Of all the advice on Antimoon, “Do not make mistakes” is by far the most controversial. Hardly a month goes by without an e-mail or forum post from an angered English teacher, letting me know how stupid I am for telling learners to avoid mistakes. Don’t I realize that mistakes are a necessary element of all learning? Haven’t I heard the phrase “learn from your mistakes”? And why am I scaring learners into silence?
With this article, I hope to clear up the confusion once and for all.
The role of mistakes in language learning