Classroom Observation: Report 1 Teacher Observed: G Observer: Alejandra de Antoni Date: May 19th 2009

Observation Table taken from “Tasks for Teacher Education” (Pearson Education Limited)
Class: 1st Year Intermediate (C School, Buenos Aires City, Argentina) Number of Learners: about 25 Age: 12/13 years old Length of Lesson: 40 minutes Level: Elementary+ / Pre-intermediate Observer: Alejandra de Antoni Teacher Observed: G After observing a 40-minute lesson, I will answer the questions in Class Observation Table A (see Appendix) in order to analyse the collected data. 1. Materials used: o o Blackboard Coursebook (Energy 2, Pearson Longman)

There were also visual aids on the walls. Some were created by the students (posters) and some others were provided by the teacher. However, they were not used since they were not relevant for the current lesson.

2. Aim of the lesson (what the observer believes was the aim of the lesson): o To carry out a speaking activity (Who’ve done it?) in pairs to practise/revise
the past continuous. If the aim was to practise or revise this tense, it was not achieved because the students didn’t use the tense themselves but they only listened to it (they understood the teacher perfectly when she paraphrased what they said using past continuous) or read it (from the coursebook). However, it is also true that, when helped and guided by the teacher, some of them managed to rephrase their sentences using the past continuous. 3. Talking Time: o o Teacher: 60% Students: 40%

Students’ talking was not generally done in English unless the teacher pushed and guided them to do so. (Some of the students, however, tried to use English most of the time  even though it was a really tough job for them) 4. Use of English (vs. use of Mother Tongue)

o Teacher: 90% English – 10% Spanish  o Students: 90% Spanish – 10% English
5. Learners’ Participation:

o Most of the students were not very active. They were not carrying out the
activity and were talking about something else. The rest of the class was doing the activity but most of them were not using English. We know it’s very difficult to make such a large course solve an activity without their using their mother tongue. It’s very difficult to monitor all of them and to make sure that they are using English. I think that this is generally the case with information gap activities in which one of the students has the information and can hand it

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Classroom Observation: Report 1 Teacher Observed: G Observer: Alejandra de Antoni Date: May 19th 2009 over to his partner without using English (showing it, for instance). However, there are activities, such as opinion gap or reason gap activities, in which what they have to provide is not given by the activity and therefore they are forced to interact to find a solution to the problem. In this way, we can be certain that they will have to interact and, therefore, use the language in some way because they know they have to give their answers in English. However, these activities have a very important drawback: we cannot control or restrict their answers and, therefore, cannot be sure that they will use the language form we want them to practise. Consequently, we need to resort to these three types of activities and to be ready to face the risks that using each of them imply. The learners were always called upon by their first names. It is compulsory for us to talk to them as people with whom we can have a conversation about any topic, if we want them to be in a communicative classroom. When we talk to our 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 for answering questions or speaking. It’s not something surprising at all. It generally 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 care much about making a mistake in front of the rest. 6. General Behaviour and Attitude of the Learners:

o In general and especially at the beginning, they were very restless. They
showed, through their body language and face expressions, that they did not want to carry out any activity. However, as the lesson went by, some students really got involved in the search for the criminal and participated actively as a whole class to try to get to a conclusion. 7. Asserts and Mistakes: how were they handled?

o Asserts: when students did something right, instead of praising them in the
“normal” way, what the teacher did was showing that she was perfectly following what they were saying (just like we do in conversations). I think that this is a great way of showing the students that they are using English not to be tested but to engage in a natural conversation with the rest and with the teacher about a certain topic (in this case, finding the criminal). For example: Teacher: Congratulations! Some of you can be very good detectives! (She never talked about language or forms!)

o Mistakes: the teacher handled them using guiding correction. Instead of
saying “no” or “it’s wrong” the teacher would rephrase what the student said using the proper form or she would ask them guiding questions for them to get at the proper form on their own. For example: Student: “some persons was…” Teacher: “How many people? 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 were about seven lines of two students.

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Classroom Observation: Report 1 Teacher Observed: G Observer: Alejandra de Antoni Date: May 19th 2009 On the walls, there were some posters made by the students. For example, one called “Labour Day.” There were some others provided by the teacher, for example, the Phonetics Symbols one. Most of the time the teacher is walking from one place to another so as to be able to talk to and monitor different students. She was not sitting at her desk! 

Teacher’ s Desk

S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S

S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S

S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S S–S

9. Language activities carried out throughout the lesson:

o There was just one activity (a pair work): students were asked to carry out an
activity from the book in which they had to find out where were the different characters at the time of the crime so as to see who the criminal was.

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Classroom Observation: Report 1 Teacher Observed: G Observer: Alejandra de Antoni Date: May 19th 2009

APPENDIX: Class Observation Table A (from Tasks for Teacher Education)

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