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How to Get Corrections From Native English Speakers

Kevin Naglich
Founder, Deliberate English

When you speak or write English, chances are you want native English speakers to correct you. You might hope that they automatically correct you, or you might ask them directly for corrections.

Unfortunately, what usually happens is that you get nothing. 

Why?

There are two main reasons why native speakers don't correct your English

  1. Most people are not English teachers, so they either aren't interested in correcting your speech or don't know how. The other is that...
  2. People don't think you're serious about your English. After all, if you're not serious, then why should they waste their time correcting you?

The first thing is outside of your control. You can't control how other people feel or if they have the skills or interest in helping you.

The second thing is something you can control. We're going to focus on that.

If you can make it look like you're serious about improving your English, you are more likely to get corrections.

How can you make it look like you're serious about improving your English? There is a very simple answer: spell check.

When you send emails, texts, post comments, or replies that are full of basic spelling errors, this is what native speakers think:

This person clearly does not care enough about English to even check their own spelling. Why would I spend time correcting them when I can hardly even read what they wrote?

If this was a person who is willing or able to give corrections, now you just lost your opportunity to get them.

Yes, spelling really is that important. 

Spelling is the first thing people will notice when you send a message, and it's the first thing they'll use to form an opinion about you. 

If that opinion is negative, goodbye corrections. 👋

On top of helping you get corrections, spell check will also help you learn how words are truly spelled, which will help your reading and writing in general. It might even help your pronunciation if you realize that words are spelled differently than you thought.

By the way, if some very generous person does take the time to correct you when you send a message full of spelling mistakes, guess what they are going to correct? 

Your spelling. 🥱

Getting spelling corrections from a native speaker is like asking Michael Jordan what kind of basketball you should buy.

Sure, he could give you a recommendation, but there are a million other ways to figure out which basketball you should buy. If Michael Jordan is going to help you do something, you should probably ask him for advice that only he can give.

Likewise, you can get spelling corrections automatically from anywhere. You can't get corrections on things like how natural something sounds or learn better expressions from just anywhere. 

Those are the types of corrections you want from a native English speaker.

You should enable spell check everywhere you write: 

  • Your phone
  • Your computer
  • Your internet browser
  • Word processing apps
  • etc.

To help you out, I included links to instructions that will help you enable English spell check on all of your devices below. If you don't see your device listed, you can use Google and search "how to enable spell check on YOUR DEVICE" to see for yourself.

To summarize:

  • You want corrections to help you learn, but you don't get enough
  • Native speakers don't correct you because they either aren't interested in being English teachers or don't think you're serious about English.
  • You can't control if they want to be an English teacher.
  • You can control if they think you're serious about English
  • The way to do that is to enable spell check.

Remember, even with perfect spelling, you can't control what other people do. 

Turning on spell check won't guarantee that 100% of native speakers correct you. It could, however, increase your odds from 0% to 50%. And that is well worth the 5 minutes it takes to enable spell check on your phone or computer. 

Need to speak more confident English at work? Use the form below to get my FREE 3-step eBook. It''ll teach you how to sound more natural, polite, and professional at work.

HOW TO ENABLE SPELL CHECK

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