From Teflpedia

An attempt (/ətempt/) is a type of error that is made with language the student hasn't yet acquired or learned, and therefore is a reach for them. For example, a low-elementary student might say *"Yesterday I go to the supermarket", but if they have not yet come across or studied the past tense, they clearly should not be expected to use that correctly. This is distinguished from a mistake.

Students generally should be encouraged to produce language that's within their abilities.

Attempts were first distinguished from other errors in a classic paper by Pit Corder (1967)[1]


  1. Corder, S. P. (1967). The Significance of Learners’ Errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 5, 161-170