Who wants to be corrected?

Will someone help me to think this through? I bumped into a teacher of Welsh at the Eisteddfod and, long story short, I made a mistake telling her where my husband was, said ‘…chwilio pysgod a sglodion’ instead of ‘chwilio am plus soft mutation’ etc etc. She corrected me and I felt, as usual, oops, must do better. So, I won’t forget the ‘am’ next time but I didn’t really want the correction. Does it ever help to be corrected do you think? If so, when and how?

In a classroom or if I’ve asked, yep. Otherwise, meh…

I think correction is one of the great ‘how to help’ myths. We must get around to running a campaign ‘Don’t Correct Learners, Just Talk to Them, for Heaven’s Sake’ - although we may need a snappier catchphrase…

“Listening beats lecturing”
You’re welcome.

I don’t mind being corrected if I ask for same, but its most off-putting to be pulled up in full flow, only to be told that you missed a mutation. Pointless too, really. We need to get T-shirts printed!


The best subtlest way of correctionIi’ve come across if a confirmatory repeat with it right… so

So instead of “say it this way” you’d get back something more like “O? Mae fe’n chwilio am bysgod a sglodion ydy e?”

If you’re interested you can then spot the correction without having it rammed down your throat.

I’ve worked with a lot of foreign people over the years and I usually ask if I can point out something on their English usage in a casual way. If invited to I never go over the top: I might point out one or two small pointers but I’d never criticise everything even it was really awkward sounding; thus making them feel disheartened.
I’d never want people to be pedantic explaining every single rule with me…

“Listening beats lecturing”


If it was just a missed mutation, then no. But just about anything else, I would want to be corrected provided it’s a real mistake and not a regional difference. Bad habits are tough to break and I would want to have them corrected before they got too ingrained.

I agree with Leia - a subtle correction by way of repeat.

The person being corrected can then acknowledge it openly with a smile, “diolch”, and say it again correctly, or just nod, smile and carry on, or just ignore it and carry on, the important thing always being of course to carry on… :slight_smile:

The person doing the subtle correcting can feel that they have done their best to help the learner on their way, without overdoing it, and honour is satisfied on both sides. :smile:

“Listening beats lecturing”

If only someone had told me that when I started lecturing :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your collective wisdom - being able to carry on regardless is what I really want, but I want to learn from my mistakes too. So, the subtle correction after finishing speaking sounds like a great way of helping. I have my first session with my Ffrindiath this morning, so, fingers crossed, the conversation and the listening will flow!

This is an interesting problem for me but from the opposite position. My partner has been learning Welsh pretty intensively while on maternity over the last year. She’s overly keen to get everything perfect when speaking and sometimes actually gets annoyed if I don’t correct her or stops mid flow to ask if she’s saying it right.
I keep telling her I can understand everything she’s saying and she just needs to keep speaking, but then she looks on it as if I’m “letting” her make mistakes.

Personally, it depends. I’m happy to have my spelling corrected in written Welsh - in fact I’d prefer to have that happen than not, because spelling is one of those things that only really improves with practice and feedback. With spoken Welsh, then in a classroom environment, sure. Out in the street, not so much.

She’s overly keen to get everything perfect when speaking

Taith fach i’r dafarn sydd isio yn fan hyn, am wn i…:wink: