Reflection on teaching

Input hypothesis Task Analysis / Educational Objectives – Reflection on teaching

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Working as a teacher trainer, I have two main aspects to consider for my students about Second (even foreign) Language educational practices: what to teach and how to teach it. Organising for instruction provides the information that allows these soon-to-be teachers to determine how each class (the term) successfully develops. It is their analysis of their instructions and tasks involved that contribute to comprehensible education. This is one focus that proves hard to convey to these new teachers and certainly an ongoing professional development for myself. This means that there are educational objectives that they need that outline what will be learned and what their second language students should be able to do/show at the end of the period of study. With respect to this, I will, in this reflection, outline what is contributed to this discipline to help with my deeper understanding.

To begin with, I need to show in my training that education for each second language student takes on many factors not only learning academically but also being a student of life. This means that students become natural learners and recognise not only their role in the learning world but also the world as a whole. They can gain knowledge in the classroom but how do they apply it outside the classroom. This means that through education, within the teacher’s objectives, there should be provisions for each individual with opportunities to develop abilities so that each student is able to demonstrate that he or she can do a specific task to a reasonable standard. But the teacher must recognise that there are different types of objectives. They can be developed into separate areas.  Three such areas exist. Each of the three areas or domains is of human functioning. There is the affective domain which involves feelings. The psychomotor area includes coordination and other physical skills. The cognitive domain includes those activities directly associated with doing academically relevant work. With these three domains, each objective shows prominence as observable actions that are what the teacher wants to observe after they have broadly educated the students.

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Teacher’s Classroom Reflection Questions

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  • When you have completed your lesson, ask yourself these questions.

1. Did the students co-operate with their peers or seem to have much contact outside of class with proficient L2/Foreign Language users?

The students did co-operate with their peers. I think the best way to do this is through the instructions of the teacher. I said ‘talk to four people’, this made them at least talk to more than their partner. I think the next time I will get them in groups but mix the groups up.

My thoughts are on building a community spirit

2. Did the students often ask for clarification, verification, or correction? 

All these factors are important for the lesson and I encourage them. I thought the students were using them. There were still some students relying on other students to help. I wrote some Concept Checking Questions (CCQ) for the students to ask. At least, it highlighted factors to address.

3. Do your lesson plans incorporate various ways that students can learn the language you are modelling, practising or presenting, in order to appeal to a variety of learning styles and strategies?

I got the students up in lines, and they had to sort out an order. I had pictures to relate the words. I think I should have done the opposites of some of the words to make the words clearer. Also, I think they could have learnt more, so I could have got them out to write more words on the board, although I did put three pictures on the wall and let the students get up and write their ideas. 

 4. Does your teaching allow learners to approach the task at hand in a variety of ways? Is your LLS training implicit, explicit, or both?

I think I use a variety of ways for the students to learn. Also, I go around the students when they working and ask them questions and check their work to see how they are tackling the task. This gives them a chance to ask questions.

5. Is your class learner-centered? 

At times, I still feel I talk too much although I used a lot of group work. This group is tempered because the students always like to chat.

6. Do you allow students to work on their own and learn from one another? 

I encourage students to talk to their partners. I try and focus them on asking their partner questions. I also had it in mind to get them conversing with each other. I have a feeling that at times I should allow the students to do my work and then they ask me questions. For example, in this class, I reviewed some sentences the students had written on the board about three pictures and all the students were quiet. This I thought was valuable time wasted. I think I should have given the pictures to the students and checked their work as they worked in a group. 

7. As you circulate in class, are you encouraging questions, or posing ones relevant to the learners with whom you interact?

I think I do this well. It is fascinating because some of the students do not understand the questions you ask. This shows that they still need a lot of one-to-one practice. One lady in this lesson kept saying ‘I do not understand’. I made it a focus of mine to get her to understand. I feel as though some students are not real learners. They come to our school thinking that just following the teacher and speaking a few words makes them a student. So, by circulating in class, and encouraging questions I can install the learning spirit in them. I think also my relevant questions about their learning and showing that we are all in this together, they will benefit from asking questions and learning in this class.

8. Do students seem to have grasped the point?

My first exercise was to get the students to write some sentences about what they feel they want from this class. I think I should have explained it better. They were not sure why we were doing the exercise. Saying this though I feel if I give them the answers they will just copy and give the answers that are the right answers but not what they really feel. Again I can look back at the questions for understanding. If they do not understand they should ask. 

9. Did they use the LLS that was modeled in the task they were to perform? 

They were hesitant to use the sentences I gave them about understanding. Some were not sure why they had to do it. They do the task but for some reason, they hold back. I think this idea of LLS was new to them. I have 30 hours with the class and I will try to improve their ideas on how they learn. 

10. What improvements for future lessons of this type or on this topic might be gleaned from students’ behaviour?

I think I will try to have the students working together more and mixing the groups up also. I need to install some questions for understanding that will always be needed. I will try and keep them thinking that they can ask the teacher when they do not know. 

11. What did you do at the start that got them thinking?

For this lesson about general appearance, I first asked questions about their height, and length of hair. I then talked about my general appearance. I did this by using my hands. I also wrote a spider’s web on the board to help with the words.

12. How did the students show they were trying to acquire the knowledge?

I said to them ‘Am I short?’ and the students answered ‘No, you are short.’ This showed to me who was listening. Some students asked me for clarification. This was good because it became more personal. I also said ‘am I young?’ which most people said ‘no’.

13. How did the students show they had learnt the grammar point?

I made them write some sentences on the board about the pictures I had put up. I let them write freely without any checking then once they had finished I checked over the work. I also had them write in the book about themselves and their partner and I went around and checked this.

14. With respect to language acquisition, how can you show this factor has been achieved with your students?

This was the first lesson and I do not think that they could have acquired the grammar. I think for this first lesson it was just to show them the words. I think in the next lesson I will allow them to try and use the words as it is easier to write than speak.

15. What do you wonder about in your teaching and your students’ learning?

I wonder why so many students when they do not understand either forget about it or ask their friends. Their friends may tell them the answer but it is in their native language. This dismisses their chance to listen to a native speaker explain. I wonder why they think they can not ask for clarification.

16. What puzzles you about your students, the content, or the organization of your classroom?

I think the organization of the room is fine but the class is too big. My content needs to be more learner-centered and less talk from the teacher. I need to have exercises that allow the students to be puzzled and ask questions.

17. What aspects of the students’ learning do you want to understand better?

I want to know how much they have learned in the class. I want them to show that they have understood the lesson and like speaking their new language

18. What are some of your teaching situations that you are intrigued by or want to change? Why?

I want to change the way I use the board and teacher talking time. I notice sometimes that I can be talking and the whole class is listening but I could have done this task a bit differently and got the students to do the work.

19. What do you know about your teaching or their learning that you are interested in verifying?

I want to know that my language is not too slow or fast for the level and also am I testing them to their fullest.