What are we teaching? Applying error analysis to school activities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The vision of the child as an active learner whose behaviors (including “errors”) are evidence of thinking ‐ of the discovery of new rules ‐ has been a central message of research on oral and written language during the past two decades. In literacy education, Clay, Goodman, and others have urged teachers to look at children’s errors or miscues as indicators of the complex processing going on in children’s minds. This paper aims to extend and broaden this use of error analysis. Observing how children perform during varied literacy activities can not only allow clues to their linguistic rules for using oral and written language, it can also allow clues to the sociolinguistic rules children are discovering in the classroom ‐ rules teachers may not be aware that they are teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalReading Research and Instruction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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