Language feedback – capturing, revising, making it count

Posted: August 21, 2015 in ELT methodology
Tags: ,

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Every teacher has their own favourite activities and methods, and the thing that I’m very passionate about is language feedback (or ’emerging language’, as it is sometimes called): capturing what the students say, upgrading it, and revising it extensively (I guess up to 20-30% of most of my classes are spent working with the language earlier ‘captured’ during the students’ production). I’m a big fan of the posts about error correction by Jonny Ingham (e.g. this one and this one) in which he shares his highly visual way in which he approaches feedback. But I personally do it slightly differently, using a few software tools.

A couple of months ago I learnt from this post of Tekhnologic how to consistently approach revising a database of questions in a fun way that involves no extra effort in terms of lesson preparation, using an Excel template that produces revision games. I wrote a post about the template, but what I’ve since found talking to colleagues was that most of them prefer to hear about the template and the games from me, and see an example of how to use it, and not read an email or a post. So yesterday, after I actually chatted about it three times with three different people, I got the idea to record a video showing how to work with the template and how I personally approach feedback. I’m not sure it wasn’t a disastrous idea, but it has been made, so here it comes!

Part 1 (~15 mins) basically just summarizes the previous post (how to produce cards for games using the Excel template, how to import flashcard sets from quizlet, and the rules of the games themselves).

Part 2 (~15 mins) is about my way of dealing with feedback consistently (I show what my feedback database looks like, how I share it with the students using cloud storage, and how I approach revision). My routine is pretty basic. I think some people will recognize what they are doing, and probably others will think it won’t work because it’s boring. Regarding this second point, it seems that at least my learners (adult Business English students) find it not boring but predictable (which is good) and, going by the surveys that I conducted, most of them see this work as the most valuable element of the course.

If you watch the video, let me know what you’d do differently and why, and how you personally approach this issue in class.

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Comments
  1. Marc says:

    On my to read (watch) list and very much looking forward to it, too. Thanks so much!

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