Teacher’s manual

About this document
This document details a Dublin English Language School’s specific academic policies, methodologies and ethos.

Executive summary:
ELS strives to provide a learner-centred, task-based, communicative, lexically-focussed learning environment. ELS strives to be a ‘learning institution’ itself, in that we seek to develop in line with international best practice and the pursuit of excellence. In order to achieve this, all staff need to feel an integral part of the school and to contribute to and play a role in its evolution and amelioration. This document offers clear guidelines for teaching with ELS, what is expected of you and more importantly it aims to facilitate your taking ownership of your place in the school. You will be assessed on your understanding of the contents of this document at your induction, so ensure that you are clear about what it contains and submit a list of questions prior to the induction meeting if appropriate. The induction meeting aims to open a direct and honest constructively critical dialogue between all stakeholders in the school that should continue for the betterment of all stakeholders.

Contents
About this document .............................................................................................................................. 1 Executive summary: ............................................................................................................................ 1 1

Aim of the ELS syllabus: .......................................................................................................................... 3 ELS standard (TBL/lexical) lesson format: ............................................................................................... 5 Guidelines for teacher input: .................................................................................................................. 7 Error Correction: ................................................................................................................................. 8 Team Teaching: ................................................................................................................................... 8 Materials Selection: ............................................................................................................................ 8 Classroom Management and Discipline: ............................................................................................ 8 Continuous enrolment: ..................................................................................................................... 10 Fast finishers: .................................................................................................................................... 10 Exploitation of Materials:.................................................................................................................. 11 Fun in the classroom: ........................................................................................................................ 11 Integrating the social programme into the lessons: ......................................................................... 11 Pronunciation:................................................................................................................................... 11 1 Common European Framework Reference Levels ......................................................................... 12 Rules for teachers: ................................................................................................................................ 14 ELS staff conduct policy ........................................................................................................................ 15 Assessment framework policy and procedure ..................................................................................... 16 Overview of task-based and integrated assessment: ....................................................................... 16 Weekly assessments: ........................................................................................................................ 17 ELS assessment band descriptors for communicative assessment tasks. ........................................ 18 ELS teacher support/QA policies: In service training (INSET), teacher/peer observation, continuing professional development (CPD) .......................................................................................................... 22 Teacher observation: ........................................................................................................................ 22 INSET: ................................................................................................................................................ 22 CPD: ................................................................................................................................................... 23 Peer observation: .............................................................................................................................. 23 ELS teaching mixed ability or multi-level class groups.......................................................................... 24 2

Appendices:........................................................................................................................................... 26 Lesson plan........................................................................................................................................ 26 Lesson log.......................................................................................................................................... 26 Weekly formative assessment .......................................................................................................... 26 Progress formative assessment ........................................................................................................ 26 Teacher observation form (DOS) ...................................................................................................... 26 Post-observation suggested questions ............................................................................................. 26 Post-observation self-reflection & meeting form ............................................................................. 26 Peer observation form ...................................................................................................................... 26 Staff complaint form template ......................................................................................................... 26

Aim of the ELS syllabus:
ELS employs a communicative, task-based, lexical approach. This approach requires that the students do a lot of productive activities, with an emphasis on speaking. This student-centred communication is ‘guided’ by the teacher, who sets up an activity and pre-teaches key phrases and vocabulary which focus the students’ communication in a specific (often a
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situational or interactive context) target area: grammar tenses, functional language, topicbased phrases, lexis etc. The rationale for this approach is to deliver a programme that is focussed on getting the learners talking (producing language) and using repeatable phrases (language chunks) as a means of achieving ‘deep’ learning in a practice-based ‘learning-by-doing’ context. ELS offers a range of general English (GE) and English for special purposes (ESP - mainly business English) courses within a TIE exam format/context which seeks to cover all topics – grammatical, lexical and skills-based – in the Common European Framework of Referencebased syllabus using weekly, target learning objectives/outcomes (LO). The CEFR LOs are distributed as equally as practicable over the duration of each time-bound syllabus. These LOs drive all lesson planning, with weekly targets to be met. Seek advice from the Director of Studies (DOS) if you haven’t worked in this way before or have any queries. Language and language learning is fundamentally about communicative ability and so ELS strives to enhance learners’ communicative ability in expressing their own ideas and opinions via a skills and communication focussed programme. ELS provides a syllabus mapped to the CEFR, textbooks and supplementary materials to facilitate teachers in achieving this end on a daily and weekly basis in the classroom. Most of the ‘work’ in the classroom should be done by the students, i.e. lessons should be learner-centred rather than teacher-centred. This means that peer/self correction, for example, is preferable to teacher correction in the first instance. Teachers need to be confident in using silence – wait time – to allow learners the opportunity to formulate a response; indeed a healthy pause will encourage learner involvement and engagement. The teacher’s main foci need to be: the delivery of clear and succinct instructions for activities; modelling appropriate language, structures/phrases/vocabulary chunks; checking understanding of all input/instructions; appropriate (but not over-eager) error correction; motivating student interest and participation; pronunciation work (formal and informal/planned and ad hoc); developing learning skills/autonomy, particularly dictionary skills; input/feedback on specific language points and ensuring that students keep a neat record of their work in their copybook.

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Thus teacher talking time must necessarily be kept to a minimum- classes are under no circumstances to be teacher-led! How then do we achieve maximum learner involvement and minimum teacher talking time? Below is a sample of what is loosely known as the task-based/lexical approach, where learners engage in targeted activities, predominantly of a pair/group-work type. To facilitate teachers in this we have developed the ELS standard task-based learning (TBL) lesson format.

ELS standard (TBL/lexical) lesson format:
Part 1- Warm-up chat and introductions (What did you do yesterday?) followed by correction of homework [20 mins approx] Part 2- Task 1. (i) Teacher explains how the activity works and sets up the activity, pre-teaching or eliciting key phrases/vocabulary, distributing any necessary materials and checking understanding of instructions. (ii) Teacher monitors student communication noting errors during the activity and assisting students where necessary. (iii) Teacher gives feedback on errors observed during the activity and consolidates student understanding of a language point, typically by eliciting a reiteration of the relevant ‘rule’ and examples which the teacher writes on board and students write in their workbooks. It is vital that students document their learning. [25 mins approx] Part 3- Teacher introduces written grammar (target language point) task to clarify student understanding and execution of the language point employing student-centred correction. This target language task should take the form of sentences in the target area which are constructed by the students or a generic ‘gap-fill’ grammar exercise as appropriate. In the case of a new language point structured/scaffolded gap fills may be better, while in the case of recycling/revision an unscaffolded learner generated
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sample sentence may be better. This ‘productive’ grammar task will challenge the students more and focus on the specific aspects of the grammar point requiring work. It is desirable that the end product of these sentences should be a collection of repeatable sentences employing key phrases. Peer correction should be employed to enhance the communicative/learner-centred aspect of this activity. (see ‘Error Correction’ below). [25 mins approx] Part 4- Teacher introduces reading or listening comprehension activity by eliciting student knowledge of topic and engendering interest in the topic. Teachers may get learners to read texts aloud to highlight pronunciation difficulties and execute ensemble drilling of problem phonemes as they arise. It is often useful to employ a comedic overdramatisation of these pronunciation errors to achieve the desired result from the students in a fun and memorable way. Teacher endeavours to follow comprehension exercises with a short follow-on discussion on the topic by exploring learner opinion. Reading and listening texts are an ideal opportunity to focus on vocabulary and phrase building activities. Students should be instructed to identify key phrases in their texts. New words/phrases should be documented by students in their workbook using userfriendly ‘topic’-specific headings [25-30 mins approx] Part 5- Teacher introduces the speaking/discussion activity. (i) Pre-teach key lexis/phrases required for activity and topic lead-in. (ii) Monitor activity, keeping students ‘on task’ providing support where required. (iii) Feedback on errors and points covered in lesson employing learner-centred correction. Elicit the key phrases/lexis for students to write in their workbook. (iv) Assignment of homework, this may be written or productive in nature – only set gap fill tasks when appropriate – preferably productive written or oral presentations using the days vocabulary, key phrases and grammar point. [30 mins approx]

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Note: It should be clearly explained at the start of a lesson to learners that the lesson has specific LOs. As a result of this unifying theme/topic each of the lesson’s parts should move logically and organically from one part to the next. The first task demonstrates to the students that they have something to learn. The grammar task clarifies the aspects of the language point (key phrases) which they discovered they were unsure of in the first part. The reading/listening exercise serves to model ‘new’ phrases, sharpen those particular skills and to give the students some information and key phrases to prepare them for the discussion/speaking activity where they need to react to others’ opinions and express their own. Avoid directing discursive questions to one student, get the class to consider your questions in groups and pairs, this maximises the amount of student talking time and student participation. A dialogue between the teacher and one student is boring for the rest of the class, and must be avoided. Nominate students democratically, share your attention equally, don’t allow some students to dominate – manage the dynamic.

