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Appendix Observation tasks

1 helPs PeoPle learn? ) Options and decisions J Classroorn interaction 4 Staging ) Obiectives 6 The learners 7 Feedback to learners 8 Errors and correction 9 Thoughts and questions 1 0 Stolen goods

202 203 20s 206 247 208 249 210 2tl 2t2

tasks.I include them becauseI This append.ixis a collection of lessonobservation (or of other trainees on a course) is strongly believe that observation of other teachers aware of options and possibilities' an excellentw"y orn.lping oneselfto become more focus more clearly on what is happening Doing tasks like t}ese can help an observer to or insights for personal reflection or in a lesson. They may pronia. usefui information This does not imply that'evaluation' or for a post-lerron air.rrision with the teacher. 'criticism' is requrred. Observation and discussionare learning tools for the observer both people are respectfi"rland and the teacher. In the right environment, where agleement to be honest, tJrena supporrive of each other]and where there is a clear moving forward' p*i-t.rro.t discussioncan be invaluable as a way of Using the tasks You could: o o o o o o o observea more experiencedteacher'slessonl observea coileague'slesson; agreeto observeeach other's lessons' observea trainee teacher'slessonl ask someoneto observeyour own lessonl think back to a lesson you have already seen; ttrink back to a lesson you have already taught' discussthe lessonbefore it happens; discuss it afterwards; not discussit at all; fill in the task during the lesson; not filI in the task, but use it to focus your thoughts; give the filled-in task to the teacher; keep the filled-in task for yourself; discuss the frlled-in task.

You could: o o . o . o o o

You could, of course,also: o invent your own taskl o aglee a new task with the teacher'


OBSERVATIOT\TASK 1 What helps people learn?

$fhat is there about ttre classroom, the activities, the teacher and the students hat helps to create conciirions for effective iearning? \x4rat things do you observe hat seem to play a part in hinderinglearning?
Ttre cl-assrocrn Make notes on seating, equipment, etc


space/ ai-r, warmth,



The actiwiti_es Make notes on t.he kind of acti-vi_tj_es used, t.he nature of student balance of students doinq things and teacher doing things, etc

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I rzomanlw v 4 ! r v r I L ,

Itre teacher what personal quarities does the teacher have (i-e not teaching technj-gues?) what kind of rapport does this teacher have? what is the personal psychol_ogical atmosphere qenerated by this teacher? what is it like to be a - st.udent ln thrs cl-assroom?

Itre learners How motivated are the learners? Why? To what extent, are they takingr an actl_ve part r n t h e i r o w n l _ e a r n i n o e To what extent are they expecting the teacher to do the work for them?

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Options and decisions

'classtoom management' refers to the monlent-by-moment decisions The term rnade and actionstakenby the teacher in class, eg writing on the whiteboard, giving instructions, organizing the classinto pairs, etc. For every decision made there will have been other options that the teacher did not choose. For each of the following headings:

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a Note one example of a classroomsituation in the lessonyou are observing. What doesthe teacherdo? b Note one or two orher options that the teacher had at that point in the lesson, but did not choose.


Examy>7e Situation: Action:

une:q>ected problems A studenL arrived t.welve minutes late for the Ies son (The student then Teacher said 'hello' politeiy. sat down quietly and found out what was going on frorn his neigrhbour. ) with

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C o' ut lud

hr a r qv vee

q r\ ud ars kee

why the



Teacher could student.

have pointed

out the


to the

Student Situation: Action:

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in lesson

Grouping Situation: Action:

f)fhar nnji nnq.

of students;


of seating

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Classroorn interaction

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This observation task might make -voumore aware of some pafterns of interaction within the classroom. $7ho talks? \&ho do the-vtalk to? Who gets left out? By recording information objectively over a short period of time, it may be possible to notice some factors that make an important contribution to the working environment. Main task: Draw a rough sketchmap of the classroom,marking each seating position and the place where the teacher is standing or sitting. Choose a two-minute period near the start of the lessonand simply put a mark (eg a tick or a line) next to each person who sayssomething. Repeat this task at one or two other points in the lesson. Here is a map I made during one teacher'sclass:

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'mapping' the Variations on the task: you could easily extend this idea of classroomto take other factors into account. For example, you couid include arrows to indicate who was being spoken to. Or you could record the movements of the teacherover a short period of the lesson.For example:

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Setting Situation: Action:


up activj.ties;



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inter out? poss. worL A,lai posir Cho

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. !


Board,' classroom
Situation: Action:
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I ir .

a t.

