Research - Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

Setting Objectives

Rationale for using and how to use objectives

  • Objectives help both the teacher and students focus attention to what is most important to learn (Duchastel, 1979; Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001)
  • Supplying objectives in advance gives students a clear direction and something to work toward (Woolfolk, 2001).
  • Robert Mager (1975) states that objectives should also include conditions and performance criteria.

For ELLs it is important to have both language and content objectives (Chamot & O'Malley, 1994; Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2008; Hill & Flynn, 2006; Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989).

  • ELLs need both language and content and teachers must give them both within the limited amount of time of the school day.
  • Without a clear focus, students become overwhelmed and their ability to acquire language is hindered. Barriers that hinder language acquisition are known as the "affective filter" (Krashen and Terrell, 1983).
  • Teachers can activate and build on students' prior knowledge in the content area. Jim Cummins research on prior knowledge
  • Language structure and form should be learned in authentic contexts rather than through contrived drills in language workbooks.

Providing Feedback

  • Feedback should be corrective in nature. Students need help understanding why they are wrong in order to avoid making the same mistakes in the future (Bangert-Drowns, Kulik, Kulik, & Morgan, 1991; Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001).
  • Feedback should be specific to criterion and personalized to the student (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; Woolfolk, 2001).
  • When teaching ELLs, feedback must be comprehensible, useful and relevant. Rather than immediate correction, modeling correct grammar by restating is most effective (Oliver, 2003; Schoen & Schoen, 2003; Short, 1991; Hill & Flynn, 2006).