Jane Birkenhead, February 15 2024

Other People don't Correct Mistakes

“People at work don’t correct my mistakes!”
“I had no idea I was making these kinds of errors!” 

I hear this from students a lot 😊 As we work through the requirements for IELTS or TOEFL speaking together, and as I give them feedback, they often realize that they’ve been making lots of errors that they didn’t know about.

So why don’t other people correct your errors? There are 2 main reasons for this:

1. Many people consider it rude to correct others’ mistakes unless they are invited to do so. 

So, unless you’ve specifically asked someone to help you, it’s likely that they will remain silent.

2. If other people can work out what you’re trying to say, then they won’t correct you. 

We’re all very good at making allowances and filling in gaps in communciation, and if we can do that, we’ll just continue the conversation rather than interrupt it to point out an error.

But, I’m sure you know that it’s really important to be precise and accurate in English proficiency exams like IELTS and TOEFL, especially if you need an advanced score. 

That’s why so many students’ errors are discovered once they start working with a teacher.

Also, just because other people don’t correct your errors, it doesn’t mean that they don’t notice them. They probably do. And depending on your position, that may reduce the amount of credibility and respect that you have.

So it’s really worth working on reducing those errors - not just for IELTS or TOEFL - but for real life as well.

Written by

Jane Birkenhead

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