Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Should your English teacher correct every mistake you make?

The answer is no!

In today’s episode, we answer a question from a Youtube listener.

Find out today why constant corrections can derail your learning.

We’ll also share grammar mistakes you don’t need to worry about.

Teaching methods

Aubrey asks Lindsay if she has ever had a teacher correct her in a way that made her lose motivation to learn.

Lindsay shares she was traumatized by her middle school French teacher.

Every time she got something wrong, her teacher humiliated her publicly.

It was a very old-fashioned way of teaching that is hopefully getting phased out.

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubery answer a Youtube viewer’s question regarding this topic.

Today’s question

Hi Lindsay and Aubrey! Thank you for the interesting video 🙂

I teach English to adults in Egypt.

My question is, if I hear my learners making this mistake with pronouns (e.g. She is taller than me), should I leave it out in the feedback I give them on their speaking, or should I correct them?

Some of them might say that they hear native speakers saying it!

I’d really appreciate your advice on that. Thanks in advance!


How to stay motivated

Language learning should be fun.

It should be taught in a way that encourages students to use the language to make deeper and better connections across different cultures.

All Ears English is all about the connection and making relationships stronger.

You can check out episode AEE 2125: How to Share Your Faults in English for Deeper Connection.

What is the goal?

Teaching methods should be dependent on the goals of the learner.

If a learner is studying the language itself as a major in college or to pass an exam where grammar is scored, then grammar should be corrected.

However, it is not helpful to correct every mistake.

Teachers should focus on certain types of errors in a class.

Otherwise no real learning or improvement will take place.

Learning for general fluency

If a learner’s goal is general fluency, their grammar should not be corrected.

It can be demotivating to be corrected a lot.

Depending on the delivery it can hurt learning and progress.

Additionally, if the student is focusing on perfecting grammar, it will be difficult to improve fluency.

If the goal is to communicate a message clearly, and the student is doing that, then the outcome is reached.

Perfect grammar is rarely the goal

Language learners should not be overly self-critical.

Take a step back and refocus on the goal.

Don’t aim to be 100% perfect, as this will just frustrate you.

Instead, work toward the improvement you want to achieve.

This may be pronunciation, improved vocabulary or getting an idea across.

Even native English speakers make mistakes or don’t follow grammar rules because it’s part of their regional dialect.

There are many native speaker errors that teachers shouldn’t correct.

#1: She’s taller than me

The correct structure is “She’s taller than I.”

In the U.S., many native English speakers make this mistake.

It sounds strange and pretentious so say, “She’s taller than I.”

A pro tip is to add the implied verb at the end.

This way, you can say, “She’s taller than I am.”

This is correct grammar and avoid both the error and air of pretentiousness.

#2: I’m good

When answering the quesiton, “How are you,” many native speakers answer, “I’m good.”

This is especially common in the U.S.

Because the answer really means, “I’m doing well,” the correct grammar is, “I’m well.”

This sounds pretentious to many people because the error is so common.

#3: Who are you talking to?

The grammar of who and whom is complicated.

The correct way to say this is, “Whom are you talking to?”

Though it is not a grammar rule, many people prefer to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition.

Therefore, they would say this sentence should be, “To whom are you talking?”

These three mistakes are so common in the U.S. that teachers would not correct them.

You shouldn’t worry about them unless studying for a grammar exam.

Connection not perfection

Taking on the challenge of learning a foreign language makes a person confident and brave.

As a learner, make sure your teacher understands your goals.

The teacher should align the support they provide with your goals.

If they don’t, speak up, share your goals, and find out their plan for helping you achieve them.

If your goal is improved fluency, focus on connection, not perfection!


Make sure your teacher is clear about your English learning goals.

Correcting grammar, especially minor errors or those accepted in colloquial speech, can be demotivating and stunt your progress.

Talk to your teacher and make sure they are helping you reach your goals.

Have you experienced excessive corrections in your English learning journey?

Share your experience in the comments below.

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