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The Most Common Mistakes Made by ESL Students

 
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englishlci



Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:20 am    Post subject: The Most Common Mistakes Made by ESL Students Reply with quote

ELS students usually face common mistakes which tend to confuse them. Words in the English language sometimes are similar or the same but are different in meaning, use and pronunciation.

In the following examples, youíll see the differences and the most common mistakes students tend to make in their ESL classes

Good vs. well

*Good is an adjective which describes a noun.

*Well is an adverb which describes how you do the action.

She did well on the test.
He played well in the tennis match.
She sang well.

Heís a good tennis player.
Sheís a good dancer.
Iím a good singer.

Bring vs. take

*We use bring if the speaker refers to something that is at his current location and when something moves from there to here.

*We use take if the speaker refers to something that is in a different location and when something moves from here to there.

I brought all my books to class.
He brought his pictures to show his friends.
I promise I will bring it next time.

Jon took his boy to the baseball game.
Iíll remember to take everything to the picnic.
She felt sick so he took her home.

Itís vs. its

*Itís is the contracted form of it is. This is a subject (it) with the verb to be.

*Its is the possessive case.

Itís a great idea! Letís go to the concert.
Itís mine! What are you doing?
What wrong with Billís behavior? Itís something we should be concerned about.

That watch is nice. Its color is rare.
Thatís your new shirt. Its style is nice.
Itís a great house and its price is reasonable.

Everyone vs. every one

*Use everyone as a pronoun to mean all the people in a group.

*Use every one as a noun to indicate each person.

Do you think everyone will go to the play?
Everyone contacts her to leave her comments on her blog.
Everyone is considering going to the party.

Every one of the experts has different points of view.
The teacher told every one of the students to behave.
Every one of the dancers was told to improve.

Since vs. for with present perfect

*We use since with the present perfect to indicate that something has happened since a point in time.

*We use for with the present perfect to express that something has happened for a period time.

Iíve worked here since 2001.
Sheís been married since October of this year.
Heís been repairing the car since two this afternoon.

Heís worked on this project for 2 years.
Jon has been playing rugby for 1 hour.
Iíve worked on this report for 1 week.

Too, two, to

*Too is the same as also and is used at the end of a sentence. Too is also too much of a particular quality.

That house is too expensive for me!
I love eating pizza too!
This is too much for me! Help me solve it.

*Two is the written form of number 2.

Iíve always wanted two children.
She is so lucky; she has two houses.
Iíve corrected two tests so far.

*To is usually used as a preposition and also used as part of the infinitive form of verbs.

Tomorrow Iím going to my grandmotherís house.
I spoke to her about the inconvenience we had at tennis.
He returned the key to her when they broke up.

Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI and blogger at the ESL Blog.
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an interesting list, but the thinking behind it is inherently flawed as it fails to account for a number of factors.

The primary force determining which errors will be common for learners is the structure and forms of their native language. Spanish speakers will likely encounter certain errors in instances in which the syntax of English and Spanish differ from each other. Likewise, Germans will have one set of probable errors and Russians or Poles a different set altogether.

Another important factor is the course curriculum, the order of instruction, and more than anything the instructor's understanding of English grammar and his ability to effectively explain the use of and reasoning behind that grammar and usage to the students in a way they can understand.

Much like fitness and health, language education requires a well-researched holistic approach and working off of generalisations such as these can be very much the opposite of helpful. The important thing is not to recognise common mistakes, but to discover the root behind those errors and to then rectify the problems causing them so that they can be prevented in the future.
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I'd agree with this. Many errors are due to MT interference and different nationalities will have different errors and problems.
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