Guidelines for teacher input:
It is essential that teachers ‘grade/tune’ their language to the level of the learners. Instructions for activities and language input must be clear and concise. Teachers need to check learner understanding following all input, a useful way of doing this is to ask a student to repeat the task instructions back to you, or ask concept checking questions (CCQs). If you aren’t sure what a CCQ is, then ask your DOS or a colleague. Repetition does not create clarity, it is better to give an instruction once with appropriately concise and graded language than to risk confusion with repetition and inappropriately ‘pitched’ language. In general, teacher-led activities are not recommended; teachers should set up activities promptly providing clear instructions and key phrases then recede into an observational role leading to feedback on errors once the activity is concluded.

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Error correction:
Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process; learners should feel comfortable making errors. Teacher correction of learner errors should be the last option in the classroom, it is preferable for learners to be given the opportunity to self-correct or peer correct - this allows them to take responsibility for their learning. Error correction is best kept for the end of a fluency/communicative activity, however, in the case of an accuracy activity – grammar presentation, pronunciation, etc – corrections should be made as they occur albeit using self/peer correction as a preference. See below for suggestions on error correction of spoken English.

Team teaching:
Team teaching is employed at ELS to offer diversity of approach and style. Teachers will find that a collegiate relationship with their paired teachers leads to greater professional reflection on one’s own approach and facilitates better planning and materials selection as teachers compare and contrast each other’s approach, thus enabling greater professional standards and growth. Teachers swop class groups every two days, hence Tuesdays and Thursdays are designated team teacher liaison days.

Materials selection:
Teachers may introduce suitable alternative materials to those in the programme only after consulting with and receiving the approval of their DOS. The designated supplementary resources are selected to support teachers, however, suggestions for new materials published or otherwise are always welcome.

Classroom management and discipline:
Classroom management is vital for efficient lesson execution. Teachers should control/direct the dynamic of a class by changing from the lockstep (teacher addresses whole class) to pair and group-work to maintain energy levels and break up blockages or a sluggish class.

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Troublesome learners can be moved closer to the teacher and away from potential partners in crime. A recalcitrant or sluggish class can be invigorated by moving everyone around the room, with a kinesthetic activity. Teachers should move around the class themselves to set a positive interactive and energised example for students in activities mode. Learning should be enjoyable and attentive to learner interest, nevertheless, rules are vital to efficient classroom management - thus the rules need to be clarified at the start. Mutual respect is fundamental and the teacher needs to ensure that all learners feel that their contributions are equally valued; there should be no favouritism or partisanship. A teacher is best served by successfully dealing with discipline infractions/respect issues as soon as they arise in the classroom and earning the respect of the students. Learners expect the teacher to take control of behaviour in class and will respect the teacher more for doing so in an efficient manner. Learners want to learn in a controlled environment, they will lose respect for a teacher that fails to control a class. Establish your authority early on and preempt disciplinary issues. In certain circumstances – where the teacher is unable to effectively deal with discipline issues themselves – the DOS should be informed at the earliest opportunity so that support can be offered and an alternative response can be devised. Teachers are not alone! The DOS and other more experienced teachers are there to assist you, use them without hesitation. Teachers should be aware that the most effective ways of controlling disruptive behaviour is with gestures and facial expressions; this allows the teacher to address the disruptive student without stopping the class/activity or interrupting another student’s response. This near effortless control of a class enhances a teacher’s standing in the eyes of a class and in turn makes the job of ‘managing’ a class easier still. Teachers should monitor their own performance in the classroom and consult their DOS or other teachers if any difficulties are experienced.

