logo ELT Concourse teacher development
Concourse 2

Strand 1: Giving and getting feedback


Where are you now?

Start with some introspection.  Here are some statements to do with how you give and get feedback now.  For each statement, decide if you agree fully with the statement, agree a bit or don't agree.  Then click on the table for some comments and suggestions.

feedback task

The idea here was not to say whether your current behaviour is in some way 'right' or 'wrong' but to get you to think about what you do and consider alternatives.

Obviously, even if you agreed fully with all 7 of these areas, you can't address them all at once so you need to select one, two or three that you think are important and skip down to the list below to find out what targets you might set yourself to develop this area of your teaching.  Then click on the links to go further in each area.

1: I’m not always sure whether I should correct an error, make a note for later or ignore it
Often, this is a judgement call and nobody gets it right all the time.  However, there are some ways to make our judgements more reliable and more consistent.  You need to develop a conscious system for pausing when you hear error and considering the best way to deal with it.  It's complex and depends on a number of variables.
Click here for more.
2: When my students are working on a task I usually keep out of the way as far as I can
The issue here is one of selecting the appropriate monitoring behaviour bearing in mind the needs of the class, the targets of the task and its nature.  There are some variables to consider and you need to develop a conscious procedure to make the right decision (most of the time).
Click here for more.
3: I use a lot of praise such as ‘Wonderful’, ‘Terrific’, ‘Great answer’ and so on because I want to motivate my learners
Motivation is fine but you can overdo it.  This is not a complex area to handle but you need to make a conscious decision to alter your classroom behaviour.  That isn't easy and will take a bit of time but it can be done.
Click here for more.
4: I try to avoid too much praise and just nod or say ‘OK’ when something is correct
Nobody is asking you to suddenly change your personality and become gushing and complimentary with your learners but you do need to consider whether injecting a bit more enthusiasm and energy might have a positive effect.  You also need to consider the quality of the feedback you are providing.
Click here for more.
5: I usually already know the answer to the questions I ask because I am asking them to find out how much they understand
It looks like you need to be a bit more adventurous and get out of your comfort zone a little more.  There's also an issue here with responding to your students as people not just language learners.
Click here for more.
6: I listen very carefully when my students talk to me to make sure they are getting the language right
There are, of course, times when you must do this but it is also very important that your learners see that you are responding to what they are saying as well as how they are saying it.
Click here for more.
7: At the end of tasks, I always go through all the items with the whole class so people can check how they did
There are times when this is an appropriate procedure but other times when it slows the lesson, becomes dull and predictable and takes the responsibility away from the learners.
Click here for some alternative ideas.

If you have another issue with giving feedback to learners that you would like some advice about, contact ELT Concourse and we'll see what we can do to help.