I must be doing something wrong. On second thought, perhaps my students are doing something wrong.
Do you know when your mum tells you off over and over again for not tidying your room and you just nod your head, promise it will never happen again and then, for some unknown reason, you seem unable to keep your promise? My students do it all the time. It’s called being nice. They are very nice, but being nice won’t help them pass exams.
So, you highlight the mistake, explain why it is a mistake, ask students if they have understood, they nod their head and say they do, you elicit some examples and give them exercises to consolidate and when you think you have seen the last of this mistake, here it is again, sticking its tongue out at you.
Below you’ll find a quiz with some of these very persistent mistakes students at intermediate level, and probably above, make.
This is how I suggest you do this quiz
- Do the quiz. Obviously 🙂
- Read the grammar and do the exercises when provided.
- For spelling mistakes: try to remember the words commonly misspelt featured in the quiz and write them down with the correct spelling.
- Grammar mistakes: Do you remember the mistakes? Can you remember why they were wrong? Write a sentence for each of the mistakes you can remember.
- Do the quiz again and correct your own sentences and the spelling of the words now.
- Were there any grammar or spelling mistakes you could not remember? Repeat numbers 3, 4 and 5.
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Quiz: Fixing Most Common Mistakes Seen in Intermediate Written Exams
Ready to start the quiz? Here we go! Which of these sentences is correct?
I am interested in participate in a seminar
I am interested in participating in a seminar
Which of these sentences is correct? Don’t forget to read the grammar and do the exercises
There are a lot of meals that they are easy to cook
There are a lot of meals that are easy to cook
There are a lot of meals they are easy to cook
Another very frequent mistake. Which is correct?
From my point of view is very difficult to be the boss.
From my point of view, it is very difficult to be the boss.
Let’s try spelling now! Which is correct?
Ready for the next grammar mistake? Which is correct?
I don’t mind sharing it with other family
I don’t mind sharing it with another family
Think hard! Which is correct? Choose and then read the grammar and do the exercises
I would like to know how much does it cost
I would like to know how much it costs
Let’s see vocabulary now. Which is correct?
My mother is a great cook
My mother is a great cooker
Concentrate! Which is correct?
I prefer stay in a hotel
I prefer to stay in a hotel
And now, what do you say?
I couldn’t find the information on your website
I couldn’t find the information in your website
Let’s go for spelling again. Which one is correct?
Which is correct?
What’s the plural of “life”
Let’s focus on articles now. Which is correct?
I strongly believe that the fast food is not healthy
I strongly believe that fast food is not healthy
Which is correct?
The dates of the seminar are not enough clear
The dates of the seminar are not clear enough
What do you say?
I am completely agree wih you
I completely agree with you
Think hard! What do you say?
Fast food is becoming very popular
Fast food it is becoming very popular
What’s the opposite of the adjective “polite”?
Which is correct?
Everybody loves you
Everybody love you
What’s the correct spelling?
Which is correct?
What do you say? At or in?
They arrived in London yesterday
They arrived at London yesterday
Which is correct in this context? Don’t forget to read the grammar and do the exercises.
In the end we decided to cancel the trip
At the end we decided to cancel the trip
Which preposition collocates with “depend”?
It depends on her
It depends from her
It depends of her
What do you say? Choose the correct answer and then read the grammar and do the exercises
The mountains were covered with snow
The mountains were covered by snow
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You might be interested in doing these other quizzes
11 thoughts on “Quiz: Fixing Most Common Mistakes Seen in Intermediate Written Exams”
I don’t know if it’s necessarily that “students are doing something wrong.” I know that there is a lot of debate among researchers about grammar instruction and to what degree it is helpful to explicitly teach students about grammar rules. But I just thought I would mention that there are a lot of research studies that indicate that explaining grammar rules to students and then having them do activities to “practice” those grammar rules doesn’t really help students communicate more effectively in the language they are learning.
I guess I just wanted to point this out as another possibility for why our students don’t seem to apply the grammar rules we keep telling them about again and again and again. It might not be an issue of them “doing something wrong” or them “being nice” and then ignoring us. It might just be something naturally happening in their brains that they can’t help.
That being said, I would definitely be interested to hear about your results in using this activity. Does it help your students write and communicate more effectively? And do those gains last over the long term? Like you, I often experience frustration when it feels like I’ve told my students something again and again, but they keep making the same mistakes. And I know that there are some research studies showing that explicit grammar instruction may help speed up students’ acquisition process, especially when it comes to writing (as opposed to speaking). So maybe something like this could help a little. It’s a good experiment to try out.
I just recently ran across your blog, and it seems like you post a lot of really great stuff! I just thought I would chime in here with some other ideas as food for thought. There are still a lot of things we don’t know about language acquisition, so sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to help our students improve the most. I know I am constantly trying out new things to try to figure out what works best.
Thank you 🙂
I like this very much.
The best pieces of advice ever!
Thank you, Joan!
Great piece of work. Useful and fun