Classroom observation


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Classroom observation

  2. 2. OVERVIEW1. What is classroom observation?2. Why do we carry out classroom observation?3. How can we carry out classroom observation?
  3. 3. 1. WHAT IS CLASSROOM OBSERVATION? documenting life inside the classroom procedures in data collection during actual lessons by  watching  listening  recording
  4. 4. WHAT IS CLASSROOM OBSERVATION? manual data participant collection – open-ended observation – electronic data observation – nonparticipant collection focused observation observation
  5. 5. 2. WHY DO WE CARRY OUT CLASSROOM OBSERVATION? SLA research does not only focus on results focus is on result and process classroom interaction is essential
  6. 6. 3. HOW CAN WE CARRY OUT CLASSROOM OBSERVATION? basic approaches  ethnographic narratives  transcriptions  observation systems to code data quality control
  7. 7. ETHNOGRAPHIC NARRATIVES  not only record of utterances but also description of classroom dynamics/atmosphere  time-consuming to produce  requires high-quality recording equipment and/or note taking skills
  8. 8. TRANSCRIPTIONS  provides detailed evidence on specific aspects of classroom interaction  can be analyzed through coding (category systems)  time-consuming
  9. 9. OBSERVATION SYSTEMS TO CODE DATA  use of categories  students’ and/or teacher’s behaviours are documented  focuses the attention on research questions  very abstract, does not indicate sequences or length of interaction
  10. 10. OBSERVATION SYSTEMS TO CODE DATA: SELECTING AN OBSERVATION SCHEME  check of a behaviour every time or at regular intervals?  high- or low-inference categories?  possible to assign an utterance to more than one category?  designed for use in real time or with audio- /videotape recordings?  designed for research or teacher education?  focus of the instrument
  11. 11. EXAMPLE OF AN OBSERVATION SYSTEM: COLT Communicative Orientation to Language Teaching influenced by communicative approaches in FL learning designed to meet the needs for research on relationship between teaching and learning designed to develop psycholinguistically valid categories for classroom observation has two parts: Classroom Activities and Classroom Language
  14. 14. EXAMPLE OF AN OBSERVATION SYSTEM: COLT obtained data reliable but: categories given are ideologically loaded categories mirror assumption that communicative teaching facilitates effective learning best
  15. 15. OBSERVATION SCHEMES: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS no totally objective classroom observation scheme observation schemes show tallies (frequency) not the interaction itself, i.e. the language used in interaction particularly elaborate schemes require trained observers complementary to transcriptions/ethnographic narratives
  16. 16. OBSERVATION SYSTEMS FOR CAPTURING SOCIAL ASPECTS  not part of traditional SLA research but of value  Seating Chart Observation Records (SCORE)  analysis of interpersonal relationships in the classroom, e.g.:  Who speaks to whom?  Who initiates verbal turns?  Who responds?  provide no information about language, length of turns, accuracy or fluency
  17. 17. QUALITY CONTROL – THREATS TO OBSERVATION QUALITY validity observer technical effect issues adequate capture of reliability events
  18. 18. QUALITY CONTROL – THINGS TO CONSIDER check location beforehand check technical equipment acclimate participants to observation, build up trust reach an agreement with other observers match the categories for the observation to the research questions do a pilot study provide methods triangulation (e.g. observation scheme + field notes + stimulated recall)
  19. 19. REFERENCES Fraenkel, J.R & Wallen, N.M. (2006) How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education. Boston: McGraw-Hill Hopkins, D. (2002) A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Research. Berkshire: Open University Press McKay, S. L. (2006). Researching second language classrooms. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Nunan D. & Bailey K. M. (2009) Exploring Second Language Classroom Research - A Comprehensive Guide. Boston: Heinle Cengage Learning Taggart, G.L. & Wilson A.P. (2005). Promoting Reflective Thinking in Teachers. 50 Action Strategies. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press