Performance feedback for B1+ students and higher


Giving an appraisal to my students have always been one of the most painful and demanding points. Fortunately, I’ve recently stumbled into some pretty nice activities with my Business English students which from now on are making this process less stressful and more considerate.

Today I’m posting about my idea on how to make this procedure beneficial for both parties.

The procedure is pretty simple. It consists of 4 main stages.

First. You ask your students to complete the form with their answers. Answers can be detailed or brief, but be sure that you can make most of them.

– Have the last 6 months (9 months – depending on the course) been good / bad / satisfactory for you?  Why?

– What do you consider are the most important achievements in the last six months?

– Which parts of language training interest you the most? The least? Why?

– How could your performance be improved from now on?

Completing this form might be assigned as homework and in this case I insist on giving students enough freedom to write more detailed answers.

Second. Arrange an interview with a student, it can be a face-to-face meeting, though I know for some teachers this meetings turn out to be too time-consuming. On the other hand, I also know that the game’s worth candles. Ask you student to comment on each point, prepare follow-up questions and make sure you listen attentively. Take notes if necessary.

Third. Once you’ve listened to your student’s answers, you’re ready to comment on his / her performance. Start with good points. For example, he or she has significantly improved his / her writing skills, or her homework assignment have been always completed in time. Encourage your students as much as possible. Having mentioned positive moments, you’re ready to proceed with some negative points if any. Be positive even at this stage. I believe, we need to be diplomatic and caring.

Fourth. Essentially, this stage can be called ‘Setting objectives’ for the next 6 or 9 months. Having obtained all the answers and student’s comments, you’re ready to set objectives and look at things that the student can improve. Ask if you’re both happy with the decisions and things you’ve agreed upon.

Finally, you have just killed two birds with one stone. Discussing performance and setting objectives for the next few months. The idea works okay for B1+ students and higher. You can also change a form and make it more specific, relevant to your students and the course you’re involved in for the time being.

Personally, I’ve worked with the form 3 times so far and I’m delighted with the results. I got some precious feedback and incredibly beneficial insight in how to speak about the past and the future. In terms of teaching, of course.

Thanks for stopping by!


Giving feedback using voice recording service

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to be blogging about a trick which one of my fellow-teachers Viacheslav Kushnir from St. Pete has recently recommended to me, and this compelling and heartfelt ‘thank you’ goes to him, he really deserves it. I do believe, his tip is worth sharing.

I’ve been away for some not very convincing reasons, however one of them still remains the best escape from explaining the real state of things which is obviously lack of quality time for anything. Let alone blogging or reading something for continuing professional development. And a quick chit-chat about my groups with Slava has changed everything.

In order to boost my students’ fluency and accuracy both in writing and speaking I’m bombing them with a lot of tasks. Writing emails, reports and ‘making-up questions for follow-up discussions’, letting them record themselves in order to give them more opportunities for speaking, and so on and so forth. Since I’ve got three groups, it should not be a problem for me, should it? But it is a big problem. So I was wondering if there’s anything that can be considered as a way to get out of all of this.

Slava recommended that I recorded my feedback for my students. I know, I know, a lot of teachers recommend peer correction first and then teacher’s correction. However, when you need to give ‘short and sweet’ feedback, that’s the way to do it. I usually use for it. It’s pretty straightforward and does not need any registration. My students use the site for recording themselves (there’s an option to save a link to the recording and then to share); I use the site for recording feedback for my students, then I save the link and send to them.

What’s my take on that? First and foremost, it’s a really time-saving activity. Given it’s related to using technology which is really valuable for my IT students and can’t be overestimated. Secondly, the feedback from my students is surprisingly positive, they find it useful and helpful. And, what’s more, it gives them one more listening activity. What I always do is I never forget to thank my students for the piece of work they’ve done, be it writing or speaking. Whatever.

That’s all what I wanted to blog about today.

Thanks for stopping by!