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ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Teacher Trainee:
Date & place of birth: 28-06-84, ASSRIR AIT
HAMMOU, TINJEDAD
Phone number: 74273247
E-mail: wahidolg@hotmail.com
ID card Number: UA 76670

From : Tuesday 11th


December
To : Saturday15th December
TUTOR:
…………………………BATTEM Ramdane…………………………..……..

On Friday 7th December, at 3 o’clock afternoon, in class N°4, our pre-observation


meeting took place. Yet during half an hour before the meeting, our professor Mr.
Ahmed SENHAJI met us to prepare the scene: He divided us into three groups of
about six teachers- trainees in each, and handed us a piece of paper outlining the basic
guidelines that should be accounted for throughout the classroom observation week.
Soon at 3 o’clock, three tutors - they were two gentlemen and a lady-entered the
classroom. Sooner not later, I realized that Mr. BATEM Ramdane is going to be my
supervisor during this first practicum. I then knew that he is a veteran teacher for he
has about thirty years experience in ELT. Having capitalized upon the nobility of
teaching profession, Mr. BATEM advised us to be very patient, to take great care of
classroom discipline and establish a special authority to keep the lamp of respect
burning. The remaining minutes were a random dispute about learners’ disruption and
the importance of keeping one’s temper. Immediately before the meeting ended, we –
SANAA, YASSINE, ZAKARIA, TARIQ, and me-divided the activities in pp. 23-24/
Horizons student’s book into five-about two activities for each one- for the coming
teaching sequence. We later left each other in hope to meet again on the following
Tuesday, at ELMAKKI NASSIRI school where we’d spend a proportion of 20 hours
for the first practicum (4 hours per a day, from Tuesday to Saturday).

It’s Tuesday afternoon, and all members of the group have arrived at school half
an hour before the bell rings. Few minutes later, our tutor Mr. BATEM arrived. We
then took a step together into the school, and only then I felt a change covering my
feelings with some sense of respect and responsibility. This came to reach its utmost
peak when I heard the administrative stuff of the institution called us not by our
names, but by our profession as teachers. I then realized that I’m no longer a pupil as it
is still noted in my ID card, but a teacher with uneasy social and educational duties.
Also affective to my feelings is the crowd of pupils there. Their innocence drove me to
bring back those moments of adolescence, with all its wonders and adventures, when I
was a pupil at the same level. Being cheerfully welcomed by the school manager, we
continued discovering the school physical environment, getting into “Teacher’ class”
where we had a look at a board containing a variety of legislative and organizational
papers; new ministerial memories, news on professional competency, list of religious,
national and regional holidays, school departments and offices…etc.

It’s 2 o’clock, and the bell rang announcing the time for the last entry. It
wondered me to see pupils begun to round themselves up and stand in parallel ranks,
waiting their teachers to come and permit them to get in their classes. This wondered
me for this was our habit, which is a good habit of course, during my primary school,
not at this level. Even pupils seem too young and small; maybe it’s because the new
amendments in “the national contract of education” gives them the right to join school
at six- not at seven or eight as in our case- and so they did.
We teachers-trainees entered the classroom and wore our professional white suits
while sitting behind in the corner, and then pupils joined taking their positions. The
classroom was quiet ordinary, and there nothing odd to attract my attention except the
BB that seemed to loose its black face and begin to have some white traits; this may
negatively affect the clarity of one's handwriting. The teacher, meaning our tutor, was
dressing in a common way. Though looks a little bit old, he is quiet active; he never
stuck to the chair, he was always in face to face with his pupils, speaking audibly,
writing legibly on the BB, and moving around, every now and then, to check whether
pupils are engaged or not. Since that moment to the last hour of Saturday, we went
through different groups of about 35 to 41 pupils in each-with a balance between
males and females' number- and they were all at the same level, though a group is
more motivated than the other. Throughout this period I noticed that the teacher has
got different roles. These are deduced from my ongoing observation to teacher's
behaviour, and are summed up as follow:
Observation )samples ( Interpretation
- At the beginning of every session, the teacher asks - The teacher is an initiator of interaction; he
his pupils special questions to warm them up and prepares the ground and lets his pupils participate
N.B.:a new
introduce It is lesson. in the construction
necessary here to note that the teacher'roles, as deducedof the
andlesson.
interpreted
above, are in most of the time played not separately, but through an interconnected
chain of PPP (presentation, practice, production). Also recognizable in the process
- The teacher ordered his students to close - The teacher is an instructor in the class; he gives
of teaching, and particularly at every direct transition from activity to another, is
Their textbook and listen to him, to read, to orders and tells pupils what to do.
time setting; the teacher was actually a coach and a time-setter. This was the habit
respond to a question, to write a sentence…etc.
which never escaped my eyes during the teacher's every transitional teaching step.

