes in the exercise are genuine mistakes made by my own students on a regular basis.

Level: B1

Time: 30 – 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by lower intermediate students.

To line up 6 symbols (O or X) in a row.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

To err is human board game one per team or display on the screen for everyone to see.

Procedure:

Divide the students into teams and display To err is human board game on the screen if you are using Zoom. If you have smaller groups students can also play individually.

To see who starts do rock, paper, scissors. Whoever wins chooses the square they want to start with. Next the player(s) identifies and corrects the mistake in the square they have chosen. There is only ONE mistake in each sentence e.g an incorrect preposition, article or a verb form etc. If the player(s) manages to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board. The first player to line up 6 of their symbols in a row wins. Since I have been using Zoom I have actually inserted predefined icons ( a star and a heart) when I played with my students as it looked cleaner and much cuter on the screen than an O or an X . You can find the stamps in the annotation tools when you start screen sharing.

Monitor at all times and go through some of the most problematic sentences together at the end of the class. At home 😉 ask students to correct the sentences in all the squares without an icon.

P.S. Thank you for your feedback Mr. Potato. As always taken on board.

P.S. Have a look at one of my activities that has been published on onestopenglish this month ;).

This is an activity for lower intermediate students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually, write sentences that are true for them and interview their partners. The mistakes in the exercise are genuine mistakes made by my own students during Continuously present and How well do you know your folks? activities.

Level: A2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by lower intermediate students.

To practice changing statements into questions.

To develop fluency and confidence in speaking.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

On the left hand side of the board, write I have 2 childrens and in pairs, or groups of three, ask students to highlight the error and correct it.

When they have finished, ask them what the error was and underline it on the board. To the right of the sentence, ask them to write their correct sentences on the board. Go through them together as a class and ask which statement is true for them e.g. I don’t have any children, I have one child, I have two children etc.

Then, in their pairs or individually, ask the students to change the statement from the second column into a question, e.g. Do you have any children? How many children do you have? Write on the board to the right of the correct sentences.

Clarify understanding and explain any incorrect suggestions.

Give each student Can you see the error of your ways sequel… or display it on the screen if you are using Zoom and individually ask students to circle the mistakes in sentences 1 to 10.

When they have finished, check together as a class.

Individually, students then write correct sentences in the second column, making each statement true for them, as per the example ( if you are using Zoom ask students to make notes on a piece of paper and when they are finished copy the examples on the board).

Check together as a class.

Individually, ask the students to change the statements from the first column into questions and write them down in the third column, as per the example.

Monitor closely. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.

Explain any mistakes on the board.

Then, put students into pairs, or groups of three, and ask them to interview each other using the questions.

If students need more practice, ask them to switch pairs / groups and repeat the process.

Fast finishers:

Ask students to write down 4 things they have learned about their classmates.

This is an activity for B1 students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes in pairs and then answer would you rather questions.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by B1 students.

To answer fun/bizarre would you rather questions to make the activity more memorable and fun.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

Give each student a Make no mistake Worksheet and in pairs, or groups of three, ask them to correct the mistakes in questions 1 to 20.

When the students have finished, check together as a class.

In pairs, or groups of three, students now answer the questions 1 to 20. Tell students to justify their answers and monitor closely as students often make the same mistakes they have just corrected when they answer the questions, so remind them to pay attention to HOW they respond and not only to WHAT they say.

This is an activity for B1 students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually and in pairs try to guess if the sentences are true or false for the teacher. I have used examples that are true and false for me but feel free to modify and personalise the sentences to make it more relevant for you and your group. I have created this activity based on the mistakes my Spanish students made in one of their speaking activities.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by B1 students.

To guess if the sentences are true or false for the teacher (Karolina), which makes the activity more engaging and personal both for the students and the teacher.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

Give each student a Correct me if I am wrong worksheet and in pairs, or groups of three, ask them to correct the mistakes in sentences 1 to 16.

When the students have finished, check together as a class.

In pairs, or group of three, again students must decide if the sentences are true or false for the teacher and write their answers in full sentences in their notebooks, e.g. ‘We think Karolina has lived in Madrid since 2011’ or ‘We don’t think she has lived in Madrid since 2011. We think she has lived here since 2009 because she has been teaching here for the last 10 years.’ Encourage students to come up with reasons for their answers to maximize speaking/writing time.

Check together as a class and give each pair / group one point for each correct answer.

In the same pairs, or groups of three, ask students to write a mix of true and false sentences about themselves using the structures / expressions from sentences 1-16 and then ask their partners to guess which are true / false and justify their answers.

