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Mariam Hassan Mohamad Abdulrahman H00257527

Observation Task 1: Chit Chat


Spoken interaction in the Young Learner classroom
Focus: Noticing the purposes of talk in the EYL classroom
This observation activity is designed to focus your attention on understanding 1) the amount
and 2) the type of talk that goes on in the English classroom. It will give you a clearer sense of
the purpose of talk in the classroom; as well as identify how much talk is in English / how much
is in Arabic. It should also start you asking yourself why language is used in the classroom
Objective: To encourage student teachers to identify and discuss classroom interaction
patterns
Procedure: Familiarize yourself with the Observation Table: interaction patterns in the EFL
classroom.
Before the Observation: Think about the purposes for speaking and the reasons for different
types of interaction patterns in the EFL classroom. Can you add any more to the table?
During the Observation: Choose three students in a class. Observe them for a full lesson. Each
time the learners speak, put a tick in the box that gives the best explanation for why the child
spoke. Also note the language used (E= English) or Arabic (A).

Example Observation Table: Interaction patterns

4
5
6

Reason for speaking


Learner repeats
word/phrase after teacher
whole class
Learner repeats
word/phrase after teacher
group/pair
Learner repeats
word/phrase after teacher
individual
Learner responds to direct
question from teacher
Learner responds to open
question from teacher
Learner asks teacher a
question

Learner A

Learner B

Learner C

E E E

E E E

E E E

E E E

E E E

E E E

E E

E
E

E
A

A A

Mariam Hassan Mohamad Abdulrahman H00257527

Observation Table:
Reasons for speaking in the classroom
Class: KG2-4.
Number of learners: 24 learners.
Length of lesson: 30 minutes.
Teacher observed Language: Ms. Ohood Alnuaimi teaches English language.
Learning Goals: Identifying the English letter of K and its both small and big states.
Materials used: White boards, markers, pictures of the K letter, students books, a computer,
and songs.
Reason for speaking

Learner A

Learner B

Learner repeats word / phrase EEEEEE EEEEE


1 after teacher whole class
EEEEE

Learner C
EEEE

Learner repeats word / phrase


2 after teacher group / pair
Learner repeats word / phrase EEE
E
3 after teacher individual
Learner answers direct
EEEEEE EE
4 question
from
teacher
Learner
answers open question
5 from teacher
6 Learner asks teacher a question

Learner answers a partner in


7 Paired work activity
Learner answers a group
8 member in group work activity
Learner answers the teacher
9 informally
10 Learner answers peer
informally
11 Learner pronouns words
correctly

EE

EEE

12 Learner gives more information EE

EEEE

Mariam Hassan Mohamad Abdulrahman H00257527

Reflections on Observation Task 1: Chit Chat


Read the questions below and write your answers
What was the most common reason for speaking?
- The reason of learner repeats word / phrase after teacher whole class was the most
common reason for speaking.
What was the least common reason for speaking?
- The reason of Learner asks teacher a question was the least common reason for
speaking.
Were there any boxes with no ticks?
- Yes, there were five whole boxes with no ticks which were: learner repeats word /
phrase after teacher group / pair, learner answers open question from teacher,
learner answers a partner in paired work activity, learner answers a group member
in group work activity, and learner answers peer informally.
How much of the lesson was spent on the teacher using Teacher Talk, in your opinion?
- I have noticed that the teacher was the one who talked always where she gave
information and asked children to repeat after her. She did not allow children to
speck about their adventures where when a student said something, she stopped him
or her and said to do not talk about things that did not matter the lesson. So, I see
that during almost the whole time of the class, the teacher used the teacher talk.
Do you feel it was an appropriate amount of talk? Why / Why not?
- Yes, I feel that it was an appropriate amount of talk because that does also benefit
children where they learn as they hear language.
What do you think is an appropriate sequence of interaction patterns?
- Is that the teacher first says everything that delivers the lesson to students, and if
she sees that children understood and interrupt the teacher, she should allow them
to complete talking unless the lesson is not given completely (not understood). So,
both teacher and learners should talk and say what they have. No children should
be stopped from talking.
Now consider how much Arabic was used. Do you think it was used appropriately?
Why? / Why not?
- Little Arabic was used were the teacher is strict and does not allow anybody to
speak Arabic in her classroom. The Arabic language was used appropriately where
if a child needed to answer the teacher, he or she responded well (in Arabic
language). Note that other few children responded to the teacher in Arabic, but the
language that was used the most during the class was English language.

Mariam Hassan Mohamad Abdulrahman H00257527

Reflection for Bonus Points


You do not have to do this activity. However, if you want a higher grade, you must do it. If you
are interested in thinking about this subject more, consider the following reflection.
Choose one of the following questions (A, B, or C) and write your answer:
A.

Why is talk important for teachers?


Why is talk important for learners? (Think about the What and How.)
- Talk is significant for teachers because it allows them to practice talking the language,
and it also helps them in teaching students to talk and try to talk if they fear talking by
using the language, especially if the language is a second one, which means it
encourages students to talk, whereas talking is important for learners because it
develops their skills of language and makes them more social when they use the
language. Talking builds confidence in both teachers and learners.

B.
Why is it important to think about using English for varied purposes in the classroom? For
example, not just for giving an example, but also for correcting, for praising, for everyday uses,
like asking for help, or asking to borrow something?

B.

What role do you think Arabic should play in the English classroom?