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Managing the english class

sociology

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                                UNIVERSITATEA  BACAU

                            FACULTATEA DE LITERE



                 SPECIALIZAREA: ENGLEZA – FRANCEZA

               

                LUCRARE  DE  DIPLOMA

                                   UNIVERSITATEA  BACAU

                            FACULTATEA DE LITERE

                 SPECIALIZAREA: ENGLEZA – FRANCEZA

                MANAGING THE ENGLISH CLASS

                                         CONTENTS

       Argument

I.                   TEACHING ENGLISH

                    I.1. Defining concepts

                   I.2. Approaches and methods

        I.3. The teacher as a subject of learning

        I.4. Effective presentation

        I.5. Teaching the skills

        I.6. Evaluation

II.                CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

               II.1. Theoretical considerations

               II.2. Lesson planning

               II.3. Teacher’s roles

               II.4. Reflective teaching

               II.5. Classroom interaction

               II.6. Observing the teacher

               II.7. Dealing with students

III.             CONCLUSIONS

Bibliography

                                              ARGUMENT

Being able to introduce children to the wonderful world that is English is a great joy for me and that is the reason why I decided to write in my diploma paper about how we can manage the English class. An efficient management leads to a very interesting and pleasant class. It is important to know and to apply strategies that will atract the student and that will make him look forward for the next English class.

Classroom managemt plays a crucial role in the teaching process. With its help the teacher makes sure that he has an effective lesson. Classroom management refers to the methods and practices that a teacher uses to control classroom space, students’ behaviour, and learning. That is why I have chosen to write my diploma paper on classroom management.

                                    I. TEACHING ENGLISH

                                     I. 1. Definig concepts

English is spread world-wide and more and more people learn it everyday. English is the language of commerce, of the mass-media. It is taught in schools all over the world. The ones who want to learn English have a clear goal: they want to communicate with people from other countries, they want to be able to express themselves if they visit a foreign country (especially if in that country English is the first or the second language), they want to be able to read books and newspapers in English.

The role of English within a nation’s daily life is influenced by geographical, historical, cultural and political factors. Today it has an important role in our life. A lot of terms are borrowed by our language. People watch television shows in English, almost all the labels are bilingual – they are written in English and Romanian.

Today English is taught as a foreign language in Romania. Almost in every school pupils learn it. In order to make sure that the children enjoy doing it we have to apply some strategies.

The class management is a collection of techniques and organisational procedures that the teacher can use to organise the classroom and the classroom activities to maximize the effectiveness of his teaching. Three headings can be used:

                * classroom organisation;

                   * classroom interaction;

                   * teacher’s resources[1].

 The teacher has to be very well prepared, he has to know to develop theories, awareness of options, and decision-making abilities.

Knowing a language means knowing the items that make up that language, being able to supply these items when they are missing or being able to do without them. Knowing a language means knowing:

          à  pronunciation (knowledge in sounds, intonation,  stress, rhythm);

          à vocabular (knowing what a word means literaly and metaphorically);

          à grammar (knowledge of the rules which help creating an infinit number of sentences);

          à discourse (knowledge of how language is used appropriately and how language is organized);

          à language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

Teaching a language is a complex process, is a step-by-step process, proceding from the simple to the more difficult. It has in view objectives (cognitive and affective), learning styles and personal characteristics of the students.

I.                   2. Approaches and methods

Teaching a language also means resorting to different approaches, methods and techniques.

The approach is defined as:

1.            a particular way of thinking about or dealing with something, a way of doing and thinking about something such as a problem or a task;

2.            the fact of coming closer in time or distance;

3.            a path or road that leads to a place[2].

The method is defined as:

1.            a way of doing something, especially a planned or established way;

2.            the quality of being well planned and organized[3].

The technique is defined as:

1.      a method of doing something using a special skill that you have developed;

2.      the skills needed to do a particular activity[4].

         There are several methods and approaches that a teacher should know and apply during a lesson. These are:

     1. The grammar–translation method:

· It starts from the idea that language is based on different rules;

· The students should learn the rules and construct sentences;

· Teacher has authority and students follow instructions;

· The rules are memorized in a strict order;

· Teaching should start with a written text and by its analysis to come and teach its words and rules;

· The aspects of the language that are emphasized are vocabulary and grammar;

· A heavy emphasis is put on accuracy;

· A great attention is put on meaning, but this method is based on a rigid system, that is unable to embrace the richness and variety of the spoken language.

       2. The audio-lingual method:

· This method means the application of structural linguistics to the teaching of a foreign language;

· Teacher directs and controls students language behaviour, he provides a model that the students repeat and respond;

· Repetition and memorization lead to the development of skills and habits;

· Dialogues are used as the main means of presenting new language;

· Language structures are emphasised;

· No errors are allowed, as a heavy emphasis is put on accuracy;

       3. The direct method:

· Its introduction is connected with the introduction of phonetics;

· It tries to train and develop student’s capacity of thinking in a foreign language;

· The meaning of a word is explained by direct presentation of the object, by intuition. The abstract notions are explianed by means of paraphrase, synonyms, antonyms or deduction from the context;

· The accent is put on the spoken language and it replaces the learning of rules with the learning of sentences, clauses, words, idioms;

· It completely eliminates the mother tongue.

          4. Suggestopedia:

· The teacher’s role is to create situations in which the learner is most suggestable and then to present linguistic material in such a way as to encourage positive reception;

· Teacher has authority and he creates a positive atmosphere where students feel as uninhibited as children;

· Teacher initiates all interactions;

· Emphasis is put on vocabulary, explicit grammar and on communicative use;

· Errors are not immediately corrected, they are corrected later during the class;

· The main characteristics of this method are: the use of music, the students are sitting comfortably and relaxed; the adoption of a new identity.

         5. Total physical response:

· It attempts to teach English through physical activity;

· It promotes an enjoyable learning experience with minimum of stress;

· Structures and vocabulary are embedded in imperatives;

· The teacher gives the students instructions, they listen, do not respond verbally, but physically;

· When students have learned the commands and their meaning, then they can give commands for themselves and to other students.

These are only a few of the methods and approaches used in teaching a foreign language.

                                I.3. The teacher as a subject of learning

The teacher has to learn the foreign language in his turn. He has to know the language very well, thus being able to present it to the children.                     

 There are three main models of teacher learning[5]:

1. The craft model

The teacher takes the example of a “master teacher”, whom he observes and imitates. Professional action is seen as a craft that can be learned most effectively through an apprenticeship system and accumulated experience. This is a traditional method.

                2. The applied science model

The teacher studies theoretical courses in applied linguistics and other subjects, and then applies them into the classroom practice, through the construction of an appropriate methodology.

         3. The reflective model

The teacher either observes lessons, or he recalls past experience. He reflects, alone or in discussion with others, in order to work out theories about teaching. Then he tries out these theories in practice. Such a cycle has as an aim the continuous improvement and the development of personal theories of action.

Not only the students have to do the learning, but the teacher do as well. He teaches and he learns – the two are intertwined. The teacher learns something new everyday, not only when he is a new teacher, but throughout his career. The teacher has to be flexible, he has to have the power to admit that he might be wrong, he always has to look for more interesting alternative ways of doing things. The teacher cannot improve himself by simply reading and talking about new pedagogical ideas. Teachers learn best by studying, doing and reflecting; by collaborating with other teachers; by looking closely at students and their work; and by sharing what they see.

There are several methods that a teacher can use to improve and develop himself: he can start a local newspaper, he can learn about a completely different approach and he can try it out in the classroom, he can discuss what he does in the classroom with other teachers.

The teacher has to understand the subject matter deeply, because otherwise he cannot help his students understand it. He has to help his students create cognitive maps, relate ideas to one another, and clear up misconceptions. The teacher needs to see how ideas connect across fields and to everyday life[6]. The teacher has to know how to appeal to his students and how to make them understand the subject better. He has to know the differences that may arise from culture, family experiences, developed intelligences, and approaches to learning. He can motivate his students if he is aware of what the students believe about themselves, what they care about, what tasks are likely to give them enough success to encourge them to work hard.

Teachers must be able to use different teaching strategies to accomplish various goals. They must be able to identify the strenghts of their students, while addressing their weaknesses. Teachers need to know about curriculum resources and technologies to connect their students with sources of information that allow them to explore ideas, information, problems. Teachers need to encourage their students to interact with other students. He also has to know how to work with parents to help them learn more about their children and about their life at school.

Teachers need to be able to analyse and reflect on their practice, to assess the effects of their teaching. They must evaluate what students are thinking and understanding and reshape their plans to take account of what they like. A good teaching process is centered around planning lessons, evaluating students work, developing curriculum. It grows from investigations of practice through cases, questions, analysis, criticism.

                                 I. 4. Effective presentation

Students can learn something new only if they are able to perceive and understand it. The teacher has to mediate the new material and to put it in such a form that is most accessible for initial learning to the students.

This kind of mediation is called “presentation”[7] (it refers to the controlled modelling of a target item and to the initial encounter with comprehensible input in the form of spoken or written texts, as well as various kinds of explanations, instructions and discussion of new language items or tasks).

It is often difficult for students to understand the new material without the help of the teacher. The teacher has to present the new material in such a way that it can be perceived and understood by the students. The presentation of the material can help to activate learners’ attention, effort, intelligence and conscious learning strategies in order to enhance learning. The teacher can point out how a new item is related to something the students already know, or he can contrast a new bit of grammar with a parallel structure in their own language.

It is an essential teaching skill for a teacher to know how to mediate the new material or how to instruct effectively. It enables the teacher to facilitate the students’ entry into and understanding new material.

An effective presentation means[8]: attention (the students are alert, focussing their attention on the teacher and on the material to be learnt, and they are aware of the fact that what is coming next they have to take in), perception (the students see or hear the target material clearly; the teacher has to make sure that the new material is visible or audible, he has to repeat it in order to give added opportunities for perception; it offers the possibility to get a response from the students in order to check that they have perceived the material accurately), understanding (the students understand the meaning of the new material and its connection with other things that they already know; the teacher has to illustrate, to make links with previous learnt material, explain), short-term memory (the students need to take the new material into short-term memory: to remember it until later in the lesson when the teacher has the opportunity to do further work to consolidate learning; thus the original presentation has to have a great impact-it has to be colourful, dramatic, unusual in any way in order to impress the students).

