Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Have we forgotten how so say ‘that’s wrong’? And is that a bad thing?

A few weeks ago I was in a seminar with a group of non-native speakers of English. The tutor a Native English speaker asked a question and got an answer. The tutor then said ‘Yeeeeees.’ The intonation told me that the answer was, in fact, wrong. Despite it being a wrong answer, I watched as some of the other participants wrote down the answer believing it to be correct; after all the tutor had nodded and said yes.
A few weeks earlier, in my own training session a colleague said they were surprised about my correction technique. I’d said ‘Good idea but…. no!’ with a smile but a firm no. Nobody was in any doubt - the answer was wrong, but my colleague felt I had been too harsh.
I wonder which our students/conference participants would prefer.

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