Learning the English language comes with a number of challenges and more difficulties than even the most aware student will think of when he or she starts.
Progress might come slow, some might excel at speaking while other will be great at grammar or both, but the one sure thing all beginner students will have in common is that they will make a huge number of mistakes in all aspects of the English learning process.
The good news is that mistakes aren’t bad. As we discussed in a previous article they are a big part of the learning process, and you won’t find an English speaker alive that will tell you they didn’t make all the mistakes possible when they started to learn the language.
Uncorrected mistakes cost time
We already covered the basics, like how mistakes can be an opportunity to better refine your knowledge and how making them can give you a great measure of your progress and what aspects of the learning process you should insist on.
Things aren’t so this simple and the problem isn’t in making mistakes but in correcting them. The reason why they can be hazardous to your learning is that an uncorrected mistake can quickly become a habit, one that can prove difficult to unlearn.
While making mistakes is ok, it is imperative to always track our progress, keep a close eye and know when you’re making a mistake and be sure to spend as much time as needed to correct it. Unlearning something is both unproductive and a waste of time so be sure to be thorough with your mistakes.
“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” O.A. Battista
Don’t be lazy and assume that regardless of how much effort you put in, your huge amount of mistakes are somehow magically going to make you speak fluent English. If you want to become better at forming sentences and speaking English the only clear way is to learn hundreds of thousands of correct words and sentences.
Mistakes can become a positive if you invest time in correcting them
While it might sound easy, in practice it can get tough, but every second spent thoroughly learning and memorizing the correct forms of sentences and words will pay off in the future when you’ll use your newly formed vocabulary to construct correct phrases on your own spending less time checking for mistakes.
Don’t expect this to happen overnight, it may take time but the main lesson you have to take from the process is that it is less time consuming and definitely less stressful to learn the correct form with a bit of extra effort than to waste time correcting your mistakes.
So to clear the air when it comes to mistakes: can they be considered a method to learn English?
Definitely not. Mistakes as a method of learning are a bad idea, so relying on a trial and error learning process can be detrimental to your progress and can put a lot more pressure and stress on an already memory demanding job. They are a natural part of learning but in no way a desirable one. They can be turned into a positive way of improving certain aspects but can, in no way be considered a method to learn the English language by themselves.