An ELT Glossary : Backchannel language

  • Definition : The verbal signals given by a listener to indicate attention, surprise, interest etc but without the intention of "taking over" or participating equally in the discourse.

  •  Examples : "Really?" "Uh-huh", "Did you?" "That's amazing."

  • Backchannel cues can also be given non-verbally - eg by the listener nodding to show that s/he is following and interested.