Errors and feedback in the beginner Auslan classroom

Louisa Jane Vaughan Willoughby, Stephanie Linder, Kirsten Alexandra Ellis, Julie Lynette Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Although the literature on general characteristics of effective sign language teaching is growing, relatively few studies have looked in detail at classroom practices or classroom discourse. This article draws on detailed observations of six beginner Australian Sign Language (Auslan) classes and postclass interviews with the teachers in order to explore students? errors and teacher feedback strategies. In line with prior experimental studies it shows errors of movement and handshape to be the most frequent type of mistakes and more phonologically complex signs to be especially prone to errors. Teachers expressed varied philosophies about error correction but were observed to correct mistakes at generally equal frequencies in their classes. The article closes by reflecting on the relationship between error correction approaches and general teaching methods and suggests areas where the curriculum may benefit from reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322 - 347
Number of pages26
JournalSign Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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