How to Use Intentional Mistakes as a Teaching Strategy


The instructor inserts intentional mistakes into their teaching materials (such as misspellings in their presentations) or their speech to:

  • Check learners’ depth of knowledge.
  • Make memorable teaching moments.
  • Keep learners critically engaged.


  • Keeps learners on their toes during the lesson, especially during the boring sections.
  • Can turn learning into a game if you let the learners know to look out for the mistakes in advance. You could also offer a reward to the individual who identifies the error.
  • Can lead to critical discussions about common mistakes that learners make in a topic.


  • You may risk having learners believe you had made the mistakes intentionally.
  • Learners may believe the mistakes are truths and end up believing untrue things.


  1. Create intentional spelling and grammatical errors.
  2. Mispronounce a term and see if learners realize it.
  3. Flip a couple of words in a sentence and see if anyone realizes.
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