Berne suggest that « if we cannot receive any positive strokes we will look for negative strokes (Reece I, Walker S, 2002 :377). I learned that any positive or negative feedback in the classroom is better than ignoring the students.
In my French classes, students need confidence to communicate in a foreign language. Students come to a course with previous learning experiences which may sometimes have been negative. I try to ensure that they feel comfortable and secure when they make a mistake as part of the Maslow’ s hierarchy of Needs (Chapman, 1995).
When giving negative feedback, the Medal and Missions approach (Petty, 2009) is the most effective feedback that I found without damaging self-esteem of the students. Students need to know if they are doing well and what needs improving. When giving corrections, I find always something positive before giving direction for improvement rather than being negative. For example, in my class, when they make mistakes in grammar structure or pronunciation, I try to give the correction points but in constructive way. This is mainly done verbally but also sometimes through positive gestures or facial expression.
An effective communication with students is the use of the Transactional Analysis philosophy (Berne, 2006), as I recognize the three ego states of Parent, Adult and Child depending on the situation. Students in my class can be worried when speaking or reading French and tend to behave as child states saying “I can’t do it, it’s too complicated”. I often have to use the Parent state to reassure them.
According to Rogers (2007) good quality feedback is a critical part of learning which gives the opportunity to learners to get recognition, to improve their performance, and increase their motivation and to set new goals. [continues]
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