Do you know what a “fossilized” language error is?
A fossil is an ancient organism that has been preserved in the earth’s crust. It sounds like a TOEFL lecture topic, right? ? In other words, if something is fossilized, it is very old and incapable of change.
English teachers sometimes say that students’ errors with pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary become “fossilized.” Those errors are the most difficult to get rid of because you have made them over and over and they have already become a natural part of your speech or writing.
The good news is there are certain techniques and lesson activities that can “destabilize” (or weaken) those errors. Then, it’s possible to retrain yourself to use “the right thing.” Jaime uses them when she teaches students like you. She also trains other teachers that work with English Success Academy so that they are able to help you, too.
In April 2016, Jaime was presenting at the IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) conference in Birmingham, England, on the topic “How to Fix Fossilized Errors: A Lesson Sequence.” She shared a step-by-step lesson plan that destabilizes old errors (pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary) and embeds correct usage. The technique has helped her students increase TOEFL iBT speaking scores from 23-24 to 26-28.