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Dttl's Assignment 1

1665 words - 7 pages

Assignment 1 – Observation

The lesson that was observed for this assignment was an entry level 1 English as a Second Language (ESOL) course based in City College Coventry; there were 15 learners consisting of a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and ages. Refer to appendix 1 for background information relating to this. 30 minutes were spent observing this lesson.

In anticipation of the observation, the teacher had set aside a table from which the observation could be carried out, on this he had placed a copy of his full lesson plan including copies of his power points and any learning material that was going to be utilised throughout the lesson. (Copies are in appendix 2). This ...view middle of the document...

He did this by utilising assessment for learning techniques such as, effective questioning and by opening up a group discussion which encouraged the group to question each other, thus teaching the learners to formulate their own questions, in turn helping them to become better learners, the teacher stepped in if the group were going of on a tangent and kept them focussed, helping them to learn where to focus their efforts in order to improve their learning. At each stage of the lesson the teacher clearly explained what was to be expected from the learners ensuring that their focus remained where it needed to be. Each new task was kept very learner centred and a variety of teaching strategies and approaches were applied. Practical activities were mixed in with board work, group work and discussion, ensuring the lesson was varied and kept the students attention. Active learning techniques were very much used to ensure that the activities were student led rather than teacher led, ‘what the learner does is more important than what the teacher does’ (Petty, 2004). There was a good pace to the lesson, reference was made to up to date cultural material, such as the use of current popular movies relevant to the subject matter being taught (i.e. The King’s Speech) this kept the students motivated, engaged, willing and enthusiastic to contribute to the lesson.

The teacher was very aware of the different abilities within his class and had contingencies in place as part of his lesson plan to ensure any differentiation was catered for, for example, he made use of quicker finishers to aid slower learners, this has the multiple benefit of keeping all learners actively learning within the class, at the same time re-enforcing their own learning by teaching to others.

Initial impressions when entering the classroom were of a very cluttered and overcrowded class, this made for quite a claustrophobic atmosphere, this was due to the resources available to the teacher and not something that could be overcome easily, possibly something as small as moving around the furniture may have reduced this feeling. However, on further observation it was evident that this was turned into an advantage by the teacher in that he encouraged it to give the students a sense of inclusion and ‘community’, meeting several of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow, 1943), for example, the needs for ‘safety and belongingness’ thus making them feel comfortable and more inclined to participate in the lesson. The teacher utilised all of the available resources to the utmost. Making extensive use of the whiteboard in a wide variety of ways, such as using it for video clips, audio, visual aids, questioning, revealing answers slowly one at a time, along with the use of laptops, the teacher was able to broaden the students use of technology as well as the primary role of improving their English skills. The variety of teaching methods used also took into account students different...

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