One of the most difficult tasks for teachers is listening to the learners when they are speaking and finding appropriate things to give them feedback on.
A common approach is to provide a delayed error correction slot when the learners have finished: writing some of the learners’ utterances on the whiteboard and then getting them to try to correct them. Whilst this can be effective, some tweaking can make it even more so.
1. Write the utterances in their context; it can be difficult to correct without this information.
2. Include examples of good language too; this praise can be motivating for the students and can be an opportunity for the students to learn from each other.
3.Think of ways to avoid the dead time involved with writing sentences up on the board. Can you use a tablet or, dare I say it, an OHT/OHP, to write the utterances down whilst the learners are speaking and then project it onto the board?
4. Blanking out the mistake can be effective, it makes learners question their ideas.
5. Listen out for what they are not saying and look for opportunities to upgrade and reformulate their language.
6. Encourage learners to think about how to say the same thing in another way.
7. Plan to get to this feedback stage with enough time to really explore the language and clarify things.
8. Give them feedback on their pronunciation too.
Look at an example of a whiteboard with some feedback from a speaking task about shopping below:
Has anyone else got any more tweaks?