Ong r


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Dealing Situation: Actron: Other options:




Var clas Teacher's

Situation: Actron:
A f har v urre! ^n.i. i a\n q '


and ParticiPation


Or. less


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Other notes about the lesson:


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have not had a This task is appropriate if -vouare observing a class and -rzou chance to discussthe lessonwith the teacher before you observe. $0'ithin the first minutes, write a sentence that reflects your perception of the likely student achievements within the lesson. By the end of this fesson the studenls wiTf be better abl-e to ...

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--,..-:,a Bv the end of this -lesson the students wil-L have . . .

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!7ork on this sentence as the lesson proceeds. Adjust, edit, delete, rewrite it. Or leave it. By the end of the lesson, have a sentence that reflects what the students actuaily seem to have achieved.
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Also consider: Do you think that the teacherhad pre-planned objectives?Did the objectivesevolve as the lessonprogressed? \7as it hard to work out what was achieved?

After the lesson (if possible) have a brief chat with the teacher and find out what he/sheconsiders' had been achieved. @Jim Scrivener1994. This pagemay be photocopied


The learners


Jhis task may help you to seea lesson from a student's point of view. Task: As you arrive in the classroom, choose (privatelyl) one student to focus on in your observation. lfatch this student tJrroughout the lesson and.make notes under the headines belor.v. A Choose a random two-minute what helshe is doinq



the i:

Con lister grou

description of



a narrative


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B Choose a random two-minute what you imagine he,/she is

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f h ini<inrr/

Write a narrative
fa -a - l-' -i n g . , -



Towards the end of the lesson write the student's own description what has happened in the lesson. Have you enjoyed it? Have you learned something? what helped you? what woul_d you have preferred? what worried you, annoyed you, hindered you? How are you feeling? of

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OBSERVATION TASK 7 Feedback to learners

How does the teacher give feedbackto studentr? Note some specific examples. What did the student do or say?What did &e teacher do or say?Comment on tlre intentions or attitudes you thbk might underlie the teacher's response. Consider: Facial expressionlgestue; movemeng noises;iistening (really listening?); answering (really answering?); correcting; ignoring; encouraging group to respond rather than herself; etc. For example:

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The student

said a sentence about her weekend trip

to the

Teacher: The teacher nodded rather \.rAr\,2 i n f c r c s f e d . H e s a i d M t n mt h a t ' s

i-ho orroqJ- ion ho h:,-i :skorl rrrarrinrrqlrz

automatically. He didn't. seem i n o a n d i h c n r e n e a 1 -c r l intere.sf

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Conunentary: I fel-t the teacher wasn't realIy interested in what the student want.ed to say because he was trying to elicit a sentence
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Errors and correction

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This task focuses on learner errors in oral production and on wavs that the teacher or leamers deal with them. Task: Note down some student errors. Categorizeeach error (eg wrong tenseJ wrong phoneme, meaning unclear). Describe in detail what happened next. For examole:

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Error: I am aqree. Type of error: unnecessary word (to fndicition/correction: The teacher held up three fingers ' p i c k e d represent the three words of t.he sentence) and then out' and 'threw away' the middl-e finger. The student l-ooked puzzled, then the middl-e word. The teacher said the sentence aqain without acknowledged this correct sentence with a smile and said grood. The student seemed to not quite believe that thls was now a correct sentence. He repeated 'f agree'.

Error: Gj-ve me that pen . Tlpe of error: rude fndication/correction: not cornrnentedon or dealt


Error: Tlpe of error: f ndi cat ion/ correct ion :

Error: Tlpe of error: Indicat ion/ correct ion :

(Some considerations: Did anyone notice that there was an error? $7ho? Did the teacher do anyttring? Did the student do anything? Did the other students do anyttring? $7ho? Did anyone indicate that there was an error? \(ho? Did anyone correct the error? \7ho? How was it corrected?) @JimScrivener1994. This pagemay be photocopied 210



Thoughts and questions

Thisformma-vhelpyourecallr,vhathappenedinalessonandremindyouof useful for post-lesson your own thoughts ui rh. ,i-.. This ma.vbe especially the teacheryou rvatched' d.iscussions.,vith Foreachbox,notedownaspeci|rcthingthatyouobserveintheiessonandthen record your own thoughts or Questionso- suggesdons' During the lesson:


and I thought

I noticed

and I wondered

I noticed

. -.

and I wanted to ask You

f noticed


and I wanted to saY to You

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2 Do as l say Unit 5,Task

Observati on table : In stru ction -giving ski I ls

Class Level
Aimsof the lesson Number of learners Observer Age of learners of lesson Length Teacher observed

