within it" (Mason. and systematically observing dimensions of that setting. to study language learning and teaching processes in the classroom. and so on.Observation  “Methods of generating data which involve the researcher immersing [him or herself] in a research setting. p. & to study teachers’ & ss’ behaviors. observations are most often used to collect data on how learners use language in a variety of settings. events. . relationships.  In second language acquisition research. interactions. 60.1996). actions.

 It is important to collect observational data (in addition to attitudinal data) because what people say is not always what they do! .Observation  Aim: provide careful descriptions of learners' activities without unduly influencing the events in which the learners are engaged.

Variations of observations  Made by + insiders (part of the group observed) + participant observers (spending extensive time "inside") + outsider (observing from the "outside")  Focus: + on a single subject + on a number of subjects + on a whole group (e.g. a whole class)  Duration: + one session + a number of sessions + at intervals (e.g. every 3 seconds) .

.  Can be used with participants with weak verbal skills. especially if the observer participates in activities.  Excellent way to discover what is occurring in a setting.Advantages  Allows one to directly see what people do without having to rely on what they say they do.  Provides firsthand experience.  Observer may see things that escape the awareness of people in the setting.  Good for description.

.  Reactive effects may occur when respondents know they are being observed (preventing the students from learning to the best of theirs: e.g. younger learners in particular can become very easily distracted by observers.Disadvantages  Do not allow the researcher access to the participants’ motivation for their behaviors & actions. learners perform better due to positive feelings at being included in a study) .

1) Structured observation: + The researcher has determined in advance what to look for in the observed context. numerical scales.. rating scales) are often used . • Standardized instruments (e. & the specific data that should be gathered. checklists. + the researcher utilizes tools which specify in ex act terms what the observe should focus on.g.Forms of observation 2 forms: Structured observation and unstructured observation.

Task: Check whether or not the student performed the following: Yes 1 Ask for translation of unknown words 2 Used L1 in conversation with teacher 3 Used L2 in conversation with teacher 4 Used L2 in conversation with peers 5 Referred to textbook/dictionary for unknown words 6 Asked for grammatical explanations No .Examples A. Checklists: Observed behavior: Ss’ activities in the language classroom.

Usually _______ . Never _______ C. Task: Please mark how involved students are: Very involved 1 2 3 4 5 Not very involved . Sometimes _______.B. Rating scale: Observed behavior: Ss’ involvement in a specific classroom task. Numerical scale Observed behavior: Ss’ use of L2 in asking questions Task: How often does each student ask a question in L2? Always _______.

.ended. and the data being recorded are broad & more general.2) Unstructured observation  is exploratory and open.  Data gathered may vary during the course of the observation as a reflection of the observer’s developing understanding of what is being observed.

Task: Describe the level of involvement of 3 ss in the language class activities ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… B. Open observation (2): Observed behavior: Teacher’s & ss’ use of L1 in an L2 class. Open observation (1): Observed behavior: Ss’ involvement in the language class. Task: Describe the type & amount of language used by the teacher & by the ss during a group work activity ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… C.Examples: A. . Open observation (3): Follow 2 ss during class time & during the intermission (while they play in the school yard) & describe the type of language they use.

Checklist in setting up observations • Contact the classroom instructor (in person if possible). • Clearly express appreciation to the instructor. introductions. • Negotiate the observer's role in the classroom. • Determine the schedule for observation. . and seating arrangements. including regular pre-visits. students. arrival time. and administration. • Debrief the instructor (either during or after the observational period) on the findings of the study.

Are teachers’ beliefs about Communicative Language Teaching reflected in their actual classroom practice? 2.Observation Examine the following topics. Do game-like speaking activities increase students’ motivation? . 3. Which do you think would be most appropriately studied by means of observation? 1. Does teaching students about listening strategies help them to listen better? Do game-like speaking activities increase students’ motivation? How does the teacher deal with students’ oral errors at the production stage? What is the effect of teacher correction? 7. Who is in control of turn-taking and topics in classroom discourse? What are students’ and teachers’ attitudes towards internet-based reading materials? 4. 5. 6.

In addition.Example  A researcher (Bejarano 1987) compared the effect of 3 teaching methods on achievement in EFL. In order to examine whether the teachers of each of the methods actually implemented them correctly. the observers were asked to write an impressionistic report of whatever they could detect in the classes concerning ss’ behaviors while they were carrying out the various activities. . middle. observations were conducted by 3 observers. and end of a classroom session. Ratings were recorded every 15 seconds for a 7-minute period at the beginning. until close agreement was obtained among the different observers. The real observations were conducted by three observers visiting every class twice during the experimental period using a 20-item observation schedule. They were first trained in methods of observations with videotapes and in classrooms.

. What kind of observations was used? 1. How many observers were there? 3.Questions: What was the purpose of the observations? 2.

Training in brainstorming and developing writing skills .Le Van Canh (article 4) 3. . In Their own words: Vietnamese EFL Teachers’ conceptions of Action Research .Read the studies & identify data collection tools used University classroom in Vietnam: contesting the stereotypes – Phan Le Ha (article 1) 2.Zhenhui Rao (article 10) 1.

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