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Continuous enrolment: (Integration)
Students arrive in groups at different times during the programme. Thus you can expect to have new students arriving into your class at different times. It is important that new students are integrated into your existing class sensitively. First of all, new and existing students should introduce themselves to each other in their first lesson. Secondly, new students and existing students need to be intermingled spatially in the classroom, so that new students are seated next to existing students. When forming pairs and groups for communicative activities new and existing students should be evenly mixed. This will help to make the most of their novelty and presumed geographical and cultural differences in communicative and information (culture) sharing activities. It is important to remember that in any given 4-week progress assessment cycle, some students will have joined your class on weeks 2, 3 or 4. Thus, although the same progress assignment may be administered to all students, it should be clarified that students are only graded on the relevant LOs that they have previously covered in class. For students who arrived mid cycle the progress assessments will serve as a needs analysis or an assessment of prior knowledge. It is essential that graded feedback should take account of these circumstantial differences.

Fast finishers:
Teachers should have some additional activities for fast finishers. Such activities should be additional tasks relevant to the main activities - follow-on tasks – which keep the most advanced students busy while the others finish.

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Exploitation of materials:
Teachers are encouraged to exploit the carefully selected materials in the programme fully. Teachers should stay one step ahead of the students and consider where an activity can go next being sure to maintain high energy levels. Energy levels in the classroom must be closely monitored to maintain established momentum with the minimum of topping up from the teacher. These skills can only be developed by teachers themselves, through a process of “putting yourself in the students’ shoes” and close observation and husbanding of energy resources.

Fun in the classroom:
Teachers will be well served by keeping in mind that our learners are clients. Lessons at ELS should be as enjoyable and engaging as possible for both teacher and learners. To this end considerable time has been invested in the development of a programme which supports teachers in the classroom by providing quality materials. A syllabus is not a constraint for teachers; rather it is a support mechanism to enhance the skills of teachers within a meaningful programme of LOs. Teachers can focus on delivery rather than syllabus design ‘on the hoof’, which is a common but inappropriate approach. Current best practice and ACELS standards are devised to enhance professionalism and excellence and should be embraced as such. In this regard ELT should be no different from a degree programme.

Integrating the social programme into the lessons:
Planned excursions and cultural trips should be incorporated into lessons with pre and post activities to enhance the excursion and derive as much class-based benefit to learners.

Pronunciation:
Ship or Sheep and Tree or Three should be used to facilitate formal/scheduled pronunciation tasks.

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Reading texts should be used as an opportunity to raise pronunciation difficulties. Nominate students individually at random to read a sentence each, picking up on mispronounced words, modelling them with emphasis and getting the class to repeat in chorus. Another opportunity to focus on ‘communicative’ pronunciation occurs when preparing phrases for transactional exchanges – shopping, phone inquiries, asking for directions, etc. In this case the teacher can model elided or contracted forms of such common transactional phrases, often it’s useful to elicit the rules for contraction/elision from the students.

1 Common European Framework Reference levels
1.1 Global scale

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C2

Proficient User

Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options. Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics, which are familiar, or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

C1

B2

Independent User

B1

A2 Basic User

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A1

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Rules for teachers:
Illness/absenteeism/notification: Teachers are required to report to the staffroom fifteen minutes before the first lesson of the day. If a teacher feels unwell, the DOS should be informed immediately, i.e. the night before class or by 7.30am that morning as a replacement teacher will need to be sourced and prepared. Tidiness of staffroom and classrooms: As a matter of professionalism and health and safety, the staffroom and classrooms must be kept tidy, i.e. clean up as you go. It is not acceptable to have stacks of chairs or bags obstructing the classroom and presenting a hazard to safe and free movement around the room. The staffroom is a busy work area; it must be kept tidy so that other teachers can access the space and resources with ease. 15 students max in a class: At no time should there be in excess of fifteen students in a class; students not on the class register found in your class must be sent back to their correct class/DOS office immediately. This is an ACELS regulation and ELS policy. No exceptions or excuses will be accepted for breaching this regulation!!! Take your attendance carefully at the start of class. Punctuality is absolutely essential, lateness will not be tolerated, disciplinary measures (verbal/written warnings) will be applied for lateness. Teachers need to leave the staff room early enough to get into class before the scheduled time and teachers must remain in class for the entire scheduled duration. Leaving class early – even one minute early is too early –
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will result in disciplinary procedures. Teachers may not leave class for any other reason other than use of toilet facilities. Teachers should not return to the staffroom during class time. Lesson plans, weekly assessment results and attendance registers must be kept up to date this is ELS policy and an ACELS regulation Follow the syllabus. Teachers are required to follow the syllabus, teachers may substitute their own games/activities and texts for similar ones in the syllabus, only with the prior approval of the DOS. Students need to be challenged, motivated and encouraged. Be sure that your lessons are challenging for the students, if this requires an adjustment of the level up or down, consult the DOS. Don’t be afraid to devise additional more demanding tasks for students if you feel an activity/task isn’t challenging enough, material can always be adapted. Similarly, there is no reason why such adaptations can’t be made ‘on the hoof’ in a classroom situation which you feel could go better.

