Thursday, 5 November 2009

Classroom Observation # 2: Attending to the Learner

This is my second observation of a secondary school EFL class. This time I've focused on the different strategies a teacher has in order to relate to his/her students. If we consider learning & teaching in a classroom as a truly communicative and human endeavour, these skills become an integral part of our work. They are (or should be!) realistic, genuine, and meaningful because they resemble real-life interactions. Eager to hear your views on this!
Attending to the Learner

1 comment:

  1. What a carefully thought report, Roy!
    Two points I'd like to highlight:
    * You wrote: "weaker students tended to 'disappear in the crowd'". This is often definitely the case, and as teachers, I guess our main concern should be not to attend to those who don't actually need our support that much instead of those who
    really require our help! Besides, it's been said students who misbehave may do so because that's their strategy to get the teacher's attention... food for thought, isn't it?

    * Listening and talking in large groups: I certainly agree with you this is a skill which needs to be prioritised in the school agenda. Considering these were 1st-year students, I can't help wondering how much they learned about this through their primary schooling... :-( My next question would focus on the work we - secondary school teachers- can do to contribute to improving things, though: how can we systematically go about developing these skills? Haven't got many answers myself, I'm afraid, but if you ever come across any ideas, please keep me updated! ;-)

    Finally, I wonder which strategies you use yourself in your teaching. Use of first names, perhaps? Smiling? Explicit requests?
    ... I'll entertain myself imagining you teaching in different ways until you tell me!

    Happy New Year!