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Presentation of an observation of a class at the Intensive School of English By Elena Kadi-Montague University of Brighton TLM52.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation of an observation of a class at the Intensive School of English By Elena Kadi-Montague University of Brighton TLM52."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation of an observation of a class at the Intensive School of English By Elena Kadi-Montague University of Brighton TLM52

2 The pedagogical importance of observation ‘’The ‘’good’’ teacher is the one who can make the right judgment as to what teaching device is the most valuable at any given moment. Good language teaching is an ‘’art’’. Only models for the investigation of the process of language teaching which are more sophisticated than those used at present will enable us to pass any absolute judgement as to what constitutes ‘’good’’ and ‘’bad’’ devices of teaching foreign languages’ ’Politzer(1969). Moreover: ‘’…thinking about new ideas in the light of past experience,fitting new ideas into her or his thinking,and reappraising old assumptions in the light of new information. New information is therefore absorbed in a way that is creative, dynamic and personal’’ Wajnryb(1992)

3 Specific Information about the actual observing experience Place: Intensive school of English-Brighton Level of learners: Age of the learners: Upper intermediate Between 22-27 years old Genre of learners: Non-native speakers: from Spain, Korea, Czech Republic Number of participants in the whole procedure: 8 students and the teacher

4 The target of the teaching procedure Teacher’s aim: Ethic in a working environment Learning objectives: Business terms and vocabulary Strategies of solving a problem that appears at work Expressing opinions about a specific problem Writing a letter of reporting a problem Material used: Books: Intermediate Business /Market Leader (Unit 10) Extra leaflets: Exercises of practicing new vocabulary Pictures: Diagrams drawn on the board Learning Software: none, but use of head projector Way they were presented-used: By the teacher mostly as the main presenter

5 Pictures of the material used

6 The role of the teacher Primary ‘’source’’? Yes, at the beginning of the learning procedure Director? Yes, almost along the whole procedure Catalyst? Yes,but in a bad way-giving ready solutions Facilitator Consultant? Only during the 15 min’s role –play & the group work

7 Teacher's strategy in order to achieve his aim (according to Bloom’s Taxonomy) Knowledge: Recall of previous knowledge and vocabulary from the 2 units that were taught before Comprehension: 1. Questions given to be answered after silent reading of the passage and then group work 2.Listening and then completing exercises Application: Point out situations like that in their work or imagine how they were going to react in similar situations Analysis: Separation of concept and basic terms using a diagram on the board Synthesis: Reconstruction of the whole story, using the diagram on the board-demand for summarising Evaluation: Selection of the better solution to the problem

8 The role of the learners Plan and monitor the learning? Members of a group -interacting with others? Learn from the teacher? Comments:  10% they were monitoring their activities-during the role play  30% they were working in groups and interacting between them and the passage  60% they were learning from the teacher directly or indirectly

9 Learners’ strategies as a result Listening to teacher’s instructions? Yes, most of the time Searching to gain Information? Yes, during group work and comprehension Interacting with others to discover? Yes, during role-play Automotive -working alone? Yes, when reading or answering questions

10 The role of the objectives in the whole procedure and the actions of the learners according to them Oral skills: 60% of the whole procedure -Answering to questions of the teacher -Expressing opinions -Finding solutions of the problem Reading Skills: 10% of the whole procedure -Reading comprehension -Searching for new terms- vocabulary -Reading terms writen on the board in the form of a diagram Listening skills: 10% of the whole procedure -Listening comprehension from a tape -Listening to other learners expressing their opinion Writing skills: 20% of the whole procedure -Taking notes during group work -Writing a letter at the end of the lesson

11 The classroom environment Taxonomy of the learners’ position: In a U-shape at the beginning In groups of 4 during interacting in the group Around a table-meeting during role play Teacher’s position: Main: In front of the board Once in a while: Close to the students Not at all: sit within a group Real photographs of the classroom

12 The nature of the activities Activities: Tasks-questions of understanding the discourse Problems to be solved trough group working Listening and complete exercises of the book Role-play Intensity of the activities: Quite too intensive, maybe because the learners knowledge was poor (difficulties of using the language) Amount of time on them: Enough or maybe more than enough (they could be shorted) Expansion of them:  At the end of announcement of the results by learners, choosing the ‘’right’’ one by teacher and expansion of them by teacher