ELS staff conduct policy

Staff are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner and act as representatives of the school at all times during ELS activity. Staff must be sensitive to cultural differences and cultural needs of ELS students who may come from very varied cultural and religious backgrounds. All ELS staff and students should feel that their culture and beliefs are respected equally at all times. Staff are forbidden from consuming alcohol or controlled substances during work hours. Staff must arrive for work in good time, well-presented, well-rested and prepared for the professional performance of their duties. Teachers must arrive in class in time to begin lessons, fully-prepared with all necessary materials. Teachers should be unhurried and unflustered in their demeanour, and should not
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leave the classroom for any reason other than to access toilet facilities or in case of an emergency (fire or medical issue). All photocopying should be completed the day before the respective lesson, unless the teacher is in the staffroom prior to 8.45am at which time some copying may be done. No copying will be permitted between 8.45am and 9am. Teachers should be in the staffroom by 8.45am and should be on their way to class by 8.55am for a 9am start. The similar timings apply for later lessons, i.e. leaving the staffroom with sufficient time to be in class prior to the start of the lesson. Students should be strongly encouraged to arrive in time for class, no students are permitted into class 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. If no students arrive in class by 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, then the class is considered a ‘no show’ and the teacher may leave the class. Payment in the case of a no show will be for one hour. Any transgression of the rules by staff/teachers will result in disciplinary measures being applied. Typically, a three-stage process is involved for substantive breaches: three warnings, two verbal and one written followed by dismissal for further breaches. Lateness, unprofessional conduct and failure to maintain required records (attendance, lesson plans, etc) will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.

Assessment framework policy and procedure
Overview of task-based and integrated assessment:
The ELS assessment process is both formative and summative in character. Progress test components provide useful summative assessment of LOs and communicative assessment tools provide more formative and achievement results.

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Placement/entry level testing takes place on the first day using the Oxford QPT multiple choice test and either an interview with the DOS/ADOS or an assessment lesson, numbers on any given testing day will inform the selection in this regard. Assessment lessons and interviews employ the spoken descriptors of the CEFR is arriving at an assessment. Learners are engaged is a conversation to assess their performative competencies re the CEFR in the case of the interview, whereas in the case of the assessment lesson learners are observed in pair and group work activities and tasks by the teacher who employs the same CEFR descriptors to arrive at an assessment of the learner’s spoken level, in addition receptive skills are assessed using reading and listening comprehension activities at varied levels.

Weekly assessments:
Once learners have joined the student body they are assessed on a weekly basis. The weekly learning objectives (LOs) are assessed using both communicative and written task-based assessment instruments and more summative instruments from the workbook for the relevant course book which has grammatical, lexical exercises in addition to reading and listening comprehensions. Task-based assessment instruments (TBA) are created by adapting typical task-based learning activities (pair and group work tasks) for assessment purposes. The assessment output of these instruments is facilitated by the application of grade band descriptors on a four point scale. The descriptors have been developed from extant published research. Teachers are inducted in implementing the descriptors and adapting TBL instruments to TBA purposes prior to implementation of the policy and thereafter during initial induction to the school. Exemplars are provided for the first week of each syllabus (level) to offer an approved model for teachers to follow. Weekly assessments are conducted on the last day of lessons, throughout the day to afford ample opportunity for assessments to be completed. Weekly assessment forms also allow for continuous assessment in order to take advantage of instinctive assessment which occurs in the normal run of lessons.

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ELS assessment band descriptors for communicative assessment tasks.
All of the band descriptors below are relative to the expected competency for the level.

Summary: 1 – Can only produce with constant support with a basic repertoire. [low-dependent user] 2 – Can only produce with some support with a very limited repertoire. [high-dependent user] 3 – Produces independently with a little support with a reasonable repertoire. [lowindependent user] 4 – Produces confidently with a wide repertoire. [high-independent user]

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Grade band descriptors for fluency activities (communicability)

1

Has little or no competency to sustain an interaction (conversation). Requires constant help to initiate and maintain an interaction. Experiences difficulties on a basic level.