Materials used

skills lnstruction-giving signallingof beginning of activity stating of aims


appropriatenumber Circle


4-3-zl9 clear
clettr 4-3-Z-l


T did not tell Ls ,",then acliuilg began

clear 4-3-2-l clear 1-3-2-I clear 4-3-2-l clear +-3-2-L clear 4-3-2-I

unclesr ttnclear unclear unclear unclear

eliciting information from learners useof examoles eye movement to hoid attention mime, gestureor other body language repeatinginstructions in a different way askingquestionsto check understanding useof simple language managementand organisation of the class useof visual aids (e.g.board, pictures, role cards,worksheets, real oblects) signalling of end of activity

cleor 1-3-2-\


o tl cleor 1-3-2-l clear 4-3-2-1 clear 4-3-2-1. wtclear ttnclear unclear

C( C(


clectr 1-3-2-7.


clear 1-3-2-1 clesr 4-3-2-1

unclectr unclear


other (writehere)



r l-3-2-1







Stolen goods

As you obsen'e the lesson, note dowl severalthings that you would like to 'steal' *ris teacher and the lesson in order to make them part of your own teaching. This may include personal qualities, teaching skills and techniques, actiltties, classroom atrnosphere, etc. Include notes to help you remember any important details. You may also want to record why you felt good about the stolen goods. Finaily, choose somettring you feel you would like to give this teacher in return for vourmanv thefts.



1: of item: because:

Desc-iption f stole this


itern 2: of item: because:

Descriptj-on I stole this


item 3 :

Description f stole this

of item: because:

Stol-en item 4: Description I stole this of item: because:


item 5: of item: because:

Description I stole this



to give you: you'd like this because:

I think

@Jim Scdvener1994. This page may be photocopied

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viewing? or microscopic Unit 2, Task6 Telescopic

Class observation table B Use of transitions

Class Level No. of Iearners Observer Age of learners Length of iesson
Teacher observed

Aims of the lesson Materialsused

Aims of the Observation Task

one point in the lesson and the next task . To observehow a teachermakes transitions betrryeen or activity rvhich is different . To reflect on how a teacher'smarking transitions affectslearners'ability to follow the lesson and seeconnectionsbetween the parts of the lesson

with a When a teachermoves from one task or activity to the next, she often marks this point questions' word, such as OK, Now, or a phrase or sentence,as in I am going to askyou some for the or And /or my next point.In your observation,examine a 45-50minute lesson and look column. the left-hand in (rz) boxes the appropriate in a tick following points. As you obslrve, put transitions. the for used word(s) the If you have time, write down in the right-hand colurnn One example is provided' Transitions markers a word
Actual words used bY the teacher

a phrase/sentence

Now lel's do some reading, 0K?


other (write here):

what was the total?Write this number in Add up the results: For each of the abovecategories, in the entire lesson? were there eachbtx and circle it. How many transitions TOTAL NUMBER:

ation questions Post-observ

did{he*eu*wu$ nos{$httl \irrd ot'$rarrsirior-r r Whtch
2Did'theteacheruseonetransitionmarkerseveraltimes.i 3 Which transitions seemedthe clearestto vou? transition for each one' 4 Choosetwo of the transitionS.lVrite an alternative




How carr ateacherinfluence

the learning environment?

The table ljsts some ways a teachercan influence tlte environment in which studentslearn. Choosea few of theseheadings(four or five is probably enough). does/doesn't do to help notesaboutwhat the teacher and makedetailed Observe e.g. possible, examples of techniques, concrete note specific learning.Where lttntospltcrc? rvhatprecisely doesthe teachcrdo to hclp crcatca wrrnr classt'oout Aspects of the environment learning
atmosphere Classroom The teacher's role w an appropriate ,arm, andmaintain T h et e a c h e rc a n h e l pe s t a b l i s h f o c u s e dw o r k i n ga t m o s p h e r e .

Organisation Encouragement and s u p p o r tp ; romoting participation P r o m o t i ng gu i d e d discovery content Presenting information Provision of samples of language
M a t e r i a l sa n d t a s k s

r o l ei n o r g a n i s i nh go wt i m e ,s p a c e , T h et e a c h e c r a nt a k ea n a c t i v e m a t e r i a l se , t c .a r e u s e d . p o s i t i v er,e a l i s t i c s u p p o ra t nd T h et e a c h e c r a np r o v i d e role. e n c o u r a g e m etn ott a k ea n a c t i v e , f f e rp a r t i a l , o n s t r u cq t u e s t i o n so r a ne l i c i ta n s w e r sc T h et e a c h e c o e,t c .t h a t l e a dt h e s t u c l e n tts examples e , n c o u r a gh ey p o t h e s e s f o rt h e m s e l v e s . w o r ko u t a n s w e r s q u e s t i o n se , t c .o n a r e a s en , swer T h et e a c h e c r a ne x p l a i n , l e c t u r a content. of the learning q,u e s t i o n ss ,l . o r i e s etc. , in thc targ;e c,o m r l t e n t s nstructions provide rs. l a n g u a ge x p o s u r f eo r t h e l e a r n e anguage
T h e t e a c h e rc a n p r o p o s e ,s u g g e s to r s e l e c tw l t a t w o r k i s t l o n e i n c l a s s a n d t h e t e x t s a n d o t h e r m a t e r i a l su s e d . inclass. w h a ti s h a p p e n i n g T h et e a c h e rc a n m o n i t o r

