A five-minute history of script writing in ELT materials

This post is adapted and abridged from