How to improve the speaking skills of individual pupils in secondary schools in classes of 30 pupils?  2


In September 2014 I started as a Ph.D-candidate at Leiden University (ICLON) in the context of the Dudoc-alfa program, supervised by Prof. Dr. Jan van Driel en Dr. Ir. Fred Janssen. The main purpose of the Dudoc-Alfa program is the improvement and innovation of foreign language acquisition in secondary schools.

Focus research: speaking skills
My research focuses on feedback on speaking skills in foreign languages. Many language teachers in secondary schools have difficulty paying attention to the performance of each pupil and adjusting their feedback on each individual. What type of feedback is effective, when and how to give?

Feedback: What, when, how?
If these are questions you are also interested in, as a teacher or as a researcher, please contact me to share your ideas, opinions, advices and wishes:

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Dear Xiuping, Thank you for sharing your usefull ideas! I agree with all your points. Your post can’t be too long for me! 🙂 It makes me very curious about your experiences with recordings and the way you organise it. I’ll see you for a cup of coffee/tea if you like!
Best wishes, Esther

I would love to share something here as a teacher for discussion:
Basic principle: Feedback can be in various forms but it would be the most useful when it aims at the objectives of the skills you want your students to achive. Keeping the original objectives in mind will help both the teacher and students forming a consensus where to go.

To achieve the goals, the feedback needs to be firstly timely. It works the best before the students forget what they did.

Secondly, the feedback needs to be positive and encouraging. Meanwhile, students need to know what to improve. Only ” good jobs!” and ” great” sound good to students but they need to get a clear indication to improve.

Third, try to give feedback in a not-so -serious atmosphere. To do that, the teacher needs come up with one’s own style of feedback. It can be a funny style , coming with various forms, face-toface feedback, audio feedback , writen comments etc..

Giving feedback is also a good means to interact with students. Sometimes my students record what they speak and send it to me. I will send back my audio feedback . It brings me and my students closer.

Need to stop before it turns to long ; )


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