Classroom Observation Report

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These observations were made in three collegiate ESL courses during the semester, a Writing Class, a Grammar Class and a Reading/Discussion Class. Writing Class This class was mainly teacher-centered. The teacher explained the agenda, reviewed a feedback survey, and then led the next activity which lasted about 1 hour. Even though she elicited student participation, she facilitated the discussions. As the class discussed each student's essay map on the overhead, she asked students to critique the quality. Sometimes she scaffolded the critiques to bring awareness to the main grammatical problems. The Attention Theories, including Krashen's Monitor theory and Bialystock's explicit knowledge concept, were prevalent in this class because the grammatical rules such as parallelism in writing were directly taught. As each student's work was presented, it became easier for them to recognize similar mistakes because they knew what to look for. The thought process was emphasized in this writing class, and I think the explicit knowledge benefited most students. The teacher facilitated feedback in various ways. The teacher reviewed a survey that students completed last class. It helped the teacher know student opinions on the pace of the class, time spent on homework, and recommended changes. Also, she gave concise constructive feedback on each student's essay map as they were discussed as a class. The First Language and Attention Theories would advocate this frequency of feedback on their writing skills; these students would avoid fossilization of errors and practice correct forms if attention was brought to them (Horwitz, 2008). After the activity critiquing the essay maps, she asked if the students liked whole-class p... ... middle of paper ... ...ur. The next few activities included student input, but were mainly teacher-centered. They reviewed reading comprehension questions that were homework from the textbook. The teacher read the question, and then students held up cards that had various letters on it (i.e. 'T' and 'F' represented True and False). Depending on the type of response requested, students held up the appropriate card. This seemed like an efficient and immediate way to check for understanding. I learned that the established procedures and the opportunity to engage in natural conversation enabled students to be motivated and stay on task, both of which are important to consider in my own classroom. Citations Horwitz, E. K. (2008). Becoming a language teacher: A practical guide to second language learning and teaching. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

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