Foreign Language Observation Form

I have an observation coming up soon.  Observations drained me mentally last year for a variety of reasons.

One of my frustrations was that  I was unsure whether to do a solely Spanish lesson or if I needed to muddle the day with English for my evaluator.  Now, using TPRS I will undoubtedly do only Spanish.  After everything I’ve learned this year between the TPRS workshop and everything I’ve found on Twitter, I don’t know why I would ever water down my classes with English!

Having made this decision, I needed to find a way to help my evaluator effectively do his job even though he doesn’t speak Spanish aside from “Hola.”  If you follow my blog, he was the poor soul subjected to repeating the Spanish alphabet – it was comical but not pretty!  When I came upon Bryce Hedtrom’s Free Stuff page I was delighted to find he had a Checklist for Observing a FL Classroom.  This is what I love about his checklist/observation form:

– my evaluator can assess me without knowing the language

– the form gives the evaluator something to rate the teacher on, but then explains the best practices and ideology of foreign language teaching so they have some idea as to what it should look like

– it’s spontaneous feedback – my evaluator checks a box and he’s done.  The standard evaluation takes much more time to type up and last year I didn’t get 2 out of 3 evaluations as they weren’t my evaluator’s top priority.

Above is Bryce Hedstrom’s form but I made some aesthetic changes to it (Bryce states it’s all right to borrow), but I highly encourage you to check out his original document and other resources.

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4 thoughts on “Foreign Language Observation Form

  1. I love Bryce’s observation checklist! Occasionally there are administrators that come into class looking for something that looks like what they were used to when they were in high school (often times decades ago). Be sure to use your pre-observation meeting as a chance to educate your admin on some of advances in the literature on 2nd language acquisition so that, even if s/he doesn’t fully understand what you are doing, they will have confidence that your teaching is solidly research-based. Good luck!

  2. It always seems that my observations occur with upper level classes that are completely in French/German… Post-observation conferences tend not to be helpful after that – the observer is thrilled to see so much language being used in the classroom, but only has a vague idea of what we did (usually based on the lesson outline I’ve given them beforehand). This looks like a great observation tool, though! I’ll have to forward it to our admins next time I’m up for observation. Thanks for sharing!

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