Speaking at least a foreign language is a basic requirement nowadays. One cannot succeed in life without being able to communicate, using another means than their mother tongue. When it comes to learning a language, the majority of the people opt for English, being an international language. English is taught at kindergartens, general and high schools, colleges, different extracurricular courses and postgraduate ones as well. Needless to say, it is never too late to start acquiring it. Yet the question inevitably arises: If one can hardly speak their native language without flaws, how can one master another one perfectly? Another emerging question is: Should we, teachers strive for perfection, focusing on accuracy or would it be better to emphasize fluency and correct less in this way? This is a topic which has lead to endless discussions and opposing views.
Teachers of English face error correction at every stage of every lesson since students make a lot of errors till they acquire the foreign language. One of the most important stages in English lesson is the feedback, since that is the moment when teachers correct students’ mistakes. Though, the teacher has to pay attention on when and how correcting students’ errors, since this is a very sensitive point. Teachers’ aim is not to teach students to speak, but to help them speak better than they used to, to improve their communicative abilities.
Error and error correction in speaking and on developing students’ speaking skills is an essential part of our everyday life. The main aim is mapping the causes and circumstances of error in speaking as well as to provide certain ways and methods of combating or diminishing them.
Focus on error correction in oral practice through the eyes of both students and teachers when giving feedback on self correction, teacher correction and peer correction provides clues on different types of errors and correction techniques in speaking. In this way, the role of the teacher and that of the student in correcting errors are essential.
Project based learning is an important part in my cooperation with students. My students from school have already participated in many international projects through which they not only developed their speaking skills but they also learnt how to cope with errors and error correction in a conversation.
Another key activity which contributed to my students speaking skills development belonged to the world of contests in English. Two speaking contests were organized at county level, where technological students competed. The project and the speaking contest led to encouraging achievements concerning the development of the oral skills and the activities applied during the lessons gave positive feedback on the students’ involvement during the teaching – learning process.
There are endless possibilities for appropriate speaking activities and it is impossible to investigate them all. When referring to evaluation and feedback, teachers need to be prepared and know what to focus on but also cooperate with students since they know if they have learnt anything or not. Correction of spoken errors should be treated and handled attentively.