2

Rarely contributes/interjects (self-selects) or takes a turn in an interaction pattern (transaction) or conversation. Responds minimally to other speakers (interlocutors), limited repertoire. Communication sometimes breaks down without support.

3

Responds satisfactorily when nominated and supports other speakers. Sometimes self-selects or interjects appropriately. Has adequate repertoire for task/purpose and interaction rarely breaks down.

4

Takes communicative initiatives, self-selects and interjects well, facilitates other’s participation where appropriate. Demonstrates a wide repertoire.

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Grade band descriptors for accuracy activities – structural competence (grammar).

1 2

Poor structure/grammar makes interaction/communication unintelligible.

Barely adequate structure/grammar inhibits intelligibility.

3

Structure/grammar is adequate for task/purpose; errors although frequent don’t inhibit intelligibility.

4

Good use of structure/grammar facilitates intelligibility, few errors.

Grade band descriptors for accuracy activities – lexical (vocabulary) usage.

1 2

Inadequate range/use of vocabulary/lexis obstructs intelligibility.

Limited and partially inappropriate use of lexis sometimes inhibits intelligibility.

3

Vocabulary in normally adequate for purpose/task with modest repertoire, some inappropriate usage but this doesn’t normally affect intelligibility.

4

Good/appropriate use of vocabulary with a wide repertoire. Few errors, consistent intelligibility achieved.

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Grade band descriptors for accuracy activities – pronunciation/intonation

Very poor pronunciation and/or intonation obstructs intelligibility.

1 2
Inadequate pronunciation and/or intonation sometimes inhibits intelligibility and makes it hard to follow speaker.

3 4

Adequate pronunciation and/or intonation generally facilitates intelligibility with occasional lapses.

Good pronunciation and/or intonation makes the speaker easy to follow, errors are few and rarely inhibit intelligibility.

Grade band descriptors for productive writing tasks

1 2

Does not organise ideas logically, may use a very limited range of cohesive devices, and those used may not indicate a logical relationship between ideas

Presents information and ideas but these are not arranged coherently and there is no clear progression in the response, uses some basic cohesive devices but these may be inaccurate or repetitive Arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression, uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical, may not always use referencing clearly or appropriately Sequences information and ideas logically, manages all aspects of cohesion well, uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately

3

4

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ELS teacher support/QA policies: In service training (INSET), teacher/peer observation, continuing professional development (CPD)
Teacher observation:
All teachers are observed by the DOS within two weeks of starting work. Initial observations are scheduled by the DOS. The DOS/observer will observe at least 30 minutes of a lesson. The observer will complete an observation form during the observed lesson segment. A blank self-evaluation form is given to the observed teacher to complete following an opportunity to reflect on the observed lesson. This form once completed is given to the observer/DOS. The observer assesses the teacher’s reflections and transfers selected relevant feedback to the teacher’s self-reflection feedback form. This form is used as the basis for the observation feedback appraisal meeting between the observer and the teacher. Key issues arising from the observation and reflections are discussed at the appraisal meeting and a plan of action is agreed, where appropriate. The action plan will include either selfaccess study on a relevant teaching point and/or the relevant point will inform the topic of the next INSET session. If the teaching point is relevant to the team in general then this point will inform the INSET session topic. Where appropriate the DOS will use peer observation to support the teacher on specific issues. All action plans arising from observation feedback appraisal meetings will include some time-specific targeted outcomes and an agreed, scheduled follow-up observation.

INSET:
In service training sessions are led initially by the DOS and subsequently by nominated members of the teaching team. All teachers should have the opportunity to facilitate an INSET session, although no teacher will be forced to do this. Initially senior members of the team, those with significant experience and/or training in specific areas will be nominated to facilitate INSET sessions in their area of interest/specialisation.
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Significant resources are available for teachers preparing for an INSET session. Among these resources are the Scott Thornbury CELTA resources, British Council Teaching English website resources, and various methodology books onsite. The DOS will assign specific resources to teachers doing self-access study for action plans. INSET sessions are held every two months and are paid. All INSET sessions are logged in a dedicated INSET log.

