Megan Shanks

Primary Teacher

Lawmuir Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

The Effect of Live Verbal Feedback in Literacy


The Scottish government (2012) has a focus on raising attainment for all and highlights that as a teacher we are central to raising attainment within Scotland. I chose this enquiry because I wanted to establish who benefited from live verbal feedback and if repeated verbal feedback had a significant impact on a child’s learning. Vygotsky (in Veraksa and Sheridan, 2018) argues that children will learn when there is communication and interaction with peers and teachers. A vital part of this communication comes from feedback from the teacher, through a variety of strategies. One of the strategies that is often used is live verbal feedback. Policastro, McTague, and Mazesk (2016) argue that verbal feedback can be one of the most effective methods because it allows students to receive information immediately and does not break up the continuous process and flow of the lesson. I wish to establish if this is the case within my setting.

I also decided to hone this enquiry to focus on literacy it is a SIP priority within my establishment. Moreover, I am part of the literacy working party and feel that the results will be helpful to this party. Additionally, The Scottish government (2009) highlight that literacy is the responsibility of all and could be actioned by all within the practitioner enquiry group (primary and secondary).

Moreover, teachers are required to set next steps for pupils and this can often be done through written feedback. However, I felt it important to establish if verbal feedback was just as effective in creating next steps for children. With current debate surrounding teacher’s workload, I felt it would be interesting to establish if verbal feedback is enough to set and encourage next steps for children. Currently the Department of Education (2018) are researching reducing teacher workload and removing unnecessary workload. Therefore, this encouraged me to assess if verbal feedback can be used for next steps instead of written feedback.


The aims of this enquiry were to identify what happens when the teacher provides live verbal feedback to pupils. I wanted to monitor the impact of verbal feedback if it was used regularly with the same children and the children, within my setting, most likely to action live verbal feedback.

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