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Handling Feedback and Corrections

Both partners should opt for polite, constructive feedback. The manner of delivery and type of feedback should be agreed on beforehand. For example, you might discuss which aspects (pronunciation, grammar, lexis, etc.) require special attention. Should, for instance, mistakes be corrected immediately, or should all feedback be saved for the end of the meeting so as not to interrupt the flow of communication?

 

In general, when giving feedback, it should be differentiated between slips of the tongue (mistakes) and errors which repeatedly appear and which the learner is not aware of. The former can be largely ignored, while the latter should always be addressed.

However, you should take care not to constantly interrupt your partner. Especially with beginners of a language, mistakes occur frequently, however, it is still important to develop a fluent conversation in which both partners are able to express what they want to say.

It is also necessary to be patient and allow your partner to find words and formulations on his or her own. If, however, the conversation falters too much, you can, of course, help your partner out. Should your partner be rather timid and frightened to make mistakes, implicit corrections, which do not disturb the flow of speech, are advisable. Repeating the incorrectly formulated or enunciated part of speech in its correct form during the conversation can be an effective approach in such cases.

It is advisable to firstly test and evaluate different feedback and correction methods to find one that both partners approve of.

Despite the importance of constructive feedback, both partners should first and foremost concentrate on the content of what the respective other is trying to express and not focus solely on the mistakes, so that a positive conversation can be maintained.