Gabrielle Luoni, UTS: Insearch
Giving explicit feedback on speaking errors – the more, the better

This paper discusses ongoing research of teachers’ feedback to ESL students’ spoken errors in the classroom. It has been found that teachers use implicit correction at a higher rate than explicit correction, yet uptake by students when explicitly corrected is far higher. Knowing this prompted me to use explicit correction a lot more in my own classroom. I was always interested in students’ response to this plus I wanted to encourage students to give feedback to each other. Initially, my approach was to note errors individual students made when they spoke to the whole class, whether it was for preparing for speaking assessments or giving feedback after group discussions. After, I explicitly corrected them using specific metalanguage. As students became familiar with this technique I extended this by students giving feedback to each other. These interactions were recorded so I could later listen and note if students used the same lexis I had used. Through individual discussions and questionnaires, I analysed students’ attitudes to being given feedback.

Overall, results were very promising as students did use metalanguage to correct their peers which could indicate that if they can recognise errors of others, it might be effective in improving their own speaking. Plus responses to the questionnaire showed that most students felt it was a very positive experience. These results reinforce the importance of using explicit feedback for speaking and indicate that students not only appreciate this but actually want more.

Gabrielle Luoni is an academic English teacher at UTS Insearch which is the pathway provider to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. She has a bachelor’s degree from Massey University, plus a Diploma of Education from Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Kangwon National University in South Korea. She is interested in developing students’ awareness of their speaking skills.