Fossilized errors

Hi everyone!

One of the concepts I learned during my studies in second language acquisition was that of fossilized errors.  Basically, they are errors that happen so often, learners adopt them as a natural part of speech.  I see this time and time again as a teacher of French.  The challenge is to help students overcome them.

I find that fossilized errors are especially common with French Immersion students.  I marked my students’ unit test over the weekend and noticed that many of the same errors were occurring over and over again.  I decided that the one fossilized error I wanted to focus on was the difference between “on” and “ont”.  I’m so happy that I bought Les Homophones at the OMLTA conference.  It has proven to be quite handy.  I put the two words on the board and explained the difference.  It was actually quite funny because one of the students who was consistently mixing up the two let out a loud “Ohhh…..”.  I could tell that the lightbulb went off!  I think they know the difference, but need to internalize it in order to use it properly.  They did one of the exercises from the book on the concept.  Hopefully, if I correct the error each time I notice it and remind them of the difference, it will help.

Thanks for stopping by!


About Mme Martin

I am a high school French teacher in Ontario, Canada. I've been a teacher for the last 14 years and I love what I do. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching by learning from my colleagues, reading, attending conferences and workshops. I also completed a Masters of Education degree, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. My goal is to increase students' oral fluency in French and I would like to share this journey with you in the hopes that you will find new ideas and be inspired to do the same. I will let you know what I try in my classes and what works and what doesn't. I hope you will find a wealth of ideas to use in your class.
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