Classroom Observation: Report 1 Teacher Observed: GObserver: Alejandra de AntoniDate: May 19
2009over to his partner without using English (showing it, for instance). However,there are activities, such as opinion gap or reason gap activities, in whichwhat they have to provide is not given by the activity and therefore they areforced to interact to find a solution to the problem. In this way, we can becertain that they will have to interact and, therefore, use the language insome way because they know they have to give their answers in English.However, these activities have a very important drawback: we cannot controlor restrict their answers and, therefore, cannot be sure that they will use thelanguage form we want them to practise. Consequently, we need to resort tothese three types of activities and to be ready to face the risks that usingeach of them imply. The learners were always called upon by their first names. It is compulsory forus to talk to them as people with whom we can have a conversation about anytopic, if we want them to be in a communicative classroom. When we talk toour friends, relatives and acquaintances we always use their names and,therefore, we do the same with our students.As regards volunteering, only a few of them would raise their hands asking foranswering questions or speaking. It’s not something surprising at all. Itgenerally happens that some students feel more at ease to speak in front of the class and they are generally the “risk-takers” because they do not caremuch about making a mistake in front of the rest.6.General Behaviour and Attitude of the Learners:
In general and especially at the beginning, they were very restless. Theyshowed, through their body language and face expressions, that they did notwant to carry out any activity. However, as the lesson went by, some studentsreally got involved in the search for the criminal and participated actively as awhole class to try to get to a conclusion.7.Asserts and Mistakes: how were they handled?
Asserts:when students did something right, instead of praising them in the“normal” way, what the teacher did was showing that she was perfectlyfollowing what they were saying (just like we do in conversations). I think thatthis is a great way of showing the students that they are using English not tobe tested but to engage in a natural conversation with the rest and with theteacher about a certain topic (in this case, finding the criminal).For example: Teacher: Congratulations! Some of you can be very good detectives! (Shenever talked about language or forms!
Mistakes: the teacher handled them using guiding correction. Instead of saying “no” or “it’s wrong” the teacher would rephrase what the student saidusing the proper form or she would ask them guiding questions for them toget at the proper form on their own. For example:Student: “some persons was…” Teacher: “How many
?Student: “four people was…” Teacher: “four people…”Student: “were!!!”8.Sketch of the classroom: There were three rows of students facing the blackboard. In each row, there wereabout seven lines of two students.