When introducing new material the teacher often has to give explicit descriptions or definitions of concepts or processes to the students. The teacher has to preapre the explanations at home, because even if the teacher knows exactly what he is trying to explain, the explanations may not be as clear to his students as they are to him. Before starting to explain the new material the teacher has to make sure that he has the class’s full attention. The information has to be presented more than once, because the students need to understand the new material; the teacher can repeat the explanation or he can paraphrase it in order to achieve that. The explanation has to be brief and it has to be illustrated with examples. After the teacher has finished the explanation, he has to check with his class to see if they have understood (he needs to get feetback).

                                       I.5. Teaching the skills

Learning a foreign language is a long and gradual process. The students start from simple to more complex patterns and rules. They are put in abstract situations in the classroom and then they have to be able to use the language in real world communication. In the real world the students are exposed to a wide variety of vocabulary, structures and functions. They meet a variety of people with different levels of proficiency.

The teacher should introduce the activities gradually, he should keep them simple in the beginning, then he can go to more complex activities. Speaking is a productive skill and it involves developing oral communication competence. Students must learn how to start up a conversation, how to mentain it, how to deal with hesitations and embarrasing situations, how to interrupt and how to end a conversation.

The student should know how to request information, offer information, formulate a wish, describe facts and people, express feelings, clear up misunderstandings, contradict, raise objections, justify simething, make comments. All these become objectives in teaching speaking.

Listening implies active involvement. As listeners the students have to use certain skills when decoding a message. These skills are:

a. predictive skills – they predict what they are going to hear and by doing that they activate their brain, and that helps them understand what they hear. If the teacher elicits information from the students about the topic given, this encourages them to predict.

b. scanning – extracting specific information. Often we listen to something because we are interested in one specific information.

c. skimmimg – getting the general idea. The students listen because they want to get the general idea, without paying any attention to details.

d. extracting detailed information – as listeners the students have to be able to find out certain details, the speaker’s attitude, intentions.

e. the ability to recognise function and discourse patterns – the students have to learn how to disregard hesitations, reformulations, repetitions, fillers (wel, you see, you know, sort of, kind of) that appear in conversation and that are a means of gaining time. The students have to focus on the main message.

f. constructing from key words and tolerating not understanding everything – the teacher should raise the students’ awareness about how much they can gather from just a few words.

Reading is another skill that the students have to learn. It is important help our students understand all types of texts (literary, specialised, correspondence, jurnalistic, informational texts). The teachers need to decide what texts to use. Usually the texts used in the English class illustrate the grammar or vocabulary activities. Thus the text is just a vehicle for introducing grammar structures and vocabulary.

The text the teacher choses for his students has to have unity, cohesion and coherence. Reading is usually a silent activity and it should be encouraged as such in the classroom. The teacher can read sometimes aloud fragments, especially for beginners, but the students should read aloud as rarely as possible. There are several types of reading styles: intensive reading (is reading small texts to extract specific information, the focus is on the language, and not on the content), extensive reading (consists of reading longer texts, the emphasis is on the informational content, it involves global understanding), scanning (means going quickly through a text to find particular information, the students look for words that answer specific questions), skimming (involves quickly running one’s eyes through a text to get its gist).

Writing refers to several subskills: putting words on paper, making sentences and linking them into paragraphs, writing poems, developing essays. Teaching writing is guiding the students in analysing and developing their thoughts, in shaping and organising them into central and subordinate ideas. But writing is also a support skill, it helps pupils to think and to learn. Writing new words and structures helps students to remember them.

Learning writing involves developing several subskills: knowledge of the genre (they should recognise the genre in which they are writing, and they should be able to chose the correct grammatical and lexical items), knowledge of the language system (the students have to know the aspects of the language system that are necessary for the completion of the task), knowledge of the writing process (the students have to know how to prepare a writing task: how to plan, draft, review, edit).

                                                 I.6. Evaluation

Evaluation is a very important part in the educational process. It can be seen both as a starting point and as an end point of this process.

Testing is generally understood as giving a test. Evaluation expresses a final judgement about a student’s level of performance which has been measured using different “tools”. It refers to the extent to which the teaching/ learning objectives stated at the beginning of the school year, term or lesson have been achieved. This judgement is expressed in marks (from 1 to 10). Evaluation is the systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance. Assessment is referred to in the terms of the process which will lead to evaluation.

There are many techniques of assessing the students’ language and abilities. No matter which technique the teacher usses he should have in mind is that he has “to assess the students’ knowledge in such a way that it enhances further learning and motivation”[9].

Testing is a widely spread technique used for assessing students in the classroom. A test may be defined “as an activity whose main purpose is to convey how well the testee knows or can do something”[10]. A good test should have a number of qualities. There are three qualities that are crucial for a good test:

® Reliability – a student who takes a test at the beginning of a semester and at its end will record different results, but these results should show differences in his skills and not inaccuracies in the test. Consistency is crucial, a test should measure the same thing all the time.

® Validity – means the extent to which a test actually tests what is intended to test. There are five types of validity: concurrent, construct, content, face, predictive. Concurrent validity appears when a student’s scores in a test will be about the same with his scores in an established test of the same type. Construct validity appears when the test is constructed according to sound theories of language learning; this cannot be measured, being a matter of personal opinion. Content validity appears when a test measures relevant language content. Face validity appears if the test is a relevant test of language; this is established either by relating it to the syllabus or to the real world.

® Practicality – the test has to be realistic. The teacher should take into account what equipment he needs, how many photocopies he needs, how much all these cost.

There are several types of tests that are used on a large scale in order to evaluate the students’ progress: questions and answers (they can test almost anything), true/false (it tests only listening and reading), multiple-choice (it can test only reading and listenig), gap-filling and completion (it tests grammar and vocabulary), matching (it usually tests vocabulary, it is best administered written), dictation (it tests spelling, punctuation, listening comprehension), cloze (it tests reading, spelling, vocabulary and grammar), transformation (it tests the ability of the student to transform grammatical structures), rewriting (it involves paraphrasing), translation (it tests grammar and vocabulary), essay (it is a good test of general writing abilities).

Testing grammar

Grammar tests have the advantage of practicality (a large number of items can be administered and scored objectively in a short period of time). There are several types of items that can appear in a grammar test: multiple-choice items, modified cloze items, text completion items and paraphrase items.

Testing listening

Listening test items should include: listening for specific information, listening for gist, following directions, following instructions, interpretation of intonation patterns, recognition of functions (requests, advice).

Testing reading

The teacher should test the following reading subskills: skimming to obtain the general idea of a text, scanning to locate specific information in the text, identifying the stages of an argument, identifying examples in support of the argument in the topic sentence, identifying referents of pronouns, infer the meaning of words using the text as context, understanding text structure.

Testing speaking

Tests of speaking are rarely just speaking tests, except test items such as presenting the news, or weather forecast, or delivering a speech. In real life speaking is most often associated with listening.

Testing writing

When the teacher wants to test his students’ writing abilities he has to have the following questions in mind: Why are we writing? (our purpose); Who are we writing to? (who the person is and what relationship is there between us which will dictate the register we are going to use); What exactly are we writing? (relevant content information); How are we writing? (The format of our piece of writing – letter, report, narrative).

Students can also be evaluated using alternative means of evaluation:

A. portofolio assessment – the portofolio is a systematic collection of the student’s work. It enables the teacher to judge student achievement. Portofolio assessment is systematic, it provides visible evidence of the student’s progress, it is useful for making instructional decisions, it is accesible, it is focused and efficient;

B. projects – can be individual or group ones. A projects starts in the classroom, moves out into the real world and returns to the classroom;

C. self-evaluation – is a complex mental process. Students performing self-evaluation understand their goals for learning, monitor their success in achieving those goals. This leads students to analyse their progress.

These are a just a few of the ways in which a teacher can evaluate his students.

                                   

II.CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

                                  II.1. Theoretical considerations

Classroom management usually encompasses teacher’s actions that aim at managing students behaviourto engage students in learning. It includes actions such as establishing and maintaining order, providing effective instruction, handling of misbehaviours, attending to students’ emotional and cognitional needs, and managing group processes[11]. Classroom management is a wide-ranging topic that refers to the methods and practices that educators use to control classroom space, students, behaviour and learning. Kounin defined effective classroom management as “producing a high rate of work involvement and a low rate of deviancy in academic setting”[12]. Duke[13] describes classroom management as the provisions and procedures necessary to create and maintain a situation in which learning and teaching can take place, there is order in the classroom. Order can be defined as the situation where there is a clear set of expectations for all the classroom members.

Teaching is the parallel processing of classroom input and instruction. Processing of classroom input is important for classroom management. Teaching is a script based activity, meaning that the teaching script is both a script for understanding and for behaviour. A teaching script is a representation of actions or activities which make up teaching, and guide the teacher in executing a lesson. Teaching is composed of a great number of activities which have been routinized as procedure (if ® then).

Classroom management should be divided into two components: preventing of classroom disorder and restoration of classroom disorder. The prevention of classroom disorder can take place at two different levels:

*      Using managerial techniques;

*      Using instructional techniques.

Kounin[14] introduced two key concepts for classroom management: overlapping and withitness. Overlapping appears when a teacher does two or more things at the same time, but the activities are connected. No teacher performs two completely different, unrelated tasks simultaneously in class. Withitness appears when a teacher communicates with his students through (overt) behaviour, he shows awareness of what the students are doing ans what goes on in the classroom. Withitness behaviour can take different forms: a preventive action, a disciplinary action, an instructional action. The management techniques used can be: movement management, group focus, variation. Each of these techniques can be seen as preventive and as disciplinary actions.

Effective classroom management is a necessary condition for the creation of a conducive learning environement. A conducive learning environement is task-oriented and predictable. Effective classroom management involves more than merely supplying knowledge. The teacher is a major player in setting the classroom climate. Minimizing tension inside the classroom, moderating students behaviour, listening to students’ complaints, encouraging them to excel and being serious when needed – these are the effective parts of effective classroom management[15]. Communication is a classroom management skill. The nature of communication between students and teachers requires wisdom. The teacher needs to make his students understand the importance of communication in the classroom. Classroom design is an important prerequisite for effective communication.

 A teacher is confronted with two problems: the classroom management and the lack of adequate teaching resources. With a lack of good planning, the teacher loses competence in managing the classroom. The teacher’s poor relation with students undermines his ability to manage his classroom, since students are the main target in classroom management. A good teacher should be present in the classroom a few minutes earlier than the time set for the class start. He should smile and greet students, wander around the class, try to learn from them what they hope for and answer their questions. He should stand where he is clearly visible to all and pay adequate attention to all students, and give clear instructions as proceeds. Classroom seats play a major role. A successful classroom management requires:

1. a schematic plan to cover all learning issues;

2. a creative layout of the classroom;

3. a positive response to unexpected students behaviour;

4. use of body language to guide students when needed;

5. diversity in the use of teaching techniques;

6. use of humour in solving problems.

