A Guide to Self-Corrections

This occurs when a child resolves the errors made while reading, all by themselves. An example could be where the child is reading a passage and his flow of words often gets interrupted as he goes back to correct a word or phrase he had said incorrectly. A primary goal for parents and teachers is to help every child read and comprehend at or above grade level. This can happen when the children take ownership of their reading, monitor themselves while reading on their own, and self-correct when they make a mistake and realize it.

Self-corrections are extremely powerful and should be encouraged. As children become more experienced readers, their self-correcting behaviors will change. One will notice young readers self-correcting overtly while their more proficient counterparts do the work mentally. Over time, self-corrections tend to become faster and closer to the point. An absence of self-correction would decrease a child’s opportunities for forming, initiating, practicing, refining, and extending a network of strategies.

Usually, when young children start reading, they may use simple strategies like remembering or memorizing the words in a story and telling them as they see the pictures. But as they learn more about words, letters, and books, they will begin using strategies, such as these:

·         Taking a pause when something doesn’t seem right (self-monitoring)

·         Taking a look at the picture again, thinking about the sentence, and focusing on the first letters to ensure what they have read “makes sense,” “sounds right,” and “looks right.” (cross-checking sources of information)

·         Reread a word correctly, which they have misread earlier. (self-correcting)

As young readers continue to read and experience more and more books, they’ll develop their skills to use more refined strategic actions for self-correcting. Adults can use different strategies to encourage self-correction in children. One method is to ask them to read aloud. Instead of interrupting them at the point of error, the adults should allow them to read to the end of the sentence. This will give them more chances of finding the error independently as they get more time to notice, search, and fix it.

Another strategy could be recording their reading sessions on a smartphone or computer (with the help of an adult), going back and listening to their reading, and marking the errors they have made. They may need multiple attempts to identify all their errors. This strategy helps the students’ notice how they were reading and where they needed to pay more attention to avoid making mistakes.

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