Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Student Feedback

by AJ

I dont like authority. Never have. This is especially true in an education setting. I view my students as partners and myself as their coach, not their boss.

Ideally, I would like an open exchange between them and me. I would like to hear their ideas. Id like to hear what they enjoy doing and what they find useful. Id also like to hear what they dont like.

But its not so easy, especially in Asia. Asian students tend to be very respectful. This is nice... I appreciate it. But it also means they are reluctant to criticize or give suggestions. Since I will eventually give them grades, I cant blame them :)

So....

I will attempt to use this website as a feedback channel. I am giving the web address to all of my classes and Im encouraging them to leave anonymous comments.

Im not sure if any will respond. But hopefully they will. This would benefit my teaching tremendously... would help me to adjust to their needs. I think it would benefit readers of this website too. I dont like the division between "teachers" and "students". We are all teachers, we are all students. As professional instructors, we can all benefit tremendously from student feedback.

A less direct way to do this is to become a language student yourself. Study another language... any language. I, for example, learned a great deal from my failed attempts to study Thai at AUA.

Likewise, Im now experimenting with free reading in Spanish... and I love it. Im hooked. The research convinced me it was a good idea,.. but the joy of reading in Spanish (so easy and fun ) totally sold me. Its a great way to learn. Much, Much, MUCH better than studying lists of vocabulary and grammar rules. Ive tried that many times (with Spanish) and I never last more than two days.... then I get bored and quit. But Ive been reading for a week and am eager to read more. Ive finished two simple books (baby level) and will soon order several more off the internet.

So now I have approached free reading as both a teacher (reviewing the research) and a student (studying Spanish). As a final form of feedback, Id love to hear from my students. I wonder what they think of free reading.

Do they like it? Do they think it will help them? Will they continue to do it after the course ends?

.........

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