Treating ESL Writing Errors: Balancing Form and Content

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María Cristina Giraldo de Londoño
Ronald Alan Perry


The general acceptance of Communicative Language Teaching has generated confusion with respect to the role of writing in the ESL curriculum, the usefulness of ESL writing error treatment, and the form that treatment should take. An imaginary conflict between the goals of encouraging students’ communicative use of L2 and that of promoting formal correctness often discourages ESL teachers from dealing with writing errors that may be easily treatable during early stages of learning but which, left untreated, continue to affect students’ performance at much higher academic levels. By careful application of appropriate techniques, teachers can provide error treatment while promoting habits of self monitoring, revision, and autonomy.

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How to Cite
Giraldo de Londoño, M. C., & Perry, R. A. (2008). Treating ESL Writing Errors: Balancing Form and Content. HOW, 15(1), 107–123. Retrieved from
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Author Biographies

María Cristina Giraldo de Londoño, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Pereira

María Cristina Giraldo holds a B.Ed. in modern languages from Universidad del Quindío and a master’s degree in TESOL from Universidad de Caldas. She has been working with English language learners for 29 years. Her research interests include second language literacy among Colombian English pre-service teachers and the application of new technologies to language teaching. She is currently an associate professor working with the English Language Teaching program at the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira in Colombia.

Ronald Alan Perry, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Pereira

Ronald Alan Perry holds a master’s degree in TESOL from Universidad de Caldas. He has taught English at bilingual schools in Manizales and Pereira and is currently an associate professor working with the English Language Teaching program at the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. He wrote a course textbook on Anglophone Civilization and has also published articles on African American English and foreign language acquisition.


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