Do you feel depressed that you maybe have done mistake and you afraid to cheek it? Unfortunately it is what meets me permanently and cost me a lot. Eventually it turns out that everything was correct. Alicja1

Hi again Alicja,

I think that most people feel like that about something. It’s a natural reaction… but I always tell my students that they should not be afraid to make mistakes. I point out to them that mistakes can be great teachers. They can learn both from their own mistakes and from the mistakes of others.
What matters is that the mistakes should be made in an accepting environment, where you can feel at ease. I encourage laughing in my classroom, but never laughter at the efforts of others.
Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. If you check your work and catch the mistakes before anyone else sees them, then that’s great --but if you can’t find them and need them pointed out to you, just take the opportunity to learn from the experience.

Dear Beeesneees! That is very encouraging of you. Many thanks. Alicja1

Hi Bev,

Sound advice indeed. Out of interest who are your students in the main?


Have you forgotten that I teach in a primary school so my students are mainly native English and non-native English speaking children under the age of 12?
I also tutor mature (graduate) students who wish to be classroom practitioners. As an aside, we find that an increasing amount of those who have graduated in other subjects have difficulties with basic English (and I’m ashamed to include native English speakers in that percentage).

I reckon all those long-winded chat room conversations are catching up with them, heh?
I mean, in chat rooms participants covertly flout grammar and proper spelling. And this habitual disregard for grammar turns into a habit which is hard to break.

I don’t think chat and social networking are totally to blame. :frowning:

What about E-books Beesneees? Do you think they are good? I personally think they discourage reading which results in poor writing.

I don’t understand why you think eBooks would discourage reading. Quite the opposite in fact.
People now have a choice of ways to read – traditional hard copies, dedicated e-readers, computers, laptops, notebooks, tablet PCs, mobile phones – but the actual reading process is still the same.
Personally, I’d like to see eBooks reduced in price in comparison with hard copies. Electronic copies are cheaper to produce and probably more environmentally friendly (as long as you assume that the person would own the device they were using for reading the eBook in the first place), but the various regulatory bodies keep the prices of official copies high. Having said that, the variety of high quality older (in terms of date of writing, so copyright free) literature that is available free of charge is highly impressive.

I believe non-native speakers’ various speaking styles also contribute a lot to that percentage. I also believe that is why Beeesneees devotes her time to this forum and people here like me.

You definitely have a point about speaking styles, particularly ‘inherited’ styles (from parents) and colloquialisms.
I spend time here because I like helping. I particularly like helping people who care about the English language and helping people who I admire because they have achieved so much of their aim to learn the language, often with very little by means of resources and support… so I suppose there is something in your second point too. :slight_smile:

Hi Bev,

Your comment:

prompts me to point out that there are many ebooks that are completetly free. If you own a Kindle and use Amazon, many ebooks are transferred to your device free of charge.


Indeed. I hinted as much when I said:

Though I omitted to point out that there are newer free books also available.
I would add two things to that:

  1. You don’t have to own a Kindle (or even an eReader device) to purchase eBooks. Kindle’s .mobi format books can be purchased, downloaded, read and synchronised via a free app available from Kindle. There is also other free software (such as MobiReader and Calibre) which allows you to organise and read eBooks in various formats via computers or mobile phones.
  2. You are not tied to buying eBooks via Amazon even if you have a Kindle. You can purchase books cheaper from other sources. However, purchases from other eBook sources will not be able to utilise Amazon’s backup and sync service, whereby your library of purchased books are stored ‘in the cloud’ and ‘whispersync’ synchronises your reading from device to device.

How are you getting on with your Kindle these days, Alan?

All right, all right. I just made a simple remark. There’s really no need to shoot me down in flames!


I fail to see where that impression comes from. Apart from agreeing with you in my opening remark and asking you about your ongoing experiences in my last sentence the rest was general comment. Maybe I should have used the more old fashioned but less ambiguous phrase ‘one can’ instead of ‘you can’, etc.