Core practice number six is provide appropriate feedback in speech and writing on various learning tasks. The ACTFL Core Practices webinar with Dr. Eileen Glisan focuses on providing corrective feedback in oral interactions. Corrective feedback, or reponses to student utterances containing an error, is a tool to scaffold learning for students. What types of feedback do you use?
There are six types of corrective feedback discussed in the webinar.
- Explicit correction is where you simply provide the correct answer. You should say…
- Recasting is where you repeat the learner’s output minus the error.
- Clarification requests are where you indicate to the learner that there is a problem with the language output. The answer was not understood at all. Pardon me, huh?
- Metalinguistic feedback involves explicitly stating that there is a mistake in the output and asking the student to find and correct the mistake. For example, it’s an English cognate, or you need to use the past tense.
- Elicitation is where after hearing the learner’s output, you repeat the sentence, pausing at the place where a mistake was made, giving the learner an opportunity to correct his or her own mistake by concentrating only on that word, or grammatical construction.
- Repetition is where you repeat exactly what the learner has uttered, signaling the error with your voice, giving the learner a chance to focus on that particular part of the utterance and fix it.
According to the ACTFL webinar on Core Practices most teachers use recast for corrective feedback, however it is the least effective for uptake by students. The webinar states that elicitation, or repeating the utterance up until the error and then pausing for the student to self correct, is the most effective.
The implications from a study by Shrum and Glisan in 2016 are the type, quantity, and frequency of corrective feedback depends on the objectives, the proficiency level, anxiety issues, and personal characteristics of the learner. Shrum and Glisan state that students benefit most when the feedback they receive focuses on comprehensibility of the message not just on accuracy of form.
Teachers report using the recast method of providing corrective feedback about 55% of the time. Do learners recognize the error when the teacher uses recast? When my youngest son was about four, I told him to clean his room. He told me “I doded it already.” I said you did it already? and he replied “yes, I doded it already.” So, once more I said “you did it already?” At this point he got frustrated and said “I already tolded you, I doded it already!” Current update, he is now 24 years old and no longer says I doded it already but he still doesn’t clean his room.
I put in this graphic to illustrate my story and then thought you could have kids list all the things they see in this picture and then compare their list with a partner. Or you could play Veo,Veo. Have a student secretly pick an item in the picture and have the other students start guessing, by asking questions to be the first to find out what the item is. They become the next leader. Students could practice providing corrective feedback to each other while they compare their room to this one.
Ideally we are not the only ones providing corrective feedback. The goal is for learners to be resources for one another. I encourage students to help their counterparts in interpersonal activities. If they ask a question and their partner doesn’t respond they can give an example answer and ask the question again. Another strategy is to provide a few possible answers to your partner. If we model feedback cues and methods of clarifying meaning for the students, they will use them as they engage in pair or group work and be able to help their fellow learners, thus increasing the role of students in their own language learning.