This is an activity for B2+ students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually and interview their partners. I have created this activity with my Spanish students in mind, but I am sure you could use it with other nationalities too.

Level: B2+

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by B2+ students.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

Give each student a I will make better mistakes tomorrow Worksheet and in pairs ask them to discuss the quotes at the top of the page.

Elicit some answers from students to learn more about their attitudes to errors.

Now individually ask students to correct the mistakes in questions 1 to 18.

When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree.

Check together as a class. The class must decide as a group what they believe the correct answer to be. As teacher, only write their final answers on the board, do not tell them if they are correct or not at this stage. Once they have discussed and agreed on all of their answers as a class, tell them how many (if any) they have wrong – do not tell them which ones are wrong. As a class, they must review all of the questions and decide which one(s) they think is incorrect. This increases talking time and requires repetition of the language; it also encourages competition.

In the same pairs, or groups of three, ask students to interview each other using the questions 1 to 18.

Fast finishers:

Ask students to write down true statements about themselves using the expressions they were not able to correct by themselves.

P.S. “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” Ralph Nader

This is a short error correction activity and a board game to practise giving personal information about yourself, where you live, your hobbies, your job, etc. as well as to prepare students for Speaking Part 1 of the PET exam.

Level: B1

Objectives:

To raise students’ awareness of some of the most common preposition & article mistakes they make.

To correct mistakes in sentences 1-14 (I can’t believe I said that Worksheet).

To practise giving personal information.

To encourage peer correction.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

Give students a copy of I can’t believe I said that Worksheet (This exercise is based on the mistakes my own students made when we did this activity last week).

Individually ask students to correct the mistakes in sentences 1-14. Tell students to concentrate ONLY on the prepositions and articles.

When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree: this increases talking time and requires repetition of the language.

Check together as a class. The class must decide as a group what they believe the correct answer to be. As teacher, only write their final answers on the board, do not tell them if they are correct or not at this stage. Once they have discussed and agreed on all of their answers as a class, tell them how many (if any) they have wrong – do not tell them which ones are wrong. As a class, they must review all of the questions and decide which one(s) they think is incorrect.

Put the students in pairs or groups of 3 and give them a copy of Blah Blah PET Part 1 board game and a die.

Players take it in turns to throw the die twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question.

The player must then answer the question from that square. Encourage students to give more than just short one or two word answers. Ask the other students to pay CLOSE attention and write down any preposition or article mistakes they think their classmate made.

The game continues in a circle going left.

At the end, ask the students to share if they have noticed any incorrect use of articles and prepositions and go through their notes with the rest of the class.

This is an activity for lower intermediate students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually, write sentences that are true for them and interview their partners.

Level: A2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To identify and correct common mistakes made by lower intermediate students.

On the left hand side of the board, write I have 2 childrens. Explain the sentence is incorrect and in pairs, or groups of three, ask students to highlight the error and correct the sentence, e.g. I don’t have any children, I have 3 children, etc.

When they have finished, ask them what the error was and underline it on the board. To the right of the sentence, ask them to write their correct sentences in a column on the board. Go through them together as a class and ask which statement is true for them – underline it on the board.

Then, in their pairs, ask the students to change the statement from the first column into a question, e.g. Do you have any children? How many children do you have? Write on the board in a column to the right of the correct sentences.

Clarify understanding and explain any incorrect suggestions.

Give each student a Can you see the error of your ways… worksheet and individually ask students to circle the mistakes in sentences 1 to 12.

When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.

Individually, students then write a correct sentence in the second column, making the statement true for them, as per the example.

When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.

Individually, ask the students to change the statements from the first column into questions and write them down in the third column, as per the example.

Monitor closely. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.

Explain any mistakes on the board using the correct structures.

Then, put students into pairs, or groups of three, and ask them to interview each other using the questions.

If students need more practice, ask them to switch pairs / groups and repeat the process.

Fast finishers:

Ask students to write down 4 things they have learned about their classmates.

This is a sentence auction activity for Spanish FCE students. Students work in groups and bid on the sentences they think they can correct. This activity could also be used with lower CAE groups.

Level: B2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

To review the most common mistakes made by Spanish FCE students in an entertaining way.

Bids begin at £50 and each subsequent bid is increased by £100.

The teacher writes the first sentence on the board and sells it to the highest bidder.

Once the students have bought the sentence they have to rewrite it. If their answer is correct they keep the sentence. If they are wrong the sentence goes back on sale and the students can bid on it again at the end.

The winner of the game is the group which has ended up with the most correct sentences.