A backchannel for ESL

Further to previous backchannel posts, the point at hand was really “could a backchannel be used in an ESL speaking class (English as a second language).

A backchannel, using  eg Todaysmeet,  could be used in numerous ways in the ESL classroom. Students or participants could:-

  •  share in real taking notes on the content of the speech
  • get a group of students to write in the backchannel the speech content in both the spoken language and the native langage
  • translate all or part of the speech
  • Using postive feedback and appropriate language,  comment on the accent used, speed of speaking, understandability, general delivery of the speaker etc
  • Student evaluation of the speaker and their speech or conversation
  • Students could add a question in the backchannel and the ESL speaker interpret it into English
  • note any confusion with translation, or words not understood at all
  • the teacher could go back through the chat to ascertain the understanding of the audience, the confusion, the notes gathered etc and where further teaching or learning is required.

What ideas do you have for using a backchannel in the ESL classroom? Could you please share them in a comment below. Thanks


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