Observations in ELT: a quality control tool

LOGO FINALIn this podcast we talk about being observed. In our own experience observations have mostly been used for quality control purposes and as teachers we have benefited little from many of them. As a result, we suggest how we think observations could be made more useful for teachers in terms of professional development.

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1 thought on “Observations in ELT: a quality control tool

  1. Really enjoyed your podcast! Lots of things to think about! I’ve actually been a subscriber to your blog, Marek, for a while, but it’s the first podcast I’ve had the chance to listen to. I had to give this one a listen because it’s extremely relevant to my new position in my school. Yes, that’s right, I’m actually getting paid to go in and observe classes and act as a mentor to our newer, less experienced teachers (with more emphasis on PD rather than quality control).

    I’ve kinda been given free reign to shape my new role as’teacher mentor’ as I see fit. So it was interesting to hear what you had to say about your most valuable observation experiences and what would be the ‘ideal’. I certainly agree that there has to be some kind of pre and post observation meeting with the teacher with some kind of goal setting and then following that up with another observation at a later date.

    There were also a lot of interesting points made about (the crazy) lesson planning on CELTA and the fact that it doesn’t really match with the realities of the job and the fact that the course doesn’t provide participants with alternative and more realistic ways to plan their lessons. However, I think a lot of people come into the CELTA with absolutely no experience of teaching (or even any background in language learning/linguistics) and have practically no idea about what a lesson should/can/could look like. The lesson planning process is (I assume) used to build up people’s knowledge and confidence in a structured way. Gives them something concrete they can hold on to and take away from CELTA. Then I think they assume that graduates then go off and gradually start reducing their written lesson planning as they get more experienced. Remember, the CELTA is only seen as initial training.

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