                                       II. 2. Lesson planning

Lesson planning means taking into consideration what to do with the students during the time they are in the class-room. Planning is imagining the lesson before it happens. It involves prediction, anticipation, sequencing, organising and simplifying. The lesson plan is a working document used for guidance. It should be clear and easy to read. There are several problems that the teacher should have in mind when planning a lesson: he has to decide clearly what he is going to teach, he should make sure that he has all the necessary material, he should prepare the textbook material he wants to use (he has to establish the border, chose the best exercises, find the unknown words).

The most important principles behind a good lesson planning are variety and flexibility. Variety means involving the students in a number of different types of activities and using a wide selection of materials. Thus learning becomes interesting for the students. In fact the learning experience should always be interesting and stimulating. Flexibility has to be a characteristic of the teacher at all times. There are moments when a teacher cannot follow the lesson plan for a number of reasons. A balance has to be established between what the teacher tries to achieve, on the one hand, and responding to what the students are saying or doing, on the other. Good teachers are able to react quickly to an unplanned event. When the teacher draws up the lesson plan he should examine the subject matter from the learner’s point of view, he should examine each unit in advance, focusing on the learning problems that the students will face during the lesson. The teacher has to keep in mind the ingredients of a good lesson when designing his lesson plan: clear goals, wide range of activities, variety of pace, involvement of students, sense of achievement (for the students), element of fun.

There are some mistakes that a teacher has to avoid making when he designs a lesson plan[16]. The objective must specify what the students will actually do that can be observed. An objective is a description of what a student does, that is why poorly written objectives lead to faulty inferences. Another mistake of the lesson planning can appear when the lesson assessment is disconnected from the behaviour indicated in the objective. An assessment in a lesson plan is a description of how the teacher will determine whether the objective has been accomplished. It must be based on the same behaviour that is incorporated in the objective, otherwise it is inefficient. The instruction in which the teacher will engage has to be efficient for the level of intended student learning. If this does not happen then the lesson plan fails. The student activities described in the lesson plan have to contribute in a direct and effective way to the lesson objective. These activities cannot be done just to keep the students busy.

The lesson plan is a guide that helps the teacher organise the material. A good lesson plan has to contain some preliminary information – the grade level of the students for whom the plan is intended, the specific subject-matter, the name of the unit and the name of the teacher. The parts of the lesson plan should fulfill some purpose in communicating the specific content, the objective, what will happen, the sequence of student and teacher activities, the materials required and the assessment procedures. Taken together these parts constitute an end (the objective), the means (what will happen and the student and teacher activities), and an input (information about the students and the necessary resources). At the conclusion of the lesson, the assessment tells the teacher how well the students actually attained the objective.

We have the following diagram[17]:

                                  Input T  Process T  Output

The input is represented by the physical materials or resources, and information that will be required by the process. Input consists of information about the students for whom the lesson is intented (information about their age, grade level, what they already know about what the teacher wants them to learn), information about the amount of time that it will take the teacher to implement the lesson, description of the materials needed during the lesson.

The process is the actual plan. It should answer the following questions: what are the inputs?; what is the output? (a description of what the students are supposed to learn); what do I do? (a description of the instructional activities the teacher will use); what do the students do? (a description of what the students will do during the lesson); how will the learning be measured?

The teacher has to keep in mind the individual differences. Foreign language learners differ in their ability to learn a language under apparently the same conditions of learning. But the inherent qualities (memory span, attention, ability to identify and perceive sounds, awareness), as well as other qualities, such as drive, motivation, and will power, can be developed in the students. The teacher should try to lift the less abilitated students to a level closer to that of their classmates.



Input in the language to which the students are exposed is: teacher talk, listening activities, reading passages, and the language heard and read outside the class. Input gives learners the material they need to develop their ability to use the language on their own.  Language input has two forms[18]:

A.  Finely tuned input – it is matched to learners’ current comprehension level and it is connected to what they already know. It is focused on conscious learning of a specific point: the pronunciation of a word, the contrast in the uses of two verb tenses, new vocabulary, useful social formulas. It is controlled by the teacher and it is used in the presentation stage of the lesson.

B.  Roughly tuned input – it is more complex than learners’ current proficiency and stretches the boundaries of their current knowledge. It focuses on authentic use of language in listening or reading passages. This type of input is used in the activity stage of the lesson.

Roughly tuned input challenges students to use listening and reading strategies to aid comprehension.

In order to learn a language students need as much as possible to hear and read the language as the native users use it. Teachers can make this thing happen in two ways:  teacher talk – he should always try to use the language as naturally as possible when he is talking to the students. Slowing down may seem to make the message more comprehensible, but it also distorts the subtle shifts in pronunciation that occur in the naturally paced speech. The teacher has to speak at normal rate and to use vocabulary and sentences with which the students are familiar. The same idea must be stated in different ways to help comprehension.

The teacher has to provide the context in order to make his students understand the topic better. Context includes knowledge of the topic, the vocabulary and language srtuctures in which the content is usually presented, the social and cultural expectations associated with the content. To help students have an authentic experience of understanding and using language, the teacher has to prepare them by raising their awareness of the context in which it occurs. He can ask them what they know about the topic, what they can predict from the title or the heading of a reading selection or the opening title of the listening selection, can review the vocabulary and sentence structures that are usually found in that type of material, he can review relevant cultural and social experiences.

Activities in the language classroom simulate communication outside the classroom when they are structured with such a purpose. In the classroom activities, students use the language to fill an information gap by getting answers or expanding a partial understanding. Fluent speakers use language to perform tasks such as solving problems, developing plans, completing projects. The teacher can use similar task-based activities in the classroom, because it is an excellent way to encourage students to use the language. Tasks may involve solving a problem, creating a crossword puzzle, making a video, preparing a presentation, drawing up a plan.

The teacher has to encourage collaboration. Whenever possible, he can ask the students to work in pairs or small groups. Effective collaboration has three characteristics: communication gap (each student has relevant information that the others don’t have), task orientation (activity has a defined outcome, such as solving a problem), time limit (students have a preset amount of time to complete the task).

In the parts of the lesson that focus on form direct and immediate feedback is needed and expected. The teacher should encourage students to self-correct by waiting after they have spoken or by asking them to try again. The teacher can offer feedback by paraphrasing a student’s utterances, modeling the correct forms or he can ask students to clarify their utterances, providing paraphrases of their own. The teacher has to avoid feeding students the correct forms every time. He has to gradually teach them to depend less on him and more on themselves. In the parts of the lesson that focus on communication activities, the flow of talk should not be interrupted by the teacher’s corrections. He should react to the content of their utterances, and not to the form.

Langauges are cognitive systems, but they also express ideas and transmit cultural values. When the teacher discusses language uses with his students, he should include information on the social, cultural, and historical context that certain language forms carry for native speakers. Often these explanations include reference to what a native speaker would say and why.

As foreign language teacher, he should try to incalculate a new set of language habits in his students. In order to achieve this, he must find out at the beginning what abilities the students have. He can do that by testing their language knowledge and skills, and also by finding out about their prior learning experiences. This will help him to make a lesson plan based on the students’ needs.

In order to design a good lesson plan it is absolutely necessary to know what we are trying to achieve. The objectives of the lesson plan should be clearly stated and they should refer to the student’s behaviour – how we expect the students to behave at the end of the lesson/unit. The following verbs are generally used for expressing the objectives of the lesson: analyse, apply, assess, compare, demonstrate, describe, distinguish between, evaluate, explain, give examples of, list, pick up, state, summarise, use.

The activities in a lesson are generally organised into stages, according to their role in the teaching-learning process. The stages can be: presentation of necessary new language (functions, grammar, vocabulary, phonology, discourse features), controlled pre-communication practice (focused on accuracy), production (fluency and content of ideas), checking the outcome(s) after doing a communicative task, systematization of linguistic content or content of ideas. The names of the stages depend on the teaching models we adopt.

               Teaching models:

A. Presentation, Practice, Production - The teacher presents the context and situation for the language and explains and demonstrates the meaning and form of the new language. The students then practise making sentences, before going on to the production stage in which they talk more freely. This model is very effective for teaching simple language at lower levels.

B. Task-based Learning – This model emphasises the task. It is tasks that generate the language.

C. Engage, Study, Activate – This model is based on surveys that have shown that the conditions for successful language are motivation, exposure ti language and chances to use it. In the engage stage, the teacher tries to arouse the students’ interest by involving their emotions. He uses games, music, discussions, pictures, dramatic stories, anecdotes. Study is the stage of the lesson in which students are asked to focus on language and how it is constructed, or on information. Activate is the stage in which the students use the language as freely as they can.

There are several aids that a teacher can use in order to make the lesson more interesting and more appealing to the students. There are visual aids (real objects, pictures, charts, word cards, calendars, clocks, maps, books, magazines, newspapers) and audio aids (tape recorder, cds) that can be used during the presentation of the new material and while checking the students’ knowledge. The board is also an aid. The teacher can write down the new words, the problems that the students have to solve. The writing on the blackboard has to be visible to all students, the layout must be clear and not overcrowded or disorganised, the new language has to be highlighted efficiently.

A lesson plan contain these elements, typically in this order:

              * title of the lesson;

              * the amount of time required to complete the lesson;

              * a list of the required materials;

              * a list of objectives;

             * the set or lead-in to the lesson – it focuses the students on the skill about to be instructed;

            * the instructional component – the sequence of events which will take place during the lesson;

               * the summary – gives the teacher the opportunity to wrap up the discussion;

              * evaluation;

              * analysis – allows the teacher to reflect on the lesson and answer questions such as: What went well?; What went wrong?; What needs improving?; How the students reacted to the lesson.

          * continuity – the content, ideas, theme from the previous day are reflected upon and reviewed[19].

An effective lesson has five parts[20]:

                           1. preparation;

                           2. presentation;

                           3. practice;

                          4. evaluation;

                           5. expansion.

The five parts of the lesson may all take place during one hour of lecture or may extend over several hours, depending on the nature of the topic and of the activities. The lesson plan should outline who will do what in what part of each lesson. The time granted for preparation, presentation and evaluation activities should not be more than 8-10 minutes each. Communication practice may take longer.

At the beginning of the class the students should be anounced what objectives and what activities the class presupposes. The teacher has to help them focus and he can do that by eliciting their knowledge about the topic. He can use discussion or homework review in order to elicit knowledge related to the grammar and language points that will be discussed during the lesson. He can use comparison with the native language to find out the strategies that the students may already be using.