Monitoring feedback lnformative

information that mayhelp the Theteache r can offer objective crrors in , forrnatio an boul nritdc, l e a r n i np g r o c e s sf;o re x a n t p l e o r u s e d ,i n f o r n r a t i o n s formed i n f o r m a t i oa nb o u th o wl a n g u a g ie o rf u t u r e work, etc. s,u g g e s t i o nfs a b o u th o wa t a s kw a s p e r f o r m e d to progr ess made Theteacher can noticeand helpto drawattention p r o b l e me sncountered e, tc. e r a n l t e l pp r c t v i da , h e t e a c l r ec A s p a r to f a r e g u l a t ri m e dl e s s o n t m o r e to s anotherwise yn dc o n c r e t e n e s s e n s eo f f o r m ,r e g u l a r i ta process. formless learning
i s t r e t a n d w o r k e dw i t h i t t T h e t e a c h e rc a n p l a n t h a t n e w t n a t e r i a l than if theyhadto w a y st h a t s t u d e n t sr r a y f i n d m o r e n t a n a g e a b l e in onego. d e a lw i t h t h e e n t i r el a n g u a g e

H a b i to f l e a r n i n g

Selectingp , ackaging and grading

S t r u c t u r i na gn d sequencing

w h a tt o s t u d ya n dl t o wt o t r h e l ps e l e c t T h et e a c h e c r a ns u g g e so a n dt h e s h a p e of individual oe f learning organise theprograrnm lessons.

l i(' l r t t s ci t r c l . r s s , t t t r r tl r c l ) l r ( ) r ( ) ( ' ( ) t ) i c Prrgc "-{tt,


's i r r r i t c t lf. 0 o 5 . n n d M a c r r r i l l r rlr)rt t b l i s l t c tL Q . J i mS c r i v c n c r


a p p r o p r i a t e ,. g 't o m a k e y here r a n u s e h e ra u t h o r i t w T h et e a c h e c certain to , require srdiscussions clecisiont so . c l o s ea c t i v i t i e o e,t c . f r o mi n d i v i d u a l s actions

o r d o o t h e rt h i n g s q u e s t i o n s ,g i v e i n f o r m a t i o n T h e t e a c h e rc a n a s [ < t o n o t i c ea r e a st h e y m a y o t h e r w i s en o t h a v e b e e n that helplearners aware of. T h e s em a y b e t o d o w i t h t h e s u b j e c tb e i n gs t u d i e do r a b o u t o t h e r ,h e i r t h i n g s ,f o r e x a m p l e ,a b o u t t h e m s e l v e sa n d t h e i r w a y o f l e a r n i n g t w i t h o t h e r s t u d e n t so r t h e i r b e h a v i o u r ' relationships

awareltess Raising

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a n dd i r e c t i o n Guidance

eh e r ea p p r o p r i a t e en de x p e r i e n cw r a n u s e h e r k n o w l e d ga T h et e a c h e c g u i d e i n d i v i d u a l s . d i r e c t a n d to counsel,

training [-earne

s ownpr oc esof about their awar eness lear ner s' canr aise The teacher and e ffi c i ent m or e become could ways they andcansuggest l e ar ning learners. effective

yes pec ted ar eequal lr ensur e thatallstudents canhelp teacher The D e m o c r a ca yn d for . and ca ter ed valued equally styles wor king ancl views p e r s o n arle s p o n s i b i l i t Y a n dtheir to stayat the centre can makeeffortsto allowstudents Thetearcher o theteacheo r rother o w n e r s h itp a n dn o t r e s i g n o f t h e i ro w nl e a r n i n g n r e m b e ro sf t h e c l a s s .
N a t u r am l otivation
t o f l o w e r- a n d T h e t e a c h e rc a n w o r k t o a l l o w n a t u r a lm o t i v a t i o n t a k e c a r e n o t t o g e t i n i t s w a y o r o t h e r w i s ep r e v e n ti t ! especially

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Areaschosen Theteacher'srole- comments


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