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Input reading 3

Lesson evaluation

Warming up discussion 3.1

Make up a list of qualities that a lesson observer needs to make the observation and reflection on the results of the observation more successful

There are at least three maxims of lesson observation that make the process more effective: attention, non-judgment, empathy. Attention means that a visitor is attentive to every detail of what is going on during the lesson. Non-judgment means that a visitor provides a mirroring reflection on the lesson without labeling the procedures as either “good” or “bad”. E.g. “If I’ve got it right, you’ve spent 30 minutes on explaining the grammar rule and the remaining 10 minutes were given to the analysis of examples…”. Empathy implies that a visitor is prepared to understand all the “coral reefs” of the lesson and to side fully with the teacher whose lesson is being observed.

Exploratory task 3.1

List possible foci of observation in the lesson and disclose the purpose in each case



Lesson evaluation is done according to observation criteria. The criteria can be given in the form of propositions: “The class seemed to be learning the material well”, “The learners were engaging with the tasks throughout the lesson”, “The learners were attentive all the time”, “The learners were interested and motivated”, “The learners were active all the time”, “The lesson went according to a plan”, “The language was used communicatively throughout the lesson” (Ur, P. 1996. A Course in English Language Teaching. CUP. P. 230).

Observation can be done on the teacher, method and learner. Observing a teacher, the observer can concentrate on the following items “Maintains interest”, “Stimulates activity”, “Speaks audibly”, “Looks at the learners”, “Structures the material clearly”, “Gives explanations”, “Clarifies the goals”, “Advises on learning strategy”, “Encourages the learners” (After Woodward, T. 1995. Ways of Training. Longman. P. 35).

In observing the method of instruction the framework of observation will be different. The observers can concentrate on “Communicative activities”, “Interactive activities”, “Challenging activities”, “Comprehensible material”, “Motivating material”, “Logical sequence of activities”, “Developing communicative skills”, “Developing language competence”, “Reinforcing the knowledge”.

In observing the learner the observation format changes and can include the following: “Understand the task”, “Familiar with the task format” (obviously have experience in performing similar tasks), “Have a good command of previously learned knowledge”, “Give a prompt response to the teacher”, “Co-operate with the teacher”, “Co-operate with each other”, “Attentive”, “Involved in the lesson procedures”.

Exploratory task 3.2

Observe a video recording of a lesson and complete the grid below





  1. approach

  1. method

  1. atmosphere

  1. management

  1. assessment

Observation format is the form into which the observation results are arranged:

  • Bull's eye (Every arrow corresponds to a criteria of observation. The more the criteria are met in the lesson the closer will the arrow move towards the centre of the “bull’s eye”.

  • Grid (Every box in the grid contains a criterion of observation. An observer writes comments in each box making explicit the goals of the lesson, the way the class was managed and the degree to which the targets were achieved)

Clarity of goals

Management of class

Achievement of targets

Learner interaction

Teacher role

Learner involvement

  • Questionnaire (In the process of observation the observer answers the questions of the questionnaire that has been previously compiled)



  • Did the teacher…?

  • Were the learners…?

  • Graph. The graph shows how the attention of the learners was changing during the lesson time.

Degree of the feature under observation

Learner active involvement during the lesson

Lesson time

  • A list (The observer ticks off the items that were dominant in the lesson)

The Items of Observation During the Lesson

  • Interaction teacher – learner

  • Interaction teacher – class

  • Interaction learner – learner

  • Etc

  • Observation web (Each section of the circle corresponds to a criteria of observation. Every 3-5 minutes a stroke is drawn in the corresponding sections. By the end of the lesson the “web” shows which criteria have been met most fully during the lesson)

Diary of the lesson (The observer marks the time of the lesson and carefully describes the observed procedures with comments)




  • Time measurement in the lesson (The observer concentrates on the lesson features that can be measured in time)

Items of measurement


  • Teacher waiting time

  • Learner time on task

  • Etc

  • Balanced report (The observer gives carefully balanced opinions on the lesson emphasising strong and disputable points)

Strong points of the lesson

Disputable points of the lesson

  • Theoretical analysis (The observer analyses the approach, method and techniques of teaching)

  • Approach to teaching (teacher-centred or learner-centred)

  • Method of instruction (communicative or non-communicative)

  • Techniques of teaching (interactive or non-interactive)

  • Lesson iceberg (The observer analyzes the “tip of the iceberg” i.e. the techniques demonstrated by the teachers. The next is the “underwater part” i.e. the possible dangers and “coral reefs” that make the teacher maneuver. The “deep water part” is the area of “no life”, which the teacher tries not to enter and not to do the teaching in this way).

Tip of iceberg

Underwater level

Deep level

Observation task

Choose an observation framework and format to observer a lesson episode or a micro-teaching activity. After the observation share your results with the “observed” teacher and both complete the chart below to evaluate the observation framework that you used (tick off the items with if “Yes”):

Reflections of the observer

Reflections of the observed

  • The observation framework was helpful

  • The observation format was convenient

  • The reaction of the observed teacher to the observation was positive

  • The reaction of the observed teacher to the results of the observation was co-operative

  • The observation results prove to be useful for the observer

  • The observation results seem to be useful for the observed

  • This framework and format of observation should be definitely recommended for future use

  • The goal of observation was clear to me

  • The behavior of the observer was supportive

  • The results of observation were presented in a non-judgmental way

  • The observer did one’s best to understand the design of the lesson ad the reason for the chosen techniques

  • The observer’s visit proves to be very useful

  • The observer appeared to be satisfied with the observation results

  • This observation should definitely be recommended for future use


Teaching a lesson of your choice and reflect on it by ticking off statements about your own lesson if “Yes”. Compare your statements with those of your observers.

Statements about your own lesson

  • I have planned my lesson with clear objectives of teaching in mind

  • I had a good command of the teaching material

  • My teaching techniques were logically sequenced

  • My teaching goal was fully attained in the lesson

  • All the tasks were well fulfilled by the learners

  • The learners were motivated and involved in the activities

  • Interaction during the lesson was active and productive

  • The process of the lesson was well structured

  • The result of the lesson was achieved and demonstrated by learners

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