The next step in a lesson is the presentation of the linguistic and topical content of the lesson and relevant learning strategies. Presentation provides the language input that gives the students the foundation for their knowledge of the language. The input comes from the teacher and from the course textbook. An important part of the presentation is structured output, in which the students practice the form that the teacher has presented. In structured output the accuracy of  performance is very important. It is designed to make learners comfortable producing specific language items recently introduced. Structured output is a type of communication that is found only in language classes.

In the practice part of the lesson the focus shifts from the teacher to the students as completers of a designated task. Students work in pairs or small groups on a topic-based task with a specific outcome. In their work together the students move from the structured output to communicative output, in which the main purpose is to complete the communication task. Language becomes a tool, rather than an end in itself. Learners have to use any or all of the langauge that they know along with varied communication strategies. The criterion of success is whether the learner gets the message across. Accuracy is not a consideration, unless the lack of it interferes with the message. Activities for the practice segment of the lesson may come from the textbook or to be designed by the teacher.

When all students have completed the communication practice task, the class as a group has to recap the lesson. The teacher ask students to give examples of how they used the linguistic content and learning or communication strategies to carry out the communication task. Evaluation is useful for four reasons:

               1. it reinforces the material presented earlier in the lesson;

              2.   it provides an opportunity for the students to raise questions of usage and style;

3. it enables the teacher to monitor individual student comprehension and learning;

4. it provides closure to the lesson.

Expansion activities allow students to apply the knowledge that have gained in the classroom to the situations outside. Expansion activities include out-of-class observation assignments, in which the teacher asks students to find examples of something or to use a strategy and then report back.

An important part of the lesson is the warm-up. The teacher should not forget about this stage of the lesson because it helps the students to focus on the lesson. The warm-up activities are short activities used at the start of class periods. They are meant to get students’ attention, to help them put aside distracting thoughts.

There are some activities that are best suited for warm-up. These activities are[21]:

Interesting numbers: the teacher picks a number that deals with a topic familiar to his students. He formulates a question whose answer is the number he has chosen. The question can be put orally or it can be written on the blackboard. The students answer and then the teacher leads a brief discussion in order to reach a consensus. He gives the students the correct answer, citing its source.

Is that a fact? – the teacher asks his students a question that refers to  a fact that can be testable. The key to this kind of exercise is that the teacher has to identify tests that can be run to generate evidence with which to validate or invalidate the assertion which it is asked. If it is testable then the assertion is a fact.

What’s that?! – the teacher makes a list of ingredients that makes up a common product. The students are asked to identify the product. Each student can guess what the product might be and he has to explain what clues led him to his conclusion. The teacher has to try to reach a class consensus on the product’s identity. Once the class has reach a consensus or a deadlock the teacher has to reveal the product.

Words in the spotlight – under this heading the teacher can use three games: Hangman, Anagrams, and Is that a word?

                                 II. 3. Teacher’s roles

The teacher can have many roles in the classroom. The teacher can be a controller, an assessor, an organiser, a prompter, a participant, a resource, a tutor, an investigator, a motivator. But the main role that a teacher has is understanding students’ needs and engaging them them into their learning experiences. In order to do that he needs to learn about the students and their interests, abilities and learning styles. He needs to plan the classroom environement and routines, to organize the classroom facilities, to plan the lesson and the evaluation. Then he has to reflect upon the effectiveness of his planning, instruction and assessment as a means of gathering information about his students’ progress and instructional needs.

When the teacher’s role is that of controller all the students are working with him in the same rhythm and at the same pace. When the teacher has to introduce new language or grammatical rules he has to assume the role of the controller. He corrects almost instantly the students’ mistakes and errors. When teachers act as controllers they tend to do a lot of the talking.

All control must have a finality, which is usually an assessment. There are two types of assessments: correction and feedback.  The feedback occurs when the students have already finished a task. The teacher offers feedback to let the students know how well they have performed the activity. There are two kinds of feedback: content feedback (an assessment of how well the students performed the activity) and form feedback (an assessment of how well they have performed linguistically, how accurate they have been).

Perhaps the most important role the teacher has to play is that of an organiser. The success of many activities depend on good organisation, when students know exactly what they have to do. It is important for the teacher to know exactly what he is going to say, what information the students need. He has to be well organised in using various teaching aids.

The teacher often needs to encourage students to participate in the activity. As a prompter the teacher suggests to the students how to go on. This role is performed with discretion, because the teacher should help only when it is necessary.

Sometimes the teacher may join the activities as participant. This improves the atmosphere in the class and it gives the students a chance to practise English with someone who speaks better than they do. The teacher might tend to dominate the activity. It is his duty to participate as an equal.

The teacher needs to be always ready to offer help to his students. He might help them with the new language, he might tell them the words they do not remember.

The teacher can be a tutor for his students when they want to prepare a festival in English, edit an English magazine or do other projects. Then the teacher can offer them advice and guidance. The tutorial role is appropraie at intermediate and advanced levels and it is a broader role than the others.

The role of investigator relates to the teachers themselves and to their development. The teachers can go to teacher training courses, but they can also develop by themselves or with the help of colleagues. The best way is to investigate what is going on in the class, to try new techniques, to evaluate their appropiacy.

A teacher must know how to motivate his students and how he can keep them interested in the lesson. In order to do that he should be motivated himself, he should involve the students in the activity. A way to motivate the students is giving reinforcement.

Despite the different roles that a teacher may have, there are three main types of teacher[22]:

             A.  Authorian – a teacher who has total control of the classroom activities;

           B. Authoritative – a teacher that has competence and that imposes respect;       

          C.  Facilitative – a teacher who facilitates the classroom activities, who is supportive and helpful.

The twelve 
roles of the teacher as a graphic

                                          Fig. 1 The 12 roles of the teacher[23]

When the teacher is an information provider his responsibility is to pass on to students the information, knowledge and understanding in a topic appropriate at the stage of their studies. This leads to the traditional role of the teacher as one of provider of information. Another role that a teacher can have is that of a role model. He should exemplify what his students should learn. Students learn not only from what the teacher says, but also from what the teacher does. When the teacher is a facilitator, he mediates the students’ contact with the new material. One of the most important roles that a teacher can have is that of an assessor. He assesses the students’ competence. The teacher can also be a planner. He planns the curriculum and he planns the course. A final role that a teacher can have is that of a resource developer. The teacher chooses the resources to which the students’ may have access, he can select, adapt or produce the materials used for his class. In reality the roles are often interconnected and closely related one to another. A teacher may take simultaneously several roles.

Teaching style can be conceptualized on a continuum ranging from being teacher-centered to student-centered. The teaching style can be defined as the procedures and polices the teacher creates and the related behaviour he exhibits that communicates his approach to students. The instructor usually reflects an eclectic combination of the two ends of the continuum. Teaching style serves as a guide to dealing with the interpersonal aspects of the teacher-student interaction.

There are three main teaching styles:

A.          autonomor – each student has complete autonomy over classroom policies and procedures bound only by institutional constraints;

B.           facilitator – the teacher encourages students to develop their own classroom policies and procedures;

C.           dictator – he imposes classroom policies and procedures on students.

There are several problems that a teacher has to deal with. These problems are: encouraging timely attendance, encouraging timely assignments, encouraging quality learning tasks, encouraging class participation and encouraging the student to attend the classroom process. Encouraging timely attendance helps the teacher to effectively manage the classroom.

An autonomer  may opt to have no formal attendance or tardy policy, leaving the students the freedom of choice for being on time. A strategy he might employ to encourage timely attendence is simply stressing the importance of timely attendance. From the student’s perspective the advantage is that students are sanctioned to determine their value of classroom learning. The limitation for students is that students may arrive as they please, possibly disrupting other students.

A facilitator  may use some strategies to encourage timely attendance. These include: beginning every class on time, giving “exam reviews”, allowing the class to develop its own attendence policy. The advantage of beginning class on time is that appropriate behaviour is modeled by the instructor, thereby communicating behavioral expectations to the students. A weakness of this strategy raises the question how the instructor will handle the chronically tardy students who may miss important information. He may discuss strategies with the students to make up for the missed time. Suggested strategies include finding a student partner who will share their class notes, or designing the first few minutes of class time for a review of the last class so that essential material is not missed if a student arrives late. Another strategy that a teacher may use is that he may give “exam reviews” in the beginning of the class, throughout lectures (eg. indicating the importance of a concept while teaching it). The advantage to students is that they are encouraged to be physically and cognitively present in class to note potential exam material. Another advantage is that the anxiety about test performance is diminished and the students’ energy can be directed to learning. A limitation for the students is that indipendent thinking may be discouraged as the students are primed with exam content. The facilitator may allow the class to develop an attendance policy. Students are more likely to adhere to policies they develop themselves. The risk is that students may develop unrealistically rigid or lenient policies.

A dictator  may clearly articulate how timely attendance will be calculated into the final grades. The penalties and rewards for the behaviour are clear; however a rigid policy may penalize students who may be absent from class due to unexpected personal emergencies.

The autonomer’s  strategy to encourage timely assignments might be to suggest, rather than assign due dates. He clearly explains that meeting the suggested deadlines will help students to structure their time outside of the classroom in order to complete assignments and keep up with the readings and other class requirements. The benefit to this strategy is that students assume the primary responsibility for planning, carrying out, and evaluating their own learning experiences. They are free to pace themselves. The limitation is that students may not have the competencies at the outset of the course to complete their work and may, as a result, set assignment deadlines for the end of the term. They may also feel anxious gauging their own use of time.

A facilitator  may use three strategies to encourage timely assignments: he may allow the class to determine assignment due dates, he may allow each student to determine his own assignment due dates, or he may offer a due week or “window” rather than a due date. Allowing the class to determine assignment due dates makes students more accountable to self-determined policies. On the other hand, factions or individuals, trying to schedule due dates that will not conflict with their other responsibilities, may discourage class cohesion. If the students are allowed to determine their own assignment due dates enpowers them to balance due dates with other responsibilities. A third strategy of a facilitator may be to offer a due week or “window” instead of a due date. Students are allowed flexibility for submitting assignments. If they submit their assignments outside of the instructor’s regular office hours may feel uncertain if the instructor received it.

A dictator  provides definite and clear penalties for late assignments. The penalties and rewards for behaviour are clear. A rigid policy may penalize students with “legitimate” excuses. The instructor assumes the sole responsibility to determine the validity of the excuse and the student assumes the proof for the necessity of the absence.

An autonomor  may allow students to individually contract for class assignments. The students are free to create a method that is congruent with their learning style. A potential drawback may be that students may feel overwhelmed by having the unconventional responsibility of developing their own assignments. They may also feel hesitant to take up the instructor’s time for consultation and guidance about the work outside of the classroom.

