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Backlog Analysis

You know from your own experience how costy it is to prepare and correct English tests. Even worse so if in the next test you get the feeling that your students have not learned anything from their mistakes. But how can they learn from their mistakes? Often there is so much wrong that students simply don't know where to start.

With our [PDF] backlog list we want to help your students to unlearn their mistakes systematically.

That's the way it goes:

In our backlog analysis, you'll find 26 typical mistakes. They are numbered, so when correcting tests you can simply use the numbers to show your students what's wrong.


A student wrote: My bike is expensiver than yours.

The comparative form of the adjective is not correct - write number 8 beside the word.

Give your students a copy of our [PDF] backlog list, so that they can find out where their problems are.

Encourage your students to practise the topic where they've made the most mistakes. (The right column of the analysis can be used to make notes on where to find an explanation to that topic in students' textbooks or grammar references). If a student made the same number of mistakes in various topics, specify only one topic. Some topics are very extensive (e.g. 15 and 16 - the tenses); to keep the topic manageable, you should specify it in more detail (e.g. one certain tense only).

Advice: For every student, write down the number of the topic they should practise. This way you can acknowledge and reward students' efforts in the next test.

What help will you find on ego4u?

In the study tips category on ego4u, you will find our online backlog analysis. Students can click the topics to view the links to relevant exercises and explanations on ego4u.

A more direct way of getting to the desired topic is by typing http://www.ego4u.de/number in the url bar. (Note that the word 'number' must be replaced by the number from the backlog analysis.)

Some further thoughts ...

Why not write a test only about a certain topic, e.g. word order. For that test, students have to revise and practise English word order. When correcting the test, only mark mistakes in word order and ignore all other mistakes.

[PDF] Backlog List in PDF format (60,33 KiB)