Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback

1. What’s monitoring, correcting and feedback? Why is it necessary? Monitoring is concerned with observing learners when they are engaged in pair or group work activities. Feedback is providing learners with information on their performance. Feedback consists of error correction and praise for what learners have achieved (linguistically and communicatively). It can also be a platform for further new language input arising out of the activity. Monitoring and feedback should also take place during the development of any skill in the classroom but let’s focus on the SPOKEN English.

Teachers should monitor for various reasons. Here are two: 1. You need to check that learners understand the activity/task and are fully engaged in it. 2. You need to notice how learners are performing in order to provide the most useful feedback.

Think of 3 more reasons why you should monitor. Then read the list below and tick the ones you thought of, and put an asterisk * by any that are new: You need to be aware how learners are interacting with each other. Noticing good or bad group dynamics is clearly relevant to future activities. You need to know when an activity has run its course and should be brought to an end.

Roseli Serra - March 2009

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Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback You need to be available to deal with learners’ queries about language or the activity. Learners expect you to monitor. They see it as an important part of your responsibility, and if they sense you aren’t listening to them or that you aren’t interested in what they have to say, this could have an adverse effect on their motivation or their relationship with you. With monolingual groups in particular, you need to check that learners aren’t using their own language unnecessarily. WAYS OF MONITORING: A. Walk around the room and stand in front of or behind pairs/ groups of SS – Standing behind is less intimidating – and then take notes of their mistakes B. Sit down at least part of the time but be aware of what is going on and prepare to approach and intervene when / if necessary. C. Try not to attach yourself too closely to one group/ pair. Give EQUAL ATTENTION TO ALL YOUR SS!

Feedback has been associated largely with error correction, but that it is only one reason for its use. Equally important is the opportunity it gives the teacher to praise learners for effective language use, and discuss how well they achieved their communicative goals and contributed on a personal level. In some cases it will lead into a new cycle of language input arising out of the activity. This input can be some of the most useful and memorable language you teach, and many learners view feedback as one of the most crucial parts of their learning experience. Giving constructive feedback to a student is very important as learners need to feel that they are making progress. Giving feedback to individuals in a group needs especially careful handling because you should not embarrass a learner in front of peers or appear to favour some rather than others. In general then it is better not have a reflex action of responding with judgement after each student contribution, just thank the student concerned. Make a note of the most important errors made during the class and then round these up at the end of the lesson and deal with them without naming names. Make sure that you have an opportunity to speak to each student individually on a regular basis to provide personal feedback. Roseli Serra - March 2009 2

Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback

Jenny Rogers (2001, Adults Learning. Buckingham: Open University Press) says feedback should: • be prompt, closely following the event • contain encouragement • be specific about why something was good or was not up to standard and what the student can do about it • not focus on too many different aspects at the same time • be unambiguous and clear. Try to involve the student in self-assessment so that the learners set their own goals and can tell you how they think they are measuring up. They can then ask for advice and take some responsibility themselves. Remember that feedback is not helpful if it is: • vague • criticises the person rather than the performance: “you are not good at…” should be rephrased: “this aspect needs more work” • sets unrealistic standards. Remember always to note what the learner has done well so as not to strike a negative note. Use errors as learning platforms rather than the basis of criticism. End the session by agreeing on concrete action points and timings. Don’t forget to check that the student has understood the feedback and the steps required to be taken.

Ways of giving feedback: Start by giving the class some positive feedback on what learners achieved. Give learners a minute to think about their work. E.G. Were they pleased about in the speaking activity they have just done? Extract the maximum benefit from an activity by: demonstrating how the activity can be exapanded. Use the e-board/ white board. Write up a mixture of correct and incorrect language that your SS have produced and then ask them to individually/ in pairs ou in groups do the correction, paircheck, etc. Use the e-board for the language feedback and make it fun – competitions, finding the odd one out, etc. Individual short mini –meetings with your SS Learner diaries Tutorials/ Counseling Encourage SS to take risks

Roseli Serra - March 2009

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Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback

Why do learners make errors? Although errors in the past were considered something to be avoided, it is now widely recognized that they are an essential part of progress, and that ‘getting it wrong’ is often a step along the road to ‘getting it right’. Some of the causes are: L1 transfer – learners translate from their mother tongue False friends : E.G. pretend / pretender (different meanings) Pronunciation problems that may cause misunderstanding in communication Collocations and phrases may come across inaccurately: E.G. I did it by my on / he lost the bus and had to walk. Students are losing their fluency when they speak because they are scared of making mistakes The desire to communicate Overgeneralization Ex: Live / lived so make / maked There are many problems associated with error correction in the EFL classroom. For example, every student wants to improve their accuracy but not every student likes being corrected. Another common problem is that students and teachers often disagree on the amount of error correction that there should be in class. As should be clear from these two examples, for most teachers today it is not a case of deciding whether there should be error correction or not, but the much more difficult task of getting the amount of error correction just right for each individual level, age group, nationality, personality type, learning style etc. What sort of errors do learners make? 1. Grammar, morphology and syntax ( tenses, plurals, word order, verb patterns, etc.) 2. Lexis: words and phrases 3. Style/ appropriateness 4. discourse organization: the way text is connected 5. pronunciation: sounds, stress, rhythm

Roseli Serra - March 2009

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Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback

to help you deal with error treatment Ways of making sure you use the right amount of error correction 1. Think about all your classes and put them in order of how much error correction you think they need, from the class most in need of error correction (e.g. students stuck on the Intermediate plateau or ones who will be writing dissertations in English) at the top of the list to the class that least needs it (students who pause for a long time before they speak or students who had lots of grammar but little speaking practice in their previous English lessons) at the bottom of the list. 2. Write error correction stages on your lesson plan 3. Have a gap at the top of your lesson plan that says "error correction stage(s)" 4. Set a target for how many errors you will correct, how many error correction stages you will have and how much time you will spend on error correction and write it at the top of your lesson plan 5. Make a list of error correction techniques you would like to try, e.g. getting students to bet on whether each sentence is right or wrong 6. Always monitor for student errors and write them down, especially during pair and group work when you are freer to do so 7. Write down your personal criteria for when you will correct errors

Roseli Serra - March 2009

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Sociedade de Cultura Inglesa da Madalena e Cultura Young

INPUT SESSION - 3 Part 2 – CIM– UNIDADE 1 LEARNER TRAINING Monitoring and Giving Feedback Suggested reading: 1) http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Upendran-Improvement.html 2) Swan, M – Learner English – CUP 2001 3) Thornboury, S- HOW TO TEACH GRAMMAR- Longman 2003 4) Nolasco, R – Conversation – OUP 1987 5) Tanner, R – Tasks for Teachers – Longman 1998 6) UR, P – A course in language teaching – CUP 2001

Roseli Serra - March 2009

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