English, Strategy, Leipzig
English, Strategy, Leipzig

 The Pursuit of Perfection: error correction in the Callan Method

When it comes to correction during a Callan Method lesson the key word is ‘strategy’. Whether you naturally gravitate towards positive reinforcement, constructive criticism or free conversation, you shouldn’t leave error correction to chance.


Focusing on one linguistic element and explicitly correcting the selected target item could be one of various correction strategies.The communicative approach, for example, stipulates very close to no explicit correction or none whatsoever. It relies mainly on creating a learning opportunity where the achievement of a communicative goal is the measure of learners’ success. 

PoP – the Pursuit of Perfection

The Callan Method has its own very specific strategy for error correction and that is correcting every single error every single time. I call it ‚the Pursuit of Perfection‘. Correction by imitation (not…, but…), correction consistency (listening to the students and carefully monitoring their speech) and efficiency (seamless implementation) are looked at very closely during our regular accreditation renewal process. 


As with nearly every concept or idea, the application is often more important than the idea itself, so let me point out a few things to bear in mind about the PoP.

  • The ultimate goal is to make students feel empowered and confident to use the new language well at any level of fluency. 
  • Perfection does not necessarily mean being accent free.
  • Constant correction during selected parts of the lesson does NOT mean constant correction all the time in all conversations.
  • Remember the ABC: Always Be Communicating… Explain to the students what you’re doing and why. Talk to them about how they feel about it. Guide them towards success.
  • Letting go can occasionally be the most productive option. Perfection is what we’re after but learning is a process and sometimes we have to let things be. The Callan Method framework factors that in. 
  • Aim for perfection
  • Correct by imitation
  • Always Be Communicating
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