- While pupils are doing their exercises, the teacher - The teacher is a monitor in the classroom.
is moving around checking if they are doing the
task.
- The teacher relies a lot on drawing and acting to - The teacher is a demonstrator, artist, facilator and
clarify the message to his pupils. actor in class.

- During oral drills, some pupils are hesitant to - The teacher is a motivator in the class; he
participate. The teacher encourages them saying: encourages risk-taking and tolerates pupils’
“yes…yes...say it…don’t care about making mistakes.
mistakes”
- when a pupil makes noise behind in the corner, - The teacher is a manager an controller; he keeps
The teacher gets near him or changes his/her the class quiet and organized
place into another.
- In an attempt to produce an affirmative sentence - The teacher is also a corrector; he affectively treats
with the verb “to be”, a pupil confused between students’ mistakes in a variety of ways,
the plural and singular form (is/are). Pupils especially through encouraging self-correction.
interfered to correct him, yet the teacher
persisted saying: “let him correct himself…”
- While monitoring, the teacher gets near pupils - The teacher is not only a monitor, but also an
provides help those who need; he may even use assistant. He provides pupils with help and
L1 if necessary. guidance for performing their exercises.

It's here important to reveal a truth about my observation of the teacher: I admit I
did try my utmost labour to check some of my teacher's pitfalls, but in vain; the
teacher's behaviour reveals, if I am competent enough in observation, his being a
veteran with high competence and good performance. The only mistake I did notice
was in the teacher's question to his pupils: "Can you remember me?" the teacher, of
course, wanted his pupils "to remind" him of the fact, but not "to remember" him
himself.

Having reported these remarks about the teacher shouldn't, however, overshadow
the presence of pupils. As mentioned before, all the groups we went through were
between "low motivated" and "high motivated". This implies that all groups were
motivated to a certain degree, and their participation creates an encouraging
environment for the less motivated pupils to take their turn and join the whole
community. Social dynamics and teacher's encouragement, I noticed, are the most
effective ingredients for pupils' motivation. This has also something to do with the
teacher affective treatment of his pupils as well as with humor that emerges from
teacher's drawings, intended acts, and often from pupils themselves when committing
a funny mistake of, especially, pronunciation.
Hereby teaching was primarily interactive, and this is undoubtedly the reason
why I did fail to count the pair (TTT & STT). That is to say, the grids that I personally
made up for this purpose (see the associated figures in the end of the report) were not
appropriate to measure the time in this modern system of education, where teaching is
no longer based on lecturing- in which the time of the lecturer′ s talk is easy to count-
but, on a variety of integrated processes of fast interaction between partners, or rather
thoughts and emotions, collectively immersed in a give- and- take social system.
Hereby a "chronological watch" is no longer a helpful standard/device to amount the
time pupils spend when involved in oral participation, producing feedbacks to the
teacher's questions or instructions. The only easy thing I could do in such case is to jot
down the forms of interaction took place during those sessions. These can be broke
down, respectively, into six categories as follow:
1. T Ss
2. T S
3. S T
4. S S
5. Ss T
6. Ss S
This chain of interactions took place in different recognizable situations, and they vary
in quantity as well as in quality. Here are some examples/samples deduced from my
own angle of observation:

