A Word About Repetition

Learning any skill requires practice and repetition. Many learners use repetition as a means of memorizing and learning. While repeating things has its merits, it won't be effective without purpose.

Repeating things should be intentional.

Whenever one of my students says something incorrectly, I like to have them repeat the correction a few times before we move on. I don't do this for infrequent errors, but if the student makes the same error multiple times, then it needs to be addressed.

Repetition is not used to encourage rote memorization, but to stimulate listening and pronunciation skills. Sometimes there's pushback because the student may feel embarrassed or silly, but when they finally say it correctly, their confidence increases significantly.

When you repeat a correction, you should compare the correct version with the incorrect version. Ask yourself:

  • What am I saying now versus what I said before?

  • How is it different?

  • How is the shape of my mouth (and tongue) different now than it was before?

  • What sounds do I hear now that I didn't hear before? (and vice versa)

If necessary, make a note in your language journal.

This is how you learn from your mistakes and improve your output.

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