A facilitator  may prepare the basic syllabus and build in choices to plan segments of the course. Students have greater choice about learning topics; they may choose the “easier” content to complete course assignments. He may also offer students options for meeting assignment requirements. Students may chose a method, with clear expectations, that is congruent with their learning style. They are discouraged from taking risks by developing skills or using methods with which they have less experience.

The dictator   may give students explicit assignment instructions. The benefit is that the expectations for the assignment are clear, but the potential for creativity and independent thinking is limited by the constraints of the assignment.

An autonomor  may allow the class to determine the vocal and nonvocal students. They are free to participate, as they are comfortable; but less vocal students have no incentive to participate.

The facilitator  may invite less vocal students to participate or he may use smaller discussion groups.

The dictator  may encourage class participation by clearly defining how participation will be calculated in the final grade. Students are reawrded for participation. They may be distracted from learning having to focus on what they will contribute to the participation credit.

The autonomor may allow his class to choose the content for discussion. This strategy allows the students to discuss areas that are challenging to them and fosters critical thinking. However, important information may not be given adequate time in the classroom.

The facilitator  may pace the class according to the class’ needs or he can offer individualized challenges. Suggesting that the class slow down or speed up, based on the group needs allows the class to decide what their needs are and lets the educator address those needs. Class needs may not be consistent with individual student needs. He may also offer additional individualized challanges based on students’ ability. The advanced students are offered opportunities to individualize course content, while the less advanced ones are offered remedial help. The disadvantage is that busier students may not have time for supplementary challanges.

The dictator  covers the material that the instructor chooses. Students are presumed not to be responsible to determine the importance of the content. Such a strategy may kill students’ interests[24].

Effective teaching requires the teacher to communicate expectations clearly to the students. The teacher must not assume that it is the student’s responsibility to adapt to the classroom. The classroom exchange should be a reciprocal process where the instructor adapts to the student’s needs, abilities, and interests and the student responds based on the environment fostered and supported by the instructor. Seeking simple solutions to managing the complex interactions that occur in the classroom can be tempting. No one element can have an equally positive impact on all students. Aligning one’s teaching style with classroom expectations will not necessarily provide a panacea, but it will provide classroom consistency and integrity. Effective teachers maintain an academic focus, they keep more pupils on task and they provide direct instruction. Effective direct instruction includes making learning goals clear, asking students questions to monitor understanding of content or skills covered, and providing feedback to students about their academic progress.

                                 II. 4. Reflective teaching

Feedback on the effectiveness of a lesson can be obtained by reflection. After teaching the lesson it is important that the teacher stops and thinks whether it was good or not, and why, in order to learn from reflection on experience. If the teacher reaches the conclusion that the lesson was good, he should ask himself what made it so. If the lesson was unsatisfactory he should ask himself what he could have done to improve it.

Reflection can lead to ideas for changes and/or additions. It may also lead to a record of what needs to be recycled and to ideas on ways to achieve this in future units. Reflection can also lead to some more general conclusions and plans for the future in relation to ways of improving the effectiveness of th teaching-learning process.

It is advisable that the teacher makes a habit out of trying to assess his performance after he has done the lesson. He could make comments detaling why he has assessed it the way he has, considering the following areas:

v     Preparation and planning;

v     Classroom management;

v     Creating a good relationship with the students;

v     Setting up activities;

v     Giving and receiving feedback;

v     Language presentation;

v     Language practice;

v     Dealing with mistakes.

To move from the old teaching model to a newer one, language teachers need to think about what they do and how and why they do it. Reflective practice allows teachers to consider these questions in a disciplined way. The reflective practice is based on three main questions:

1.      Which teaching model am I using?

2.      How does it apply in specific teaching situations?

3.      How well is it working?

Every teacher starts with an initial theory of language teaching and learning, based on personal experiences as language learner and, in some cases, reading and training. In reflective practice, the teacher applies this theory in classroom practice, observes and reflects on the results, and adapts the theory. The classroom becomes a kind of laboratory where the teacher can relate teaching theory to teaching practice.

The theory provides a unifying rationale for the activities that the teacher uses in the classroom; classroom observation and reflection enable the instructor to refine the theory and adjust teaching practice. Concepts that the teacher acquires through reading and professional development are absorbed into the theory and tested in the reflective practice cycle. This cycle of theory building, practice and reflection continues throughout a teacher’s career, as the teacher evaluates new experiences and tests new theories.

Reflective practice is aided by the use of a professional portofolio. A teaching portofolio is a record of a teacher’s classroom performance, development as a teacher, and building of coherence through reflective practice. A teaching portofolio has three functions:

1.      To allow the teacher to track personal development;

2.      To document teaching practice for performance review;

3.      To illustrate teaching approach for potential employers.[25]

The portofolio should have the following content[26]:

Section 1: Background and philosophy

ü                        Professional biography: a narrative description of the teacher’s professional history and the major influences on his teaching;

ü      Teaching philosophy: a description of how he teaches and why, the theoretical and philosophical foundations of his approach;

ü      Information of the environement where he has worked and any relevant details about the courses he has taught.

Section 2: Documentation of performance

ü      Classroom materials and assignments;

ü      Syllabi;

ü      Assessments;

ü      Professional development activities;

ü      Teaching-oriented professional service.

Section 3: Evaluations

ü      Student evaluation;

ü      Supervisor reports;

ü      Letters of support about his teaching.

A teaching portofolio can be a valuable tool for a language instructor. The reflective work that goes into producing it will encourage the teacher to clarify for himself what is he doing and why. It will also help him understand the professional value of teaching. His teaching portofolio will allow the teacher to present both his language teaching philosophy and the best or most interesting examples of its application in the classroom. The portofolio should not be a static collection that the teacher develops once and never revises it, he should review and update it every year so that it reflects his growth as a language teaching professional.

                  III.5. Classroom interaction

Classroom interaction can be of two main types: teacher-student and student-student. This interaction can be of several subtypes:

1.      Teacher- Teacher – the teacher talks and the student is silent, there is no initiative on the part of the student;

2.      Teacher- Students – the teacher asks and the students answer;

3.      Student- Teacher – the student initiate, the teacher answers;

4.      Student- Student – a full class of interaction. The students debate a topic or do a language task as a class. The teacher may intervene occasionally to stimulate participation or do monitor the class.

 It is important to have variety of interaction in the language lesson. It ensures that students are involved actively, it allows for different learning styles and it helps to keep students’ attention by varying the pace of the lesson. The type of classroom depends on the gender of the subjects. Gender stereotypes exist in society and in education. They portray males as dominant and females as subordinates. Various studies reported on teachers’ interactions with students: males were found to get more attention then did females[27]. Teacher-student interaction, by its very nature, can be characterized as a systematic and intensive social contact, necessitating a mechanism that maintains order and control.

There are different patterns of interaction[28]:

1.      Lockstep

Lockstep is the class grouping where the whole class is working with the teacher. All the students are “locked into” the same rhythm, pace, or same activity. Lockstep is the traditional teaching situation where a teacher-controlled activity is taking place. This student grouping has certain advantages: there is less noise, the teacher can usually be sure that everyone hears what is being said, the teacher usually offers a good language model to his students. There are also some disadvantages: the students’ chance to practise or talk is little, the lesson goes at the wrong speed for everyone, the students may get bored, some students may remain behind at one point and they miss the rest of the lesson. Shy and nervous students find lockstep work hard and annoying as they are exposed in front of the whole class. Lockstep involves too much teaching and too little learning.

2.      Pairwork

Students can be put into pairs for a variety of work including writing and reading. There are advantages of pairwork: immediate increase of the amount of student practice, communicative efficiency is encouraged and this is important for the atmosphere of the class and the motivation that it gives to learning with others, students feel secure as the teacher does not criticise them. There are some disadvantages of pairwork: students can make mistakes, the possible use of Romanian during the conversation, there can be a lot of noise, as everybody is talking in the same time and this can lead to a lack of discipline.

Pair work is a classroom activity in which the whole class is divided into pairs. The activity has to be well planned and carefully explained because it is very difficult for the teacher to give instructions once the pair-work session has started.

Pair-work offers intensive, realistic practice in speaking and listening, and it promotes a friendly classroom ambiance. It is a way of getting everyone in the classroom speaking and listening at the same time. It offers students more speaking time and changes the pace of the lesson. Pair-work takes the spotlight from the teacher and it puts it on the students. It gives the students a sense of achievement when they reach a team goal. It also teaches them how to lead and be led by someone other than the teacher. It gives the teacher the possibility to move around the classroom and he can listen to the language the students are producing.

There are also some disadvantages to pair-work. These are: high noise level (if the pair-work is successful, it’s noisy; this problem cannot be avoided), furniture (the best furniture for pair-work is small, light tables and chairs becuase they can be easily rearranged; but this is not always the furniture that one can find in a classroom. Large tables are difficult to move.); partners with no information to offer (information exchange is essential to pair-work, but if one student has no information to offer then the activity will fail)[29].

Activities best suited for pair-work[30]:

  1. Roll the ball (this can be used to practise any language that requires a question/answer pattern);
  2. Information gap (each pair receives a picture that has two or three elements missing. Without showing each other the pictures they should describe the missing objects);
  3. Telephone conversation (sitting back to back the students can practise telephone language or simple exchanges that don’t have to be connected with the telephone itself).

                   3.Groupwork

Groupwork is more dynamic than pairwork as there are more people working and, therefore, there are more opportunities for discussion. Working in groups has proved to be more relaxing than working in pairs.

Flexible groups represent a great possibility for groupwork. Students start in set groups of six or seven, and as an activity progresses the groups split up and re-form.

Group work, under proper conditions, encourages peer learning and peer support. Under less than ideal conditions, it can become a vehicle for conflict. Some educational benefits of students working cooperatively in groups are well recognised[31]. It enhances learning, it makes the students realize the value of teamwork.

Group work enhances student understanding. Students learn from each other and benefit from activities that require them to articulate and test their knowledge. Group work provides an opportunity for students to clarify and refine their understanding of concepts through discussion and rehersal with peers. Most of the students recognize the value of groupwork and they admit that develop their skills. These skills include: teamwork skills (skills in working within team dynamics, leadership skills); analytical and cognitive skills (analysing task requirements, questioning, critically interpreting material; evaluating the work of others); collaborative skills (conflict management, accepting intellectual criticism, flexibility, negotiation and compromise, delegation); organisational and time management skills.