CPD:
Teachers are kept up to date with ACELS workshops and encouraged to attend. The DOS makes a habit of attending ACELS workshops, training and recommended conferences (IATEFL). Teachers are strongly advised to attend on a regular basis. Attendance at CPD events is taken into account when additional classes and duties are assigned. Seniority in the team is not acquired merely by longevity in the team but is also affected by commitment to CPD and INSET activities. It is IBAT policy to cultivate a culture of CPD and professionalism in the school. Advice is provided by the DOS on formal CPD, where available and appropriate funding may be available to teachers wishing to undertake formal CPD which is considered beneficial to the school. Examples of formal CPD are: DELTA, TCL Dip TESOL, MA TESOL, in-house IBAT courses e.g. FETAC level 6 in Project Management etc. Guidance is also provided to teachers wishing to undertake informal CPD research online.

Peer observation:
All teachers are given the opportunity to observe one of their peers at least once a year, as appropriate. Peer pairings are assigned by the DOS following teacher observations. All peer observations are targeted on specific areas.

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Peer observation sessions last up to an hour. Observers are required to complete an observation reflection pursuant to the target issue. This reflection is submitted to the DOS and added to the teacher’s file. The teacher should also keep a copy for their own records.

ELS teaching mixed ability or multi-level class groups

Mixed ability and sometimes mixed-level classes are an unfortunate and inescapable reality in ELT. [Harmer, 2007, PELT: p.127] Where possible multi-level classes are kept to a minimum at IBAT, using a communicative and written placement assessment process. In some cases learners will acclimatise after their placement process and display a higher level than initially assessed. In such cases teachers should report this development to the DOS/ADOS so that appropriate re-assessment can be effected at the earliest opportunity. In some cases a degree of multi-level grouping may be unavoidable in classes for variety reasons. Differentiation is the key to addressing multi-level class groups. ‘In a differentiated classroom there are a variety of learning options designed around students’ different abilities and interests...’ [Tomlinson 1995 qq PELT p.127] Differentiation may take the form of different tasks applied to the same material or different material for autonomous groupings within the class. Where possible the former is the preferred option as it facilitates the teacher planning one lesson rather than two or more simultaneous lessons to run in parallel. It is also preferable to enhance inclusiveness in a mixed-level class rather than emphasising the differences. Where possible the lesson topic and LOs should be the same for all learners with a differentiation in the level of the task and the output required of different proficiency levels in the class. Thus a higher level group might be given additional and higher level task elements such as type 2 comprehension tasks on a reading comprehension activity. A higher group might have more challenging task elements on a written or spoken task. Similarly assessment criteria should be applied in a differentiated way, such that higher learners may be assessed at
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A2 for example while lower learners at A/A1+ for example in the same A1/A2 multi-level group. Indeed at the other end of the level scale there might be a mixture of B2.2 and C1 learners in the same group where again additional higher level tasks are added to the same material/activity and different assessment criteria applied. In communicative activities higher level learners can be assigned more demanding roles – in a role play – with mixed levels in the same communicative task groupings, for instance there may be differentiated roles; in a group work activity higher learners may perform a secretarial, chairperson or spokesperson role for the group. Alternately the different level learners could be split into homogenous higher and lower level groupings to avoid learners feeling held back or limited and unchallenged in their task group. In this latter situation the task can be graded to fit the level of each group while using different scaffolding or by giving more assistance to the lower level groups. A mixture of the two above options would be better than using either and the latter (homogenous groupings) should be the more frequent option. Teachers need to be aware of the learner perception of this issue and be sensitive to any negative learner perceptions. Lower level learners may also be given more scaffolding to support their participation in an activity whereas a higher learner would receive less scaffolding and be required to perform at a higher level in the same task. Scaffolding is such cases might be of the order of prompts or sentence completion while a higher learner is required to generate sentences from scratch or the models on the general models on the white board. At a lower degree of differentiation teachers may be able to address the difference with ‘fast/early-finisher’ or extension activities at the same level. Care should be taken when choosing fast-finisher/extension activities so that they are perceived as a reward rather than as a punishment. (Tomlinson, 1995) The DOS will also take special notice of mixed ability groups, ensuring that the teacher is well supported by checking regularly with the teacher and observing lessons irrespective of whether the teacher is due to be observed. The DOS will also assign an experienced teacher to such a group given the additional challenges of such a group.

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Appendices:
Lesson plan Lesson log Weekly formative assessment Progress formative assessment Teacher observation form (DOS) Post-observation suggested questions Post-observation self-reflection & meeting form Peer observation form Staff complaint form template

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