13 The type of the questions Display questions: Quite a lot, especially when :  they weren’t able for an answer  when giving feedback- ’’choosing’’ the correct answer Referential questions: Enough,but only:  before group working and  before the role-play Repetition of the questions:  Every time that they couldn't answer  Every time there wasn’t a respond or they were too silent Teachers echoing: Not that often Frequency of the questions:  Every 2 minutes when analysing the passage  Every 5 minutes when working in groups  Not at all during the role play

14 The role of the feedback Oral by the teacher: Written by the teacher: Interactive between teacher- learners: Timing?  After the announcement of a group’s result  After an answer to his question  When analysing the passage  When listening to the role-play from a corner  Only when searching for a ‘’better’’ answer, after the announcement of a ‘’wrong’’ one In which way?  Right or wrong If right  no expansion If wrong  asking for a ‘’better’’ answer  Silently on the board-just choosing the ‘’right’’ answers  Oral, asking for a different opinion, to add- in to complete a statement Sufficient? Maybe yes according to the ‘’correct’’ answer but not interactive No, because the students didn’t notice or pay attention to it Not,actually Only at the ‘’surface’’ interactive

15 The ‘‘hidden’’ approach A combination of:  Situational Language Learning 1.Since the materials in the books were taken from ‘’Financial Times’’, so they were authentic 2.Since there was an expansion to out-of-classroom situations  Communicative Language Learning (a ‘’weak’’ version) 1.As far as group working and role-play acting, but not as far as analysing the passage or giving feedback 2.As far as the classroom taxonomy and the position of the learners

16 Advantages of the teaching method used Group workingRole-play acting Motivating for the ‘’strong’’ students Usage of authentic passages Usage of head- projector Objectives according to the learners’ needs Usage of a diagram for both the analysis and synthesis Appropriate classroom taxonomy Expansion to out-of- class real situations

17 Disadvantages of the teaching method used Too guided by the teacher Too difficult objectives for some of the learners Not a sufficient usage of the group working Extended talking time by the teacher Too much oral activity Not sufficient or interactive feedback Not motivating for the ‘’weak’’ learners –they stayed passive Not sufficient time for finishing the writing activity No usage of the role-play results

18 The effectiveness of the actual learning procedure On the learners:  The able students seemed to have benefit out of it  Good structure of the lesson,including the four basic language skills  Acquisition of important terms and conditions that they will face in real life  Expressing and receiving multiple and relevant information On me as an observer:  Able to collect a big amount of useful data for my presentation (variety of activities)  I had time to consider the collecting data, since the pace of the lesson was slow  I could see myself in the teachers position and I had the chance of a comparison of teaching strategies

19 The influence on my pedagogical beliefs Aspects I should avoid as a teacher:  Not to use group working if am not going to use it beneficially  Be careful to divide the time equally between the four basic language skills  Provide situations for a sufficient and interactive feedback and not to give it in the form of ‘’right’’ or ‘’wrong’’  Not to talk too much,leave the students to express themselves more. Aspects I should internalize as a teacher:  Choose more carefully the learning materials so to be meaningful  Try to expand the learning objectives to out- of-classroom situations  The use of role-play can be very beneficial and can promote the understanding and acquisition The frequent change of learning activities and a variety of them is a motivating factor

20 Conclusion: was it necessary as an experience?  One of the most important experiences I’ve ever had as a teacher  It helped me to: 1.Reconsider existing teaching beliefs 2.Compare other teaching strategies with mine 3. Realise the importance or not of basic teaching activities 4.Reminded me of pedagogical aspects that it seemed that I ‘’forgot’’…

21 Future of observation experience on a personal level  I could observe colleagues of mine more often as an attend to renew and ‘’update’’ my teaching strategies  I could invite colleagues of mine to observe my lessons and discuss the interactive feedback after the teaching procedure  I could advise other teachers to have the same experience, since was more than beneficial to me!

22 Nobody’s perfect…Perfection is an illusion. What is real though, is the existence of an improvement perspective, whose particular aspects we should internalise and have as a ‘’reference guide’’ in every teaching experience, in every educational movement…We are teachers, but we still learn…That’s not an Utopia, that's a continuous aim!


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