Students learn best when they are actively involved in the process. Students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in small groups tend to be more satisfied with their classes[32].

Informal learning groups are temporary clusterings of students within a single class session. Formal learning groups are teams established to complete a specific task, such as perform a lab experiment, write a report, carry out a project. These groups may complete their work in a single class session or over several weeks. Typically students work together until their task is finished and their project is graded.

When students have to explain and negotiate their contributions to a group project it assists them in developing their meta-cognitive awareness[33]. Group work is useful for encouraging social interactions for isolated, rural and overseas students. It can also be a means for acknowledging and using students’ strengths and expertise. When students have to make a project, working in small groups, usually these projects have a greater depth.

However, some problems may appear, problems that interfere with the good functioning of the groups. These problems are: teams fall apart, it can advantage some students and disadvantage others, considerable time is spent in organizing the group and planning action, difficulty in grading the individual input.

There are several strategies that enhance effective group assignments[34]: the teacher has to discourage anonymity by limiting size of groups, make the feedback public in the group; he should allow the class time for group meetings and planning and he has to make himself accessible to groups, he should share the final products of the group work with the entire class and invite critique.

4.Individual work

The students must be allowed to work on their own, at their own pace. They can work in a relaxed way (on condition that there is no time limit or no competition) and, in this way, they can rely on themselves rather than on others. Reading, writing and speaking activities can be the focus for individual work.

Error correction is a part of the classroom interaction. The basic principle of error correction is that students learn more effectively if they are guided in such a way that they eventually correct themselves rather then if they are given the correct version of something straight away. When there is an error that needs correcting, the following steps should be used:

v     The teacher indicates the error;

v     The student has the chance to self-correct;

v     Other students try to correct;

v     If necessary, the teacher corrects it;

v     The student repeats the corrected answer.

There are basically three types of correction: self-correction, peer-correction and teacher-correction.

Student errors are evidence that progress is being made. Errors show the teacher that the student is experimenting with language, trying out ideas, taking risks. When the teacher corrects a student he has to take into account several factors: it will help or hinder learning?; is he correcting something that the students don’t know?; how will the student take the correction? He also has to decide on the moment when correction will be made: immediately, after a few minutes, at the end of the activity, later in the lesson, at the end of the lesson, never. Many teachers prefer to make a list of the errors the student makes. Later on they use that list to provide sentences to discuss, to set an exercise, to plan the next lesson.

In order to teach successfully, apart from organizing appropriate types of interactions, teachers use a variety of teaching aids to explain language meaning and construction, engage students in a topic, or as the basis of a whole activity. The resources the teacher uses are textbooks, reference books such as dictionaries, grammar or vocabulary books, as well as audio and visual aids. Pictures can be in the form of flashcards, large wall pictures, cue cards, photographs, illustrations, projected slides or images from an overhead projector. A language teacher can also draw pictures on the board to help with explanation and language work.

The flashcards are pictures or diagrams tat a teacher shows to his class. Theay are useful for handing out as part of different activities. They can be useful for: quickly explain the meaning of a word (eg. to iron), to illustrate presentations of language, to tell a story, to remind the students some grammar problems. The teacher should also have maps of the U.S.A. and of Great Britain, as well as posters with the English alphabet or funny games for young learners. In highschool the teacher can have posters related to literature, especially with information about literary figures. An area where the students can display their projects is motivating for them. A folder containing students’ work could be used, if a wall space is not available. If possible, the teacher can have a bookcase with English books, books that the students can borrow.

Coursebooks are a resource that everyteacher should have during his lessons. They offer models of language which are learnable at the students’ levels of proficiency. Coursebooks embody knowledge and standards for progress and provide a basis for examination. They provide exercises and activities that are designed to help the students be fluent in the use of the the foreign language and they give examples of how the language works by offering them contextualized examples.

The teacher should talk as much as needed. A good teacher means little teacher talk in the classroom. A large amount of teacher talking time necessarily limits the amount of student talking time. If the teacher does most of the talking the lesson becomes boring for the students and they are not attentive anymore. Teacher talking time means that the teacher is “telling” the students things that they could be working out for themselves. The monologue gives the teacher no real clue as to whether the students have understood. This can be avoided by using elicitation rather than explanation.

Eye contact plays a major role in the everyday interactions that occur in the classroom. The teacher has to make eye contact with his students, thus making them more confidents. Establishing a management role in the classroom involves eye contact from the outset. The teacher should be in the classroom before his students and he should welcome them individually with a combination of eye contact and their names as they enter the room. The teacher has to talk to his learners and not to the book or board. Esye can set the tone of the lesson. As the lesson starts the teacher walks around the room looking to check whether the learners are ready – books out, paper and pens handy. If not, eye contact should be suffice to rectify the situation. Good eye contact does not mean staring or gazing. Many learners are likely to find this uncomfortable and they avert their own eyes and lose concentration. Eye contact may be used as a correction technique.

The teacher also communicates with his students with the help of body language. He has to develop eye contact with the audience. If he is looking at students when he is teaching, he sends a message that the content is important and makes a connection with the audience that keeps their attention. He has to look around the classroom and does not focuses on one person or one section of the room. The teacher must use gestures to emphasize points and to keep his audience’s attention. He should stand up, thus keeping his students’ attention. If he must sit, he has to alternate between sitting and standing to make transitions between points or sections of the lesson. The teacher should try to develop a range of gestures and facial expressions to save himself from repeating basic instructions and to increase opportunities for learner talk.




                           II. 5. Dealing with students

         In the classroom the teacher can encounter different problems, problems that can disrupt the lesson. They can be caused by lack of discipline, large classes, classes of mixed abilities or less able students as well as by lack of materials.

The teacher can be confronted with disruptive behaviour, that is a student or students frequently hostile to either the teacher or the other students. One way of avoiding most disruptive behaviour is by agreeing on a “code of conduct”, which means establishing some ground rules that both teachers and students must obey. The teacher must tell his students that he does not accept when students arrive late, interrupt other people when they talk, bring food or drinks in the classroom, forget to hand out their homework on time, or when they do not pay attention. The teacher has to obey the same rules himself. Establishing this code of conduct has to be made differently, according to the age group of the students. With teenagers the teacher can discuss the norms of behaviour that should apply, while with younger children the teacher must be firm. One of the reasons for this discipline problems can be the teacher. His behaviour and attitude is an extremely important factor in the classroom, having a major effect on discipline. The teacher has to plan carefully each lesson, because the students immediately identify teachers who are not sure what to do in the classroom. The teacher should not threaten his students, but if he does he should carry out the threat, because otherwise he does a disservice both to himself and to his class. The teacher should not raise his voice, because it is a big mistake to try to take control by raising the voice. He should try to give interesting classes because boring ones are the main cause of indiscipline. The teacher has to be fair with the class as a whole and with each individual. He has to give homework towards the end of the lesson, but not in the last few seconds of it. He has to conclude the lesson, rather than just stop it.

Another reason for the disruptive behaviour can be the students. Their attitude can be affected by the time of the day the lesson takes place. If they are tired they can find the lesson too challenging if they had classes all day long, while if the lesson takes place early in the morning they might be sleepy. If two students are disruptive together, they are more effective than one, because they encourage each other and gradually they influence the whole class. If this happens the teacher must separate the two students. A lot depends on students’ opinion of the teacher, the subject and the class. Some students may have a desire to be noticed and that is the reason why they exhibit a disruptive behaviour.

A lot depends on the attitude of the school to disruptive student behaviour. Each school should have regulation to deal with problem classes and students.

Disruptive behaviour is frequently hostile to the teacher or to the other students. It is not confined to an age-group (it can occur at little children as well as at teenagers). Adult students may be disruptive in different ways. They may publicly disagree with the teacher or they may try to become the class character to the detriment of their peers.[35] There are a number of things a teacher can do when the students behave badly. Punishment, physical or emotional, is not a viable option. The options that a teacher has are:

1.he should act immediately – when the code is broken the teacher should act immediately. If the indiscipline involves anti-social behaviour in the classroom the teacher should take steps at once. If it involves things like not bringing books to the class the teacher should speak to the student either during or immediately after the class.

2.the teacher should stop the class – if disruptive behaviour appears the teacher should stop the class immediately. This is a clear indication to all the students that something is wrong. He may then tell the students who are behaving badly what is wrong. He may even refuse to re-start the class until the students have settled down.

3.reseating – the teacher can make the disruptive students sit in a different place immediately. If the troublesome students are sitting together they should be separated. Ofetn if the students are moved to the front of the class they will behave better.

4.change the activity – when the majority of a class seem to be gradually getting out of hand, a change of activity will often restore order. A quick writing task will quieten students down and it provides good writing practice. The same effect can be achieved by a reading task or by a listening exercise.

5.after the class – when one student is continually disrupting the class the teacher should probably take the student at one side after the class is over. He has to explain to the student why his behaviour is anti-social. At the same time the student should have the chance to explain why he behaves in that way. The teacher can also clearly spell out the consequences if the disruptive behaviour continues.

6.using the institution – when the problem becomes extreme the teacher has to use the institution to solve them. Many institutions will seek the help of the child’s parents. This is a reasonable thing to do because it is important for parents to be involved in their children’s education. The institution has the final power of exclusion.[36]

The most important intervention step is the prevention of behaviour problems. Punishment is the first thing that comes into the teacher’s head when dealing with students with behavioral problems. But as I have shown above punishment is just a limited strategy. The teacher has to reinforce certain values, such as respect and fairness. When the classroom culture is positive teachers can use several practice prevention techniques: kid-proofing the environement, establishing rules and consequences, ignoring inconsequential negative behaviours, redirecting rather than reprimanding students, allowing a variety of choices to reach an agreed-upon instructional goal.[37] When the teacher mskes the rules he must collaborate with his students, because everyone is a participant and students need to define the rules and to understand them. When the teacher tries to establish a positive environement with clear rules and expectations. He should ignore the negative behaviour and he should praise students when they are being good. He should also provide help to his students, redirect their attention and appeal to their interests. The theacher needs to decide what behaviours he can ignore (eg. students that whisper, that are tapping a pen). If he ignores this kind of behaviour usually it stops.

Students who display a disruptive behaviour often display a multitude of problems. Many variables prompt an individual’s challenging behaviour and make him maintain that behaviour. The identification of these variables is a critical step in designing effective behavioural support plans.  

There are cases when the teacher has to deal with classes composed mainly of less able students. He has to use special techniques in this case[38]: he has to limit his aims and objectives, he has to simplify the material and he has to have a tighter control over learner production. The productive skills may represent a great difficulty for the less able student, so the teacher has to concentrate on the receptive skills. The overall course objective should be understanding and not using the language. The teacher should concentrate on techniques of exploiting reading and listening material. He must plan his questions carefully (questions and answers in Romanian, questions in English and answers in Romanian, completion of a chart from reading or listening). He may give the instructions in Romanian or he may give them in English and then translate them into Romanian.

The lesson has to be simplified in order for the less able students to understand it. This can be done in two ways[39]: an initial presentation of the lesson (the teacher can ask a student to make a drawing on the blackboard and then he can ask the whole class what has been drawn on the the blackboard. Short answers are appropriate, while long answers are not necessary) and by presenting a new structure with one verb only (the initial presentation should not contain too many verbs because otherwise the students may find it difficult and they lose their motivation to learn it).

Classes of over 30 students demand special teaching techniques and they may cause the teacher serious problems, the most important problem being that the individual learner does not have enough time for speech, and he may spend a great deal of time listening to the teacher. Related to the lack of time is the danger that students and teacher lose the sense of community: it is more difficult for the teacher to remember students’ names and the lesson becomes impersonal. The teacher can avoid that by using pair work and groupwork. In a class of 40 students the teacher can organise the groupwork as it follows[40]: the class can be divided into 4 groups. The first group receives a suitable passage for the reading comprehension and a multiple choice test to assess simple understanding of the passage. The second group receives a paragraph-writing exercise based on a guided composition technique. The third group receives a language game (foe example a crosswords). The forth group is asked to have a dialogue on a given theme.

There are several problems that appear when the teacher deals with a large class: students cannot move easily, the teacher cannot move easily, the seating arrangement prevents a number of activities, there is limited eye-contact between the teacher and his students, there is limited eye-contact or no contact at all among students, the teacher cannot give attention equally to all students, interaction tends to be restricted to those closest to the front, the seats in the back attract those students who want to do something other than learning English, discipline can be a problem. The teacher can rearrange the seating, he can move to a different classroom, he can get half the students to turn around and face the students behind them (thus improving eye contact).

Most of the times the teacher has to deal with a mixt ability class. A mixed ability class is one that contains students belonging to at least three of the categories of very able, able, less able and unable learners.  It is very likely that the very able students will make little progress. The advance of the larger middle groups depends on the teacher’s ability as an organiser. The teacher can use dictation because it is a flexible activity. The very able students can tackle the whole passage. They should do it as a straightforward dictation first and then complete the follow-up activities. The able students could do a partial dictation: some words could be missing from their copies of the dictated passage which can be used as a gap-fill text. The less able students can receive a complete passage, but there would be multiple-choice frames within the text. Their task would be to indicate the words and phrases they thought they heard. In this type of class before askung students to do a reading comprehension exercise the teacher could introduce the materail by discussing the theme with the class, he could deal with the new vocabulary by making use of the vary able students, he could continue with a group discussion based on a few general questions he has written on the blackboard. For each level the teacher can use activity cards. Another activity that the teacher can make with a mixed ability class is to help them write a dialogue and then perform it. Dialogue, role plays and small plays are useful in this situation. Lines can be learnr and rehersed to give confidence to the weaker speakers.

The lack of materials can affect a lesson. The teacher can deal with that by writing on the blackboard the text he needs and then by asking the students to copy it in their notebooks. Reading a passage from the text can help them practice their intonation and pronunciation. The teacher can also copy the text on a sheet of paper and he can make copies for every student. For homework he can ask his students to copy the text they received on their notebook and translate it into Romanian or to answer some questions that he asked them during the lesson, or to underline the words they don’t know and to look them up in the dictionary. The teacher is responsible for the textbooks his students use. He must decide what is the textbook that is best suited for his students and their needs.

Another problem that a teacher might have to deal with is a class that includes students with disabilities. If this happen the teacher has to implement in the classroom the educational plans for children with disabilities. Teachers make modifications for all the students in order to meet individual differences and modifications for the students with disabilities are just more specific and more extensive. If planned and implemented according to the individual learning characteristics of the students within a heterogeneous classroom, differentiated instruction benefits all students. The key to successful differentaited instruction is communication between the regular and the specific educator.[41] The student with a disability may also bring interpersonal and behavioral issues to the classroom. The teacher can make certain that all students receive appropriate instruction is by looking at the needs of the students with a disability within the framework of a model that evaluates the environement’s impact on learning. This plan focuses on the academic physical and interpersonal environements. They affect not only the learning of the students with the disability but also the dynamics of the classroom and the ultimate welfare of each student in the classroom. A general plan for inclusion that pays attention to the three environements for each student with disability may help the teacher to manage accommodations and adaptations.

The three environements are[42]: the academic environement, the physical one and the interpersonal environement. In the academic environement the students with disabilities often experience difficulties in demonstrating mastery in the classroom. They may lack the skills that are necessary to meet the objectives of the curriculum as written or they may not be successful in demonstrating their achievement with the type of evaluation procedure used. In order to help these students the teacher can modify the curriculum and the classroom assessment. The modifications in the area of curriculum may include: modifications of abstract content to complex, complex to simple, content paraphrased to an easier reading level. Modifications in the area of the classroom assessment may include: differentiated learner outcomes (students are asked to complete 5 problems instead of 10), portofolio assessment, multiple assessment procedures.

Regarding the physical environement the teacher must make sure that the disabled students do not have to deal with the noise. He can make additional space for the student’s equipment, accesibility to the needed materials, he can make sure that these students are close to the board, screen, charts. He can rearrange the classroom to allow easy flow of traffic.

Communication between teacher and student, both in written and oral form, and communication between fellow classmates are part of the interpersonal environement. Modifications to the interpersonal environement may include: peer buddies, cooperative learning groups, role models, input from parents as adaptations are tried, less emphasis on competition in which the disabled students have no chance of winning, increased emphasis on collaboration and team work.

The teacher has to pay special attention to students with an attention problem. He has to collaborate with the special education intervention specialist. Together they develop a curriculum and an environement that will allow this kind of students to meet with greater academic success. The special education intervention specialist can model ways for the teacher to make appropriate changes in his methods of instruction. The teacher has to use a more global learning style in the classroom. Global learning refers to the examination of the whole picture. The students with an attention problem need to be involved in pair-work or in group-work, because they can understand better the task and they learn more by working with fellow students.

II.                7. Observing the teacher

LESSON OBSERVATION:

TEACHER: David Ana          OBSEVER: Anton Alina-Magda

DATE: 8 April 2008        NOS OF STUDENTS: 14

TIME: 50 minutes           LEVEL/GROUP: Advanced

AIMS: Cognitive and affective

      AREAS

VERY GOOD

GOOD

AVERAGE

POOR

1.

Prepatation

  Cleaniness of aims

*

  Lesson plan

*

  Materials/Aids

*

Classroom layout

*

2.

Suitability of materials

*

3.

Use of aids

*

4.

Accuracy of teacher’s language

*

5.

Instructions/ Classroom management

*

6.

Presentation of new language

*

7.

Elicitation

*

8.

Checking understanding

*

9.

Correction

*

10.

Monitoring

*

11.

Exploitation of materials

*

12.

Staging

*

13.

Variety

*

14.

Pace

*

15.

Balance-Accuracy/Fluency activities

*

16.

Student’s motivation

*

17.

Range of teaching techniques

*

18.

Mobility

*

19.

Voice



Loudness

*

Speed

*

Pronunciation

*

20.

Balance of attention

*

21.

Body language/Eye contact

*

22.

Manner/Rapport

*

23.

Encouragement

*

24.

Group dynamics

*

25.

Understanding of learning process

*

26.

Achievement of aims

*

QUESTIONAIRE:

1.Did the teacher talk more than necessary to explain a point – or not enough?

Most of the times the teacher talked as much as it was needed to explain a point, but there were times when she talked more than it was necessary to explain a point. When talking about the passive she gave her students too many explanations regarding this subject, although they already knew the subject. She wanted to make sure that they understood it very well and she believed that the key to this goal is to give her students a lot of explanations and examples. They already knew the passive but I think that the examples the teacher gave them made the subject even clearer. All the examples contained problems that the students had to deal with when solving the exercises that they had in their textbooks and in the worksheets the teacher gave them.

2.Did the teacher talk when the students could have been doing the talking?

The teacher let her students talk whenever they had something to say. She let them express their opinions, feelings and she answered all their questions regarding passive voice. I consider that the teacher talked as much as it was needed and that she did not take from the students talking time.

3.Did the teacher talk too quickly/too slowly?

No. The groupe is an advanced one and the teacher did not talk too quickly or too slowly. She made herself understood by everybody and no one complaint about the way she spoke. She spoke at a normal pace and rhythm and all the students understood her.

4.Was the level of language just right?

Yes, the level of language was just right. The teacher used words the students understood and the words that the students did not know were placed in appropriete contexts and the students understood them from the context. She made sure that the students acquire new words, without even realizing that.

5.Was the level of language to be taught about the same as the teacher’s metalanguage?

Yes, the level of language to be taught was about the same as the teacher’s metalanguage.

6.Did the language sound authentic and natural?

Yes, the language sounded authentic and natural. The language the teacher used was correct and it helps the students get acquinted with the use of English in different circumstaces. The teacher made sure that the students understood the language talked at a normal rhythm amd pace and in normal circumstances. She made everything sound really natural, nothing seemed forced and the teacher made her students use a very correct English from a phonetic point of view.

7.Did the teacher lapse into pidgin?

No. The teacher never lapse into pidgin. She never used a very simple language to explain a concept. She treated her students as if they were native speakers of English. The speech was not slow down to make sure that the students every word, but she continued talking thus the students understood the new words from the context. Even the examples that were offered to the students were maent to demonstrate the grammar point, but they did not use really simple words.  

8.In which activities was Student Talking Time more than Teacher Talking Time?

Once the students understood Passive Voice they did all of the talking. They solved the exercises that the teacher had prepared for them and they were able to answer all of the teacher’s questions. The teacher did not have to talk too much because the students knew how to solve the exercises and she did not have to correct them often. They knew how to explain the strategies they used to solve the problems and they knew how to prove to their teacher that they have understood this grammar point.

9.Overall, who did the most talking?

The students did most all of the talking. Except the time when the teacher had to explain Passive Voice, the students were the ones that talked.

10.Did the Teacher create enough time for Student Talking Time?

Yes, the teacher created enough time for Student Talking Time.

11.Other points to consider; eg. did the Teacher check instructions, were the instructions clear, was what the trainee/teacher had to say interesting, informative, useful?

The teacher checked if the students understood the instructions and if they knew what they had to do. The instructions were clear and the teacher did not have to explain them again. The teacher had interesting things to say and the students listened carefully to her. The examples given were appropriate and they help the students understand all the problems that may appear during the solving of the exercises.

I assisted to several hours and I noticed that the teacher managed her classroom very well. She made sure that the students understood her instructions, that they knew what they had to do and they did not display any disruptive behaviour. During the classes no special problems appeared and that is why I can say that the teacher know how to manage her class very well.

The groupe was an advanced one and the students knew the items that make up English. They were able to solve the problems and exercises that the teacher gave to them quickly and without further explanations. The students were able to solve all the exercises without difficulty and the pace of the class was an alert one. The teacher prepared at home more exercises that would be useful for his students and she used them after they finished all the exercises that were in the textbook.

The teacher uses Upstream Upper Intermediate and this textbook offers a wide range of activities, but it focuses more on the grammar. Most of the times the students are asked to solve exercises of the type: “Choose the correct item”, “Rephrase”, “Fill in”, “Correct the text”. The textbook also has a part dedicated to literature, but this part is relatively small compared with the grammar part.

The teacher tried (and succeded) in alternating grammar and literature. She followed the textbook, but she also brought the students new reading material, additional texts and she managed to mingle the two parts really well. The teacher analyzed the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas and the students had the chance to express their opinions about this poem. The students talked freely and they all said what they thought about the poem. They analyzed the theme, the way in which it was writeen and they debated to whom the poet was talking (to his father, to all men in general).

The lesson plans the teacher had for each lesson were very accurate and the objectives were very clearly stated. The teacher managed to accomplish every objective at every lesson.

The class did not presented any special problems. The students did not display any disruptive behaviour. The students had their moments when they were not paying attention, when they talked or they lost their focus but overall the teacher managed the class very well. The students listened to the teacher and they paid attention to what she was saying and to what she explained to them.

The interactions that took place in the classroom were of all three types: teacher-student, student-teacher, student-student. In turns the teacher and the students initiated the interaction, and the communication between them was really good. There always existed communication, there were no moment of awkard silence. The students were eager to solve the exercises and even when they were not sure if they had the right solution, they wanted to talk and offer their solution.  

Name of the teacher: DAVID ANA

Date: 14th May 2008

Form: 10th

Level of study: Advanced

Unit 8

Lesson: Learning Lessons

Type of lesson: Mixed

Objectives:

a.       Cognitive objectives:

             At the end of the lesson the students will be able to:

1.      show understanding of the language forms;

2.      understand meanings of unfamiliar items from contextual clues;

3.      express themselves in speaking;

4.      correct what is wrong or false

b.      Affective objectives:

1.      making students confident in their ability to use English;

2.      have fun.

    Visual aids: textbook, hand-outs

      III.Conclusions

An effective classroom management is very important for a good class. It is impossible to have an interesting lesson without the classroom management.

Classroom management means has several components: the procedures that are necessary to create a situation where learning can take place, order in the classroom, a good lesson plan, involvement in the lesson from the part of the students, prevention of disruptive behaviour. It includes all the methods and practices that a teacher uses to control classroom space, the students, their behaviour and the process of learning.

I have analyzed all these components in my paper. I have started by defining the concepts of classroom management, and of what knowing a foreign language means. Another subchapter deals with approaches and methods that the teacher uses in order to have a good lesson and to keep his students interested. But the teacher is also a subject of learning. He, in his turn, learned the foreign language that he presents now to his students. He learnes new things everyday and this has to be seen in his teaching style. In the next subchapter I have dealt with effective presentation. Effective presentation refers to the way in which the teacher mediates the students’ contact with the new material in order to make them understand it better. The teacher needs to make sure that the students understand what he is trying to say, thus understanding the concepts he explains. The teacher has to make his students to learn the skills, becuase without them the students cannot say that they know the language. The teacher has to assess the progress that his students are making and he cannot do that without evaluating the students. In the last subchapter of the first chapter I have made an analysis of the evaluation methods and of the way in which they help the teacher to see his students’ progress.

In the second chapter of my paper I took a closer look to classroom management. In the first subchapter I presented several definitions of classroom management given by different researchers. They have divergent opinions but I have tried to find the common elements between them. In the second subchapter I have talked about lesson planning and the crucial role it has in classroom management. The lesson plan is a working document used for guidance. It should be clear and easy to read. There are several problems that the teacher should have in mind when planning a lesson: he has to decide clearly what he is going to teach, he should make sure that he has all the necessary material, he should prepare the textbook material he wants to use. The next subchapter deals with the teacher’s roles, the different roles that the tecaher can have in the classroom. The role he choses affects the relationship he has with his students. A good teacher should reflect on his teaching, that is the reason why the third subchapter deals with reflective teaching. After teaching the lesson it is important that the teacher stops and thinks whether it was good or not, and why, in order to learn from reflection on experience. If the teacher reaches the conclusion that the lesson was good, he should ask himself what made it so. If the lesson was unsatisfactory he should ask himself what he could have done to improve it. An important part of the classroom managent is represented by the classroom interaction. The teacher can chose for his students to work in pairs, in groups, in lockstep or they can do individual work.  

Day by day the teacher has to deal with his students. No one can say that he has the perfect class and that is why the teacher has to learn how to manage different types of students. He has to deal with mixed ability classes, with large classes, with disabled students, with disruptive behaviour. The teacher has to make different strategies in order to get through to his students and to make them pay attention during the class.

The last subchapter of my paper is a practical one. I have assisted to several hours that an English teacher had. Most of the classes were at the 10th grade. It was an advanced class and there were no particular discipline problems.

Classroom management is an important part of the teaching process and that is why I decided to write my paper on this subject.

         Bibliography:

II.                Books on classroom management:

 Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi.

 Harmer, Jeremy (2005): The Practice of English Language Teaching, Pearson Longman, New York

 Ur, Penny (1997): A course in language teaching: practice and theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

III.             Articles:

Brownell, Mary (2001): Strategies for building a positive classroom environement, in “Intervention in school and clinic”, vol. 37, issue 1.

Bursuck, William (1996): A national survey of classroom practices, in “Exceptional children”, vol. 62, issue4.

Chase, Kim (2002): Classroom practice, in “Phi Delta Kappan”, vol. 84, issue 4.

Fulton, Margot (2002): Problem solving and at-risk students, in “Teaching children Mathematics”, vol. 8, issue 5.

Gomberg, Leslie (2000): Five basic principles for effectively managing the classroom, in “Adult learning”, vol. 11, issue 4.

Hamsada, Jasem (2007): Higher education classroom management, in “College Student Journal”, vol. 41, issue 3.

Lyon, Carla (1997): Including students with disabilities into the regular classroom, in “Education”, vol. 117, issue 4, Project Innovation.

Ping, Lim (2005): Classroom management, in “Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, vol. 14, issue 4.

Ping, Lim (2003): Classroom management issues, in “Journal of interactive learning research”, vol. 4, issue 4.

Sardo-Brown, Deborah (1995): Practical strategies for facilitating classroom teachers’ involvement in action research, in “Education”, vol. 115, issue 4.

Shifflet, Mark (2006): The use of instructional simulations to support classroom teaching, in “Journal of educational multimedia”, vol. 15, issue 4.

Stephens, Pam (2006): Classroom management, in “School arts”, vol. 105, issue 5.

Stephens, Pam (2005): Classroom discipline, in “School arts”, vol. 105, issue 4.

Taylor, Barbara (2002): Looking inside classrooms, in “The reading teacher”, vol. 56, issue 3.

Van Der Sijde, Pieter (1993): A model for classroom management, in “Education”, vol. 13, issue 3.

Widhalm, Shelley (2005): Classroom cadets, in “The Washington Times”, May 2, 2005.

Woodward, Gary (1981): A rapid, effective technique for controlling disruptive classroom behaviours, in “Journal of educational research”, vol. 74, issue 6.

IV.             Internet:

www.adprima.com

www.ascd.org

www.britishcouncil.org

www.classroomtools.com

www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au

www.flesl.net

www.findarticles.com

www.flinders.edu.au

www.imsa.edu

www.medev.ac.uk

www.nclrc.org

www.wikipedia.org



[1]Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi, p. 45.

 

[2] Macmillan English Dictionary, p. 57.

[3] Ibidem, p. 896.

[4] Ibidem, p. 1474.

[5] Ur, Penny: A course in language teaching: practice and theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, p.5.

[6] apud. www.ascd.org

[7] Ur, Penny: A course in language teaching: practice and theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, p.11.

[8] Ur, Penny: A course in language teaching: practice and theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, p.11.

[9] Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi, p. 45.

[10] Ur, Penny: A course in language teaching: practice and theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, p.33.

[11] Ping, Lim (2005): “Classroom management”, in Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, vol. 14, issue 4.

[12] Apud. Ping, Lim, op. cit.

[13] Apud. Van Der Sijde, Pieter (1993):”A model for classroom management”, in Education, vol. 13, issue 3.

[14]Apud. Van Der Sijde, Pieter, op. cit.

[15] Hamsada, Jasem (2007): “Higher education classroom management”, in College Student Journal, vol. 41, issue 3.

[16] Apud. www.adprima.com

[17] www.adprima.com

[18] www. nclrc.org

[19] www.wikipedia.org

[20] www.nclrc.org

[21] www.classroomtools.com

[22] www.nclrc.org

[23] apud. www.medev.ac.uk

[24] apud. Gomberg, Leslie (2000): Five basic principles for effectively managing the classroom, in “Adult learning”, vol. 11, issue 4.

[25] www. imsa.edu

[26] idem.

[27] Apud. www.findarticles.com

[28]Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi, p. 48.

 

[29] Apud. www.flesl.net

[30] www.britishcouncil.org

[31] Apud. www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au

[32] Gomberg, Leslie (2000): Five basic principles for effectively managing the classroom, in “Adult learning”, vol. 11, issue 4.

[33] Apud. www.flinders.edu.au

[34] idem.

[35] Apud. Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi, p. 249.

[36] Harmer, Jeremy (2005): The Practice of English Language Teaching, Pearson Longman, New York, p. 256.

[37] Brownell, Mary (2001): Strategies for building a positive classroom environement, in “Intervention in school and clinic”, vol. 37, issue 1.

[38] Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : In-service distance. Trainig course for teachers of English, Polirom, Iasi, p. 65.

[39] Balan, Radu, Cehan, Anca, Ciuta, Cristina : op. cit., p. 65.

[40] Ibidem, p. 67.

[41] Lyon, Carla (1997): Including students with disabilities into the regular classroom, in “Education”, vol. 117, issue 4, Project Innovation.

[42] Idem.








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