Inspired Proficiency podcast

Corrective Oral Feedback with Joshua Cabral

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A note from Ashley:

This was recorded before all the schools began closing because of Covid-19. I hope you can still be inspired by what we share, an interview on feedback, a new game and new calm tip! But, I  understand if this is something you prefer to listen to later on. I will share this episode again when things are settled down.

I will release a special edition #Covid19wl episode by Friday of this week. Featuring Meredith White, Diego Ojeda, Samara Spielberg and Stephanie Carbaneau. Thank you to everyone who has been sharing in this difficult time. Please let me know if you have other requests for the next few weeks. Best, Ashley


Play Inspired Trivia: Visit Wayside Publishing to answer the trivia questions and enter the prize drawing! Winners announced on Twitter.

Welcome to Inspired Proficiency and thank you for joining us for episode 5 of season 2. As always, please tweet any takeaways and inspirations to #inspiredproficiency. Don’t forget that Ashley and her podcasts are also on Facebook in the group “Inspired Proficiency Teacher Collaboration” with lots of great ideas for the classroom.

Ashley just returned from an amazing conference where Stephanie Carbonneau was named the Maine Teacher of the Year.  Congratulations Stephanie! 

The Corona Virus is affecting us all. If you want to share out how it's affecting you, get on Twitter or Facebook and share your story! Stay healthy and try to be positive! Next week Ashley will put out a special Corona Virus Resources episode so stay tuned!

Today’s Interview:

Today Ashley talks with Joshua Cabral of World Language Classroom about Corrective Oral Feedback. Joshua presents at conferences and trains teachers in workshops as well as teaching French and Spanish to grades 1-8 in MA. Joshua is also a huge supporter of the podcast and Ashley is always excited to talk to him. He is doing a lot of traveling and presenting this year. He loves working with teachers and helping them learn and grow! Josh is a big fan of Starbucks, in case you hadn’t heard!


  • Any information you provide to students to show them where they are on their language learning journey
  • Feedback is supposed to help students move faster along the journey towards proficiency
  • Grades and correcting are what we think of a lot as feedback but it doesn’t have to be JUST that


    • Appreciation



    • Coaching



    • Evaluation


  1. Indication of where they are right now
  2. Summative assessments (sometimes)
  3. Proficiency mindset means it's more about where they started and where they want to go and where they are currently and the student is participating in setting these goals
  4. There’s always room for more goals
  • How do we choose what to give feedback on?
    • Errors are when a student has not acquired this skill yet, they’re guessing
    • Mistakes are when they HAVE acquired it, but they have an inaccuracy in the moment
      • Mistakes are more likely to happen in the moment (speaking) but less likely if students have time to think it through properly (writing)
    • FOCUS ON FIXING MISTAKES, not errors
  1. Clarification requests
    1. Avoid the native language as much as possible, keep it communicative in the target language
    2. Take a part of the incorrect sentence and focus on it with a pause or a rephrase to see if they really have acquired it or not to see if they can correct their mistake or if you need to provide more input for their error
    1. Similar to clarifying with a question
    2. Starting the sentence again for the student to repeat with a new order or new mindset, they might be able to fix their mistake again
    3. Changing SOMETHING about it might help them realize they made a mistake and they can have another opportunity
    4. Might be as simple as adding a pronoun they weren’t using, or it could be more complex related to tense
    5. Keep the communication going, avoid the native language
  2. Elicitation
    1. Repeat the sentence back, stress the inaccuracy
    2. It's very likely that a student will be higher at reading and listening than they are at speaking and writing so they will hear the mistake themselves and THEN be able to fix their error after hearing it repeated and stressed
  3. Repetition
    1. It all goes back to the modes where interpersonally they might be lower in their proficiency level, but interpretively they are higher and can now notice the mistake
    1. Recast is saying the correct form for the student
    2. Embedded means recasting the correct way but stretching it to add more information to keep the conversation going
    3. Very personalized feedback 
    4. Can be challenging for the ENTIRE class
  4. Embedded recast
    1. Maybe do it in stations so you can work with small groups
  • Tips for teachers
    • Take a couple days and listen to EVERYTHING students say and practice in your head to see if you can tell the difference between a mistake and an error. THEN stop correcting the errors and focus on the mistakes.
    • Once you’ve had your practice, pick ONE type of feedback to try first. Start small so you’re not overwhelmed and then work your way through all four!

Game Segment with Sarah Breckley: Musical Story Chairs

Calm Segment with Julie Speno: Yoga/ Tai Chi

Resources and links mentioned on the show:

  • Stephanie Carbonneau On Twitter @MmeCarbonneau, Maine Teacher of the Year
  • Larsen, Freeman, and Long researchers
  • Jennifer Gonzalez article “Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix it”
  • Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog by Jennifer Gonzalez, Single Point Rubrics

Detailed notes at

  • Yoga with Elmo in Spanish
  • Smile and Learn in Spanish and French


  • Joshua Cabral on Twitter @wlclassroom, on Instagram @wlclassroom, and his website and TPT store
  • Sarah Breckley on Twitter @SarahBreckley and her blog
  • Julie Speno on Twitter @MundoDePepita and her blog

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