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ICELT Course 2012 – 2013

METHODOLOGY ASSIGNMENT #1 EVALUATION OF TEACHING INTRODUCTION Reflection is one of the most powerful tools teachers have at hand to explore what aspects or skills of their teaching need to be improved or changed in order to achieve the main aim and learning objectives stated in the lesson plan. Thus, it is my intention to reflect, through this methodology assignment, which elements of the lesson I taught were successfully and less successfully achieved and the probable causes of these. Since this is a business English course imparted to executives and employees of an international company, the lesson I chose for the purpose of this assignment was a skills-based lesson contextualized to job recruitment, application and selection. The reasons underlying my decision for teaching this lesson was to link the context and vocabulary of the recent work with that presented in the lesson plan (Appendix 1) to make students produce more accurately and confidently, especially when facing real job interviews. ACHIEVEMENT OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES Successful elements After implementing the lesson plan (Appendix 1), I came up with very interesting reflections about the achievement of learning objectives in terms of classroom management and the teacher and learner language. For the greatest part, the main aim of the lesson was achieved; all students produced language effectively using the proper lexis related to the context. According to the lesson plan, the warm-up activity (game) was dynamic and entertaining, which help students relaxing after a tedious and stressful work day; besides, it contributed to give late-arriving students more time before the context of the lesson was set.
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Unsuccessful elements Reflecting on the lesson taught for this activity. all students read a fragment of the reading and their pronunciation and intonation was corrected. I should mention that the classes started 10 minutes late because some students were late and other were missing. I decided not to implement it and leave it for the next session because I considered that we would not have enough time to perform the activity as planned in detail. I really believe this was the most productive activity of all. As Jack C.” First. and considering the language level of learners. and the one we all enjoyed the most. I could honestly say that. I actually skipped to the last activity (closure) which resulted in a very productive task. Students were willing to talk and share their own personal experience about how they had got their actual jobs.The reading activity: Recruitment and selection (Appendix 2) was good. I tried to involve all students by asking them to correct themselves while reading. In regard to the production activity. I was forced to take a different course of action.3.2 and 3. went as planned.1). The subsequent activities (Appendix 3). This error correction change of routine helped me not only to reduce my TTT but to involve the whole class in the activity. they all liked the idea. although a little too long and boring. the role play. since interactive decision enable teachers to assess students´ response to teaching and to modify their instruction in order to provide optimal support for learning. and exercises 3. Since it was my first class with them this year. including their interviews and the selection process they had to undergo. some lesson activities did not turn out the way I expected because of different reasons. although my planning decisions were well intended and the main aim was accomplished. 2 . I decided to interact with students by asking them about their holidays while giving them the opportunity to produce. Since this activity was a little slow. Thus. such as the crossword (exercise 3. including timing and pacing. Richards mentions in his book Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms: “the ability to make appropriate interactive decisions is clearly an essential teaching skill.

we decided to perform it together as a whole group.” 3 . I felt I should allow more time for this activity.Secondly.3). they even made a couple of jokes about something that happened in the office that day. where they had to replace the underlined phrases with correct forms of words and expressions from passages A. including crossword puzzles are not suitable for this group. FURTHER DEVELOPMENT Although I did my best to make good planning decisions. In general. thus.1). “Pacing is the extent to which a lesson maintains its momentum and communicates a sense of development. Third. who look unmotivated and uneasy. I will try to think about other dynamic activities to replace the ones mentioned above. so I had to encourage to finish the activity because we had other important tasks to fulfill. Regarding activity 3. which made them think for a while. Although students successfully completed all exercises (3. there are many further steps I have to consider in order to develop better linguistic strategies and improve the necessary skills to achieve the desire classroom productivity. it took longer than it was planned.2 and 3. the task performance was dull and uninteresting for most students. During the completion of these activities.1. which again. seemed unappealing for most of them. Since learners were enjoying the activity and producing the language. their affective needs. and their own personal goals to establish the right balance between teaching and learning. was one of my biggest problems for this lesson. the pace of subsequent activities related to the reading was not satisfactory. Another essential aspect I need to consider when planning or teaching a lesson is pacing. I believe this type of writing activities. however. especially the crossword activity (exercise 3. How much time to allocate to each part of the lesson is thus an important decision which teachers must make while planning or teaching a lesson.3. 3. the interaction of the warm-up activity was very good if we consider the group profile and the objective to create a relaxing atmosphere to be able to teach in optimal conditions. students whined and said it was too long. Such decisions include a better and thorough understanding of the students´ particular learning styles. B and C.

” Thus. more difficult activities should provide a sense of challenge for students.3 in Appendix 3). Although experience is a key factor of teacher development. my own perception about the lesson I taught for this activity is that it is indispensable for me to make some quick changes to my teaching strategies: including specializing in business English. research suggests that. Finally. adopt self-evaluation as part of our teaching routine. the lack of awareness on the importance of critical reflection on teaching might hinder the teacher´s opportunity to measure his own professional growth in terms of productivity in the classroom.  Select the right activities to the adequate level of difficulty.(Jack C. many classroom routines and strategies are applied almost automatically and do not involve a great deal of conscious thought or reflection (Parker 1984). In addition.2 and 3. bringing more innovative activities to the classroom. as Jim Scrievener (1994) states: “the first important steps towards becoming a better teacher involve and increased awareness about what I do now and an openness to the possibility of change.1. 3. a variety of activities should be presented instead. 1997).  Monitor students´ performance on activities to give them enough but not too much time to finish. Number of words: 1335 4 . for many experienced teachers. I feel I should try the following changes in my teaching to achieve a proper pacing next time I teach a lesson:  Avoid repetitive activities (such as the ones mentioned in exercises 3. Richards. Thus. Finally. using interesting audiovisual media. when we. we automatically start exploring new alternatives and their impact on teaching. teachers. CONCLUSION Self-evaluation has indeed become one of the most difficult challenges tasks in my career as an English teacher. having to make evaluative decisions after an arduous planning and teaching process is not an easy task for any instructor. and changing the interaction patterns more often to create a sense of dynamism among students to avoid boredom. not even for the most skilled ones.