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Interactive video lesson plan for: English at University: 15 - Giving and getting feedback

Activity overview:

Mary's in Professor Not's office today to get feedback on her work. Will she be happy with the grade she's been given or is it a case of 'could do better'?
For more, visit our website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/english-at-university/ep-161219

Welcome back to English at University – the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year at university. It's almost the end of Mary's first term at the University of Studies. She's settled in well and made some new friends but today's the day to find out how well her studying's going when she gets some feedback from Professor Not.

Prof. Not
Hello Mary. Take a seat… no, I mean sit down. So let's review your progress this term. How's it been?

I think it's been…

Sorry to interrupt. There's your tea… biscuits… I got you those chocolate ones you like … and the files you asked for… and I got those tickets for the show tonight OK?

Prof. Not
Err. Thank you Sharon. Could you errr… file those away for me please?


Prof. Not
Now where was I? Ah yes – your term so far. How's it been?

Well. Very good… I think. I was a little homesick but everyone's been so supportive, especially Sharon.


Oh yes, I concur, she's a real brick! Well that's good to hear. I know you've had to adapt to our strange British ways… and that might explain some of these notes I've written about you. Work – average, needs to work on expressing ideas more clearly… I'm a bit concerned about progress, maybe a little wet behind the ears… goodness, did I really write that?

I beg to differ Mary – I mean I don't agree. He can't be talking about you! I think you need to offer some feedback on his feedback and get him to see eye-to-eye with you.

I can't do that. He's the professor.

He may be in charge but he's not always right. You are entitled to say 'I find your comments a bit harsh', 'I feel I have put in 100 per cent effort this term' and 'what evidence do you have for your feedback?'. Try that and make it clear you think he's wrong – but be polite.

It won't be easy but I'll try. Professor Not… I like you.

Prof. Not
Oh thank you.

I mean you are a good teacher and have been very helpful. As you know I feel I have put in 100 per cent effort this term…

Prof. Not
I couldn't agree more.

So I find your comments a bit harsh and a little unfair. I mean, what evidence do you have for your feedback?

Prof. Not
Err well… let's look at the mark for your assignment… shall we? It says here D minus. Hmm, is that right?

D minus! No it can't be… I worked so hard… and…

Sorry, more biscuits… what's going on and why is Mary crying? Robert, what have you done? Come on Mary, I'll make you a nice cup of tea.

Oh dear. This feedback session hasn't gone to plan. Giving feedback is supposed to be a positive and useful experience but Professor Not seems to have gone too far by using these phrases…

Work is average.
Needs to work on expressing ideas more clearly.
I'm a bit concerned about your progress.
A little wet behind the ears.

But Mary stood her ground with these phrases…

I feel I have put in 100 per cent effort this term.
I find your comments a bit harsh.
What evidence do you have for your feedback?

You can practise these phrases, pick up a few more plus learn some top tips for studying in the UK on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Now, let's hope Sharon can explain Professor Not's comments and make him see sense.

There's your tea. I know Robert... I mean Professor Not had a late night last night, maybe he got confused? Can you not just agree to disagree? Now let's have a look at these files… oh dear…

What is it Sharon?

I seem to have given him the wrong file. He was reading the comments he'd written for Daniel Smythe. Ooopps.

Hello you two. Time for my feedback session with the old Prof. Can't wait to hear all the great things he's got to say about me. It's been such a brilliant term.

Errr… you'd better go in.

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