Your first week at school is key for paving the way. Before diving in, it is of high value to see
(from a teacher’s point of view) how lessons are developed. To help you, here is a checklist of the
basics you should pay attention to. You can go to some lessons, show the different teachers what you
are doing, tell them why and try to get as much information as you can.
Source: This checklist is based on the one proposed in Lavery, Clare (2001) Language assistants. British Council.
Group Teacher Number of students
Classroom Number of lessons a week Age of students
Textbook (title, type, characteristics, etc.)
General attitude of students towards learning (motivation, interest, participation, etc.)
Use of mother tongue (when, why, etc.)
Use of English (when, why, etc.)
Distribution of the lesson (sequence of activities, time spent on each, etc.)
Support materials used (photocopies, graded readers, etc.)
Equipment used (CD, DVD, computers, projector, etc.)
Students grouping (individual / pair / group work)
Students’ needs (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, listening, etc.)
Classroom management (noise level, interruptions, etc.)
How does the teacher maintain an environment well-suited for learning?
How are disruptive students handled?