Feedback to training children – how and why?

In Swedish

Katarina Lundin
Centre for Language and Literature, Lund University

Foto: Anders Andersson/Studentlitteratur AB

Children who participate in different sports outside school are expected to perform different exercises according to the coaches’ instructions. The young practitioners expect some kind of feedback in return. In this article, I present the results form a study of feedback given by coaches to young practitioners in athletics, jujutsu, and gymnastics. The study focuses on how the feedback is formulated with respect to content and form.

Hattie & Timperley (2007) have studied feedback in several academic contexts that involve writing. In the present study, this model is modified and used to analyse feedback in sports contexts. The coaches’ wish to encourage the practitioner as well as improve their skills is obvious (a so-called salutogenic approach). Furthermore, the feedback differs with respect to specificity and is often formulated as new instructions. Prerequisites for effective feedback are that the coaches’ instructions are clear and explicit, and that the feedback is specific, goal-oriented, and reasonable in relation to the practitioners’ present ability.

Get the full-text article in Swedish

KATARINA LUNDIN is an associate professor in Scandinavian linguistics at Lund University, and during the year 2020 guest researcher in sports science at Linnaeus University. She researches language use in monolingual and multilingual sports contexts, both in school and in club sports, and focuses on the communication between coaches and training children and sports teachers and students respectively. Another area of research is language didactics in teacher education, and Lundin has authored several research-based teaching materials for Swedish teacher students. In addition, she has been the scientific leader for a project initiated by the Swedish National Agency for Education on language and knowledge-developing methods for professional teachers who teach immigrant students, including the school subject Sports and Health.

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