When we speak in a foreign language, it is more likely than not that we will make mistakes. Naturally, the frequency of these mistakes gradually diminishes the more familiar we become with the new language. Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process, and if you are not making mistakes then the conversation is not difficult enough. Error correction is the second vital part of the learning process. Here is a short guide on how to correct language mistakes on the Tandem app!
When learning a new language, you’re probably going to make some errors and mistakes along the way. Just know that this is a very normal part of the learning process, so don’t ever hold back because you’re worried about getting something wrong. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from your mistakes!
In the Learning Preferences setting on your profile, you can set when you’d like your Tandem partner to correct your mistakes. Choose between:
Check your Tandem partner’s preferences on their profile and try to follow it when correcting them. Remember that your corrections are crucial to your partner’s progress!
Patience is key here as it’s likely they’ll continue to make the same mistakes even after you’ve pointed them out, especially with things like pronunciation or word order. Just continue correcting the mistake so they eventually start to internalize the right form.
If your Tandem partner is a beginner, focus on basic grammar, spelling and pronunciation mistakes. Don’t give up correcting mistakes just because there are simply too many.
If your Tandem partner is more advanced and you understand each other well, they can still learn a lot from you, like how to express themselves like a native speaker or which idioms and slang words are bound to impress!
If your Tandem partner is a native speaker, they’ll always be able to tell you when you made a mistake and what the correct form should be. However, as native speakers often lack a complete understanding of grammar in their own language, they might not be able to explain exactly why you’re incorrect.
So, you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes, but that goes for correcting others, too! Did you know that German speakers on Tandem correct their partner’s mistakes 10 times more often than Chinese speakers?
While in some cultures it’s impolite to correct someone’s mistakes, in others it’s almost rude not to do so.
Here’s a list of which nations correct the most on Tandem:
|1. Germany||9. Mexico|
|2. France||10. Brazil|
|3. Italy||11. Korea|
|4. Spain||12. Russia|
|5. USA||13. Turkey|
|6. UK||14. Japan|
|7. Canada||15. China|
If you ever catch yourself holding back from correcting someone, remind yourself that by correcting them, you’re doing them a huge favor. You’re helping your partner progress and that’s what we are all here on Tandem for – to help each other learn languages!