Teaching Thomas: Recasts

As a language teacher, a successful recast is a big deal. A recast is when you a correct a student’s mistake by repeating it using the correct form without bringing attention to the fact that you’ve changed the form. In my most recent session with Thomas, I found myself doing a recast in reply to something he said and it actually worked!

Thomas:  Which color do you like more gooder? That one or that one? (he points to a blue and a green marker)

Eric:  I like the blue one better. (with added emphasis on “better”)

Thomas:  This one? You like this one better? (he holds up a blue crayon)

Eric:  Yep, that one. I like that one better.

Of course, five minutes later, he returned to saying “more gooder”. Oh wells. I guess we can only expect so much out of a six year old. But it’s definitely encouraging to see that he is listening to what I’m saying and absorbing it, even though it’s only temporary. Hopefully with repeated recasts, the effects will be permanent.


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