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Accuracy refers to the mechanics of the language, more specifically in producing some of the following ideas:

1: Clear and articulate speaking or writing.
2: Language free from grammar mistakes.
3: Words spelled and/or pronounced correctly.
4: Language appropriate to the situation and/or context.

It seems that many teachers skirt around the issue of accurate language production. As long as students speak fairly intelligibly, then teachers tend not to correct. Some reasons include:

1: A lack of ability/confidence with the grammar mechanics of the language.
2: Fear of over-correction, which may lead to discouragement.
3: Fear of over-correction, which may hinder smooth speaking.
4: Students more or less understand the target material, even if they aren't using it correctly at the moment.

Unfortunately, errors with the language quickly become fossilized. Set in stone, students continue to make the same slips again and again. They thus sound less fluent and capable with the language than in truth they are, which oftentimes presents a problem when students use the language for more than casual conversation. Consider a businessperson who regularly uses English for work, or a researcher who uses English at international conferences from time to time. Because English ability is so visible, it oftentimes easily gets confused with overall job competence. The businessperson sounds less capable in the world of business. The researcher sounds less credible at conferences.

There are unsympathetic listeners to consider too. A native English speaker in the real world outside of the classroom, with no experience in teaching a foreign language, and who is unaware of the mistakes of particular groups of learners may not understand the student. What had been intelligible in the classroom for the teacher and other students is suddenly no longer intelligible outside the classroom. Breakdowns in communication occur. This occurs so often because the teacher generally understands the mistakes made by his students.

And yet, it must be noted here: Too much attention to accuracy results in students unable to use the language. They breakdown sentences, translate, and look at the sentence from different angles to minimize mistakes, all of which results in very slow response times. The language becomes less able to carry out its purpose, namely to effectively communicate ideas and information.

Consider the following points in any lesson to improve accurate language production by the students:

1: Devote the early portions of the lesson to accuracy. Here students will first learn a new target structure, so attention to its near-perfect production takes precedence. The teacher should push for few to no mistakes.

2: Use repetition. This is very important, as repetition allows the target structure to become increasingly automatic. Drills for vocabulary improve recognition and correct pronunciation, conjugation, etc. Drills with grammar mean students can say the sentences with fewer and fewer mistakes, as well as improving response times.

3: Make students aware of the need for accurate language production. Some students may just want to speak and speak and speak in a conversation-based class, believing that the more they say the more capable at English they become. This simply isn't true. The teacher should explain to students the need for accuracy, and the problems that can and do result from too much to the flow of language (fluency).

4: Create a student-centered class. In other words, students should take responsibility for their learning. Peer correction and self-correction are important components in the classroom, as students generate language awareness and are better able to monitor for and minimize mistakes.