EUROCALL 2014

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Differentiated forms of feedback for writing and speaking skills in an output-oriented approach

In 2013 the University of Groningen welcomed exchange students of Dutch from the Communication University of China. These students spend a year abroad at the Language Centre in cooperation with Dutch Studies of the Faculty of Arts in order to improve their language skills and also to study the literature and culture of the Low Countries in depth.

A CLIL approach was chosen whereby the Language Centre designed a website where students were asked to publish articles, blogs, interviews and audio and / or video recordings. These contributions are part of writing and speaking courses during which students raise their Dutch skills from lower-intermediate (B1) to advanced level (C1) by the end of the second semester of 2014. This output-oriented approach was chosen to prepare these students for a professional working environment as media experts and journalists, and also to involve their fellow students in Beijing by reading, listening and commenting on their posts.

To help students become aware of the mistakes in their contributions - written or oral – performance samples of the different levels of the CEFR were introduced. In addition, a gradual feedback system was developed that allows them to critically assess their own contributions. This system is embedded in the workflow management system where various content types are adapted to the specific needs. The open source content management system chosen allows the integration and adaption of modules for feedback purposes as well as implementing the CEFR assessment criteria. This mechanism is designed for speaking and writing tasks, whereas the audio and video recordings are published elsewhere (e.g. on their own YouTube or Soundcloud channel) and embedded into the website. The website is mobile responsive because most of the students access the website through their mobile devices.

This presentation will briefly explain the web project and the different components and modules, the gradual development of the various posts at intermediate and advanced levels, and the different feedback mechanisms provided for the different content types. The output-oriented approach will demonstrate that the publishing platform to train students to become journalists and media experts is well suited to this type of students.

Author(s):

Ronald Ohlsen    
Language Centre
University of Groningen
Netherlands

Senior Lecturer of Dutch

Jeroen van Engen    
Language Centre
University of Groningen
Netherlands

Senior Lecturer of Dutch

 

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