Mariëlle’s attempt to teach common mistakes and pitfalls in English using Socrative

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Beringen, M.L.
14 April 2018

Narrator

I teach Business English to first year undergraduates in the Netherlands

Situation

I had designed a Socrative (online) quiz, consisting of 30 questions, mainly with 2 possible answers. The quiz was part of a 2 hour lesson. There were approximately 8 students present. I was hoping in order to simultaneously test and teach common mistakes and pitfalls in the English language, such as affect/effect or compliment/complement.

Task

My main goal was to at least make them aware of these, often easily made, mistakes. Therefore, there was no set measure of success.

Actions

  • Collecting information of commonly made mistakes in English by Dutch learners specifically.

  • Compose the quiz in Socrative, adding pictures to make it a bit more attractive.

  • Briefly introduce quiz in class.

  • Play/moderating quiz in class à 30 questions turned out to be too much, especially when giving explanations in between. Towards the end, I upped to speed a little.

  • Briefly pointing out the results, hoping that they realised that there was still a lot for them to learn before the final exam.

Results

I was a bit shocked by the immediate results, as all students need to have a solid background in English in order to access university. In addition, the exam results showed that the ‘awareness’ that I was hoping to raise, did not have much of an impact on them, as they were still making the mistakes that we’d discussed during the quiz.

Reflections

The quiz was perhaps too long. An idea would be to split it into 2 smaller quizzes. As the students (most likely) did not felt the need to study as a result of their bad results, the second quiz can also include some repeated questions, so that I can monitor progress more precisely.

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