Techniques for Giving Feedback


1- You should interrupt learners when they make a mistake or error when:

– You want learners to be accurate concerning new structures.

– The majority of learners are constantly making the same error.

2- You can give delayed feedback in the following situation:

– If the aim of the activity is fluency and communication.  Make a note of errors and correct them later on.

3- Some errors should remain uncorrected by the teacher, for example:

– In the middle of a group work or role play.

– When a shy learner is daring to communicate.

– If a learner is trying to express a complex or personal idea.

4- You correct learners in different ways according to the tasks given, for example:

– During fluency activities, errors are totally ignored.

– If the aim is accuracy, you might correct more frequently.

5- You vary your correction strategies according to learners’ personalities by:

– Correcting shy learners less, and encouraging them to communicate.

– Correcting stronger learners more, so they are challenged.

6- You help learners to self-correct or correct each other’s errors by:

– Making a gesture, stopping learners, giving a question.

– Indicating to the nature of the error, by saying e.g. past tense.

– Stressing the incorrect form.

– Repeating the sentence with a questioning intonation.

– Asking other learners for the correct form.

– Asking one of the learners to write errors and correct them at the end of activity.

7- Some advantages of self-correction and peer correction:

– You know how much learners do and do not know.

– Learners feel more confident and independent.

– Learners know where they are.

8- Some disadvantages of self-correction and peer correction:

– Some learners might feel superior to others.

– The same two or three brilliant learners might answer and dominate the class interactions. The one who is corrected might feel frustrated.

9- Some practical ways of giving feedback on written work:

– Dotting errors and asking learners to correct them / using correction symbols.

– Providing correct answers for learners / correcting specific errors and leaving others.

– Getting learners to exchange their copies / praising learners’ writing for its strength.

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