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05

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QW 051612 “How to Give Feedback 1”

Repeatedly listening to audio files recorded during Skype pronunciation lessons makes me discover amazingly more than I thought. The more I listen to it, the more I learn from it not only as a learner but also as a teacher. Currently I’m trying to learn how to give feedback to a learner in English. The way my pronunciation teacher points out my weaknesses and proposes how to improve them is something I’d really like to master as an English teacher. Here’re some instances to be shared:

1) “One of the words that non-native speakers seem to be confused with is… For example, a case in point there is …”
If feedback starts with generalization, not personalization, a learner would feel comfortable receiving teacher’s corrective feedback.

2) “This is something that’s sort of unique to Japanese people… There’s usually a tendency for you guys to… This is a phenomenon, I would say, that’s unique to Japanese speaking people,… I just need you to know, Aya, you did that.”
Again, first generalization, then personalization.

3) “It’s almost negligible the way you said it, but just for clarity…”
“negligible” is a good adjective to state that a learner achieved 80-90% already, but still needs some more refinement.

4) “The reason, again, Aya, I would just predicate the reason why I notice all these nuances is because, again, I was…”
Firstly, the word choice of “nuances”, not “weakness” or “errors”, would make the statement easier for a learner to take. Another learning point for me as a teacher is that my pronunciation teacher repeatedly predicates why he notices every little thing in my mispronounced speech, which is because, in my interpretation, he’s trying to make his corrective feedback easier for me to take, and to avoid making me feel uncomfortable or even offended by his correction.

5) (Learner: Are you sure??) Positive. 110 percent.
Yeah, a teacher should sound confident in his or her teaching.

(40 minutes / 321 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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