Examples of student facing speaking placement test feedback:

Following on from the Professional Development session on level testing presented by Suzanne, here are some examples of how to present the speaking placement test feedback to the student in a student-friendly way.

It goes without saying that the original notes written in the test feedback form should be detailed and polite, focusing on what the student can do and the challenges, rather than ‘student X is not very good at’. This should make sharing the notes with the student that much simpler. For this reason, I don’t rewrite the notes in the first person, I leave them in the third person and explain the context to the student when I send them. You can, of course, rewrite the notes to the first person if you prefer.

NOTE: Tutor’s notes you put in the test feedback forms are NOT visible to the student. They are visible to tutors, the Fluentify staff and HR managers if applicable.

In all 3 scenarios below, the student scored higher in the written test than in the speaking placement test, meaning that I had to disagree with the suggested level when doing the feedback and then explain the discrepancy to the student.

Example 1

Suggested level: C1 / Actual: FL7 (High B1)

Hi Carolina, it was a pleasure to meet you today and please find below the feedback for your speaking placement test. It goes into some detail about your background and goals, as well your skills in listening and speaking in English. The tutors on the platform will be able to see this so that they have an accurate idea of where you are on your learning journey. As we discussed, there are some common errors that we should work on together, to bring your speaking accuracy up to the same level as your listening and vocabulary skills. It’s quite normal to have some difficulty in areas such as prepositions and certain grammar topics when speaking, especially when the goal is effective communication and fluency. I know you studied many of these areas in the past, so I’m sure that after reviewing a few of these topics together in class, you’ll be able to eliminate those errors and speak with even more confidence and accuracy. We can speak about your level and set your study plan in our next class, and do let me know if you have any questions on the feedback below or the homework I left you in the meantime.

Speaking placement feedback: Carolina is a very capable speaker and she expresses herself well on a range of topics using complex vocabulary. She uses English regularly at work and in her role in export credit financing it is crucial that communication is accurate and clear, which is why Carolina usually takes an English course each year. She's had a break for the last couple of years, which is why she feels a little rusty when it comes to speaking. Her listening skills are strong and she rarely has difficulty in this area, even with various US accents she encounters at work. Although her level is very good, it's true that she makes some of the speaking errors (for example, with be/get used to, conditionals and prepositions) that are common for native Italian speakers. However, given her history of studying English and her familiarity with the language, I'm sure that she'll be able to improve her speaking accuracy quickly and will be able to see clear results while on the platform. Carolina is looking to spend an hour a week having English classes initially and is motivated to get started.

 

Example 2

Suggested level: C1 / Actual: FL9 (mid B2)

Hi Alice, it was great to meet you this morning and, as promised, please find below the feedback on your speaking placement test. It provides some detail on your skills, current role and objectives. Other tutors on the platform will be able to see this feedback so that they have an accurate idea of where you are on your learning journey. As we discussed, it’s very normal for confidence and accuracy to slip a little over time if you’re not had the chance to use English very much, and this is something we can work on and build together. The two main objectives we’ll focus on are to increase your accuracy in both speaking and writing skills. We’ll review some grammar topics together as well as work on building your confidence overall, to give you the tools to feel comfortable using English at work. Please do let me know if you have any queries about these notes or the level assigned, and we can discuss them more in our next class together.

Speaking placement feedback: Alice works as a Corporate events manager and she currently uses English often at work, usually on the phone and in emails. She has a very solid foundation in English and it's evident that she has formally studied the language to a high level in the past. She is able to express her ideas on a wide variety of topics using some complex language and structures, and she expresses herself clearly. Her objectives are to improve her business related vocabulary and also her speaking fluency and accuracy, as she’s very conscious of making errors. Suggested topics that would benefit Alice are: events planning, giving presentations, negotiation, and polite interactions. Alice would benefit from reviewing some common B2 grammar topics (conditionals, narrative tenses, prepositions) in order to activate this language and help her improve her accuracy in verbal and written communication. I'm sure with a little practice, Alice will be able to see a marked improvement in her speaking & writing and I look forward to working with her on the platform.


Example 3

Suggested level: B2 / Actual: FL5 (low B1)

Silvia, it was a pleasure to meet you today and as discussed, I’d like to share the feedback on your level, following the speaking placement session today (please see below). As you’ll see, the notes go into some detail about your level, your skills and the challenges we spoke about in the session today. Other tutors will be able to see these notes in order to prepare the classes according to your level and needs. It’s quite normal to have a lower level in verbal communication and, as discussed, this is why I’ve set your speaking level at FL5, while your written and listening skills are certainly much higher. Having this as the starting point will allow us to review the B1 syllabus content in a verbal manner, to help improve your accuracy and build your confidence when communicating with others in English. As I’ve noted below, I’m sure you’ll see a clear improvement once we start working together and there are lots of tools and resources we can use to support you both in and out of class. I look forward to seeing you on Monday for our next session and thanks again for your time today.

Speaking placement feedback: Silvia is a senior manager in a corporate finance role in Italy, she manages a large team and uses English mostly in written form at work. Silvia is a keen and capable language learner, who has an excellent command of grammar and vocabulary in written form. It's communicating verbally that presents more of a challenge for Silvia, which is quite a common scenario and one which can easily be helped with practice. She makes some of the errors common to Italian speakers and despite knowing the grammar, it's difficult for her to assimilate all the knowledge she has when speaking, which results in some inaccuracies and a lower confidence levels. Occasionally, Siivia has to present to a multilingual team in English and she’d like to work on her confidence in such situations. She does a good job of successful communication, and it's the verbal accuracy that she'd like to focus on in class. Silvia would benefit from reviewing the B1/B2 grammar rules in a verbal manner, and practicing these in situations that relate to her role, for example when giving presentations and in meetings. I'm sure she'll quickly improve and will be able to see a real difference in her level in a short time.