I read a great email today on an ESL listserv. It was about error correction, an ongoing issue in English-language instruction — if you do it, when to do it, how to do it.

The story is from Abbie Tom:

I had an interesting experience with “error correction” this summer.
I’m a longtime ESL teacher but this time I was on the other side. I
took a drawing class. I am not an artist and have never before had a
drawing class. The instructor never said anything good about my
drawings and, worse, would draw on top of my drawing to “improve”
it! My response (which it took me a while to understand) was to
make smaller and lighter drawings… the same kind of “withdrawal”
ESL students make in similar circumstances.