For the second Task of the TSL 3109 Managing ESL Classroom, I was required to
observe an ESL classroom teaching by an in service teacher in my practicum school.
The task assigned to us was not only to observe but also to write a report on which
relevant theories she might have use in managing her classroom. I am llucky that
teachers whom teach ESL classroom in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Payong Marang,
Terengganu were all very cooperative and friendly. I managed to get teacher Adzalina
permission to complete this task. She is the head of English panitia in this school. The
class that I have entered to is class 6 Arif. This means that I would not be commenting
on the kssr curricular but kbsr instead. Despite being the product of kbsr curricular many
years ago during my primary school’s years I have totally no ideas on how exactly the
lesson was being carried out. So this observing experienced actually reminds me of all
those years I have been through in schools. Throughout the lesson I tried my best to
relate her teaching to all the relevant theories that is approved by the authorities in the
field of education and children psychology.
As per any other class in the muslim and malay classroom the class started with the
teachers greeted her pupils with ‘salam’ and prayers recital. It is a norm instilled upon
them based on Islamic teaching. The teacher then asked her pupils question pertaining
to their activities with their family during their leisure time. This question help teachers to
not only asses her pupil’s prior knowledge but also help her to arouse pupil’s attention.
After a series of questions and answers, teacher Adzalina pasted a picture of cupcake
on the whiteboard. The class begins to roar in excitement. Teachers tap her hand twice
and the class again regain its composure. I was amazed that a simple to time tap of
hand would actually made the class behave accordingly. Then I remembered that
setting up the class rules on your first day with the class is very essentials. According to
Canter, it is vital for teacher to set up the classroom set of rules for class behavior. This
if to be used with Dreikur’s democratic classroom allows the flexibility of the classroom
management where teacher have the right to teach without being interrupted and pupils
had a right to learn in a calm and orderly manner. Plus involving the pupil’s in chartering
the class set of rules pays it dividend as pupils’ feel that they belong to the class and will


behave in accordance to the set of rules agreed upon with teachers. I guest she had
really been able to implement these theories into her teaching.
Next, she asked pupils to describe and share the taste of cupcakes that they have ever
had. One pupil after another started to raise their hand and shared their story on
cupcakes and how it feels like. After that, the teacher asked if anyone know the step to
bake a cupcake. Only a few could actually raise their hand to show that they knew how
to bake a cupcake. Then the teacher introduces and displays the instruction for baking
cupcakes. She also introduced the sequence connectors such as Firstly, combine
flour…., Secondly add…, Thirdly, add eggs….. , and then, beat on…. . Only then I get
the ideas of what she was teaching at that time. She was teaching emphasizing the
thinking skill of sequencing through reading. The real purpose was off course to teach
grammar skill which is imperative sentence (verb + nouns).
As expected from an experienced teacher, the teaching transition process occurred
smoothly without any abrupt stop or interferences. However the main traits of kbsr
which is repetitive and drilling clearly took place during this stage. I did understand that
drilling and repetitions actually condition pupils to the expected objectives as proposed
by the exponent of behavioral theories but it also make the lesson dull and boring. From
what I have learned, Kounin states that momentum and smoothness in the delivery of
the lesson are important factors to prevent misbehaviors in the classroom (Balson,
1992). The lesson proceeds from the set induction to presentation smoothly but too
much repetition during the presentation stage might have reduced the momentum. I
noticed that the class changed from participating to slightly passive over the next stage.
From this, I can agree with Kounin that lack of momentum may cause boredom in the
class, which either leads to less active pupils or misbehaviours. Plus the lesson was in
much way teacher oriented. With less part and roles to be played by the pupils, they
became passive learners.
Personally, I think the lesson could be made into a more interesting and involved active
participation by the pupils if the teacher use a large template of how to write the recipes
of baking a cupcakes on a mahjong paper. Then she could provide the imperative


sentence for the pupils to arrange and paste onto the mahjong paper. I believe that by
having this activity pupils will be able to focus and learn in a more interactive ways.
While her transition between the set induction and presentation was smoothly done, the
presentation itself could be more fun so that the pupils will not be bored. Luckily, the
pupils were behaving nicely, so it was not too much of a trouble for the teacher.
Moving to the practice stage, the teacher clearly instructed the class to write the
cupcake recipe on their own. She however provides the sentences to be arrange and
used by the pupils. I noticed that she deliberately write an imperative sentence wrongly.
By doing so, the pupils seem to be alerted that a mistake had been done thus try to
correct their teacher. This tactics discreetly made her pupils to focus back on the lesson
when they were started to lose their focus towards the lesson. The awareness shown by
the teacher personify the term ‘withitness’ that was proposed by Kounin in his theory.
‘Withitness’ is the term used by kounin in his second research in 1971 to explains the
teacher abilities to displayed a constant awareness of what all her pupils were doing in
the classroom at all times. This can be as simple as making scanning looks around the
room every once in a while. Kounin said that is was not necessary for the teacher to
know what is going on, but for the students to perceive that the teacher knows. I used to
think that all my primary teachers had an extra eyes on the back of their head as they
shown constant awareness of what were happening throughout the classroom even
when they are writing on the blackboard.
She also blends the theories of canter assertive teaching and kounin theories together
during this stage. She definitely mastered the instructional and questioning techniques
very well. In giving instruction, she became a very assertive and firm teacher. Playing is
a big no-no thing to do. This trait according to Canter theory was based on the three
response styles a teacher uses in order to manage a classroom. These three response
styles are the non-assertive, hostile and assertive.