Interaction Situations (samples)


when the teacher presents the lesson, asks pupils a question, clarifies an
1 instruction, checks pupils′ understanding, asks them to keep quiet and pay
attention…etc.
It occurs during individual drills, when monitoring and providing assistance,
2 when warning a pupil making noise to keep quiet, when the teacher asks a
pupil to do a favour…etc.
when a pupil asks for explanation, going out, giving a feedback, esp., during
3 individual drills…etc.
This type of interaction occurs in two major occasions: During pair work, and
4 when a pupil asks his/her partner for help, or simply when the class is in
noise.
when the teacher asks pupils an easy question and pupils respond collectively,
5 when the teacher asks them if they understood the lesson…etc.
when a pupil commits a mistake, others interfere to correct him/her or rather
6 to laugh at him/her
N.B.: Note that the arrows on the left side of the chart signify to the quantity of
interaction prevailed in the classroom as follow:
: High
: Average
: Low

Thus the most forms of interaction prevailed in a high degree within the classroom
were primarily the interaction number (1), (4), and (6). The other remaining categories
were average, except the interaction number (5) which seemed to have a low quantity,
and it occurs often in two cases as stated in the chart above.
After 8 hours passed during our observation of the tutor- this was in Tuesday and
Wednesday- our turn took place from the following day to Saturday. During those
hours, I had the occasion to teach a sum total of about 2 hours. In fact, I was gearing to
meet that occasion, and once my turn came, I performed it with pleasure. There were,
however, two stressful problems concerned me before I started the turn: the first,
which is more disturbing, is that we had only 15 mins teaching for each one in the
group during the first sequence, and the second is that I was/am going to deal with
beginners in ELL. Though I had a past experience teaching English for intermediates
in different associations, I felt a little bit worry, for the context was more professional-
especially as I was going to be observed and commented on- and the target learners
were still beginners in ELL.
As for the first concern, the top challenge, as I expected, was the time. When
given my turn to teach, I went beyond the given 15 mins; I did reach 42 mins for, in
fact, I was pleasantly immersed in what I consider as hobby/teaching. I felt deeply at
ease while teaching and I enjoyed myself, for I was aware of what I was doing thanks
to the theoretical knowledge we’ve received in the course. It is only then that I realized
how pleasing and sweet it is “to see myself in my actions” (reflection in action) and be
myself a bridge between theory and practice: I smiled, gave equal opportunities to my
pupils, monitored, dew on the BB, let pupils interact with one another, rewarded them
even with a smile, a candy, a word…etc. And hence the lesson went: “Any abstract
theory, if it is to be concrete, it must be put into practice”.
At the end, and with the witness of my fellows who were observing me, I came
up with a fact: “I am ok, but time management is the forgotten area that needs
improvement”. Therefore my TT (talking time) should be reduced to a low degree, by
avoiding-according to my tutor’s comment- going into details “out of the question”, as
I did once when I attempted to analyze a picture, whereas the lesson was about
demonstrative pronouns, “this” and “that”. Also crucial to mention is that, when I tried
to imitate my tutor once, I felt not ok, and therefore I was convinced by the reality, that
“one should be himself” as far as performance is concerned. These are the best lessons
I did learn in this practicum while reflecting in and on action. Yet I have some
suggestions which I made after the post-observation meeting and which, if taken into
consideration, will help enhance the following practicums:
• Their should be a balance between time devoted to theoretical course and
the practicum
• The time given to each trainee in the teaching sequence is not enough;
there should be much time for practice.
• The activities given to each one to teach shouldn’t be limited to one skill
or two; we should have the occasion to teach the whole four language
skills.
• During the post-observation meeting, I expected our tutors to reflect on
our experiences; unfortunately they didn’t. So it would be better if their
attendance was more beneficial for us.
• During this practicum, collaborative report was not fruitful; for it was
neither organized nor time-saving. I mean precisely that the focus should
be on the individual report not on the collective one; because each one
sees things from his own angle, and the preferences and experiences of
each individual are not the same. In fact, my own preferred way of
learning is purely “individual”.

May the coming practicum will be more convincing!!!


Very
importa
nt
N.B. :

The way through which I wrote this report is intended. Since it is an


individual report, I preferred personally to report not only what
happened during the practicum, but also narrate, describe, and show
out my feelings when it happened.

Oulgout Abdelouahed
25-12-2007
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