The value of mistakes

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7
Posts143Likes39Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

I've been a teacher of English, Portuguese and History for 27 years. Actually, I used to play being a teacher when I was a kid and helped many of my friends to learn writing, or to get better grades at school. After all those years, I've got more and more convinced that mistakes are the greatest opportunity to learn anything. As a teacher, when I spot a mistake, it helps me understand how the students mind is operating. As an eternal student, when I get aware of a mistake, I feel I climbed one more step. Sometimes I realize it had been on my face, but I was totally blinded, and that's a definite change. Let's not see mistakes as failures! They're the very core of learning!

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#1
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Posts14Likes8Joined16/10/2019LocationUS
Native
Danish, English
Learning French, German

That is awesome! I totally agree! Failure is good! that is a sign of progression. Not making mistakes is a failure. That just mean that a person will never learn the thing. And also as toddlers we failed thousands of times before we learned how to walk. Failure is success in disguise! :) And also research show that correcting "mistakes" dosent facilitate learning and is redundant and wont stick. But enough exposure to the correct way of saying the expression is how our brain naturally picks up on the mistakes and over time the "mistakes" ratio will be substantially reduced, effortlessly.

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#2
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Posts1145Likes744Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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English
Learning Tagalog
Other Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai

I think of mistakes as unavoidable side effects of learning. However I think statements like the following, which are quite popular these days for some reason, can actually encourage people to attempt to make mistakes: 

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
They're the very core of learning!

Peter.Jensen wrote:
Not making mistakes is a failure.

The goal should not be to make mistakes; we should encourage people to be bold in producing language, know that they will definitely make mistakes and not be discouraged by them.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#3
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Posts143Likes39Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
Native
Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

leosmith, thank you for your comment. I was actually thinking about classroom situations, and I don't think schools encourage mistakes, quite the opposite, they end up making people anxious when they have to expose themselves in a lesson. I see that's what you meant when you said "be bold in producing language". I've never assumed mistakes as a goal, but as an opportunity.

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#4
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5
Posts48Likes49Joined23/9/2019LocationNovi Sad / RS
Native
Serbian
Learning Danish, English, Russian

Yep, in total agreement with you guys. I guess there might be some person out there in the world that is capable of learning something and then putting it into use perfectly every time, but most of us will make a ton of mistakes when trying to use a new language. And that's alright, I mean, if someone corrects us, then it's a net positive, right?


I'm actually always a bit surprised when I see fellow language students at my uni sit silent for an entire class because they're afraid they'll sound stupid if they try to speak the language they're learning, and they try to learn only by listening to others speaking and the professors correcting them. Why make the learning process so much harder for yourself?


And honestly, this doesn't only apply to languages, but to basically any skill humans can learn, stuff like programming, playing an instrument, drawing or playing sports is incredibly hard to be good at if you haven't first spent a good portion of time sucking at it and trying hard to improve.

JEG KAN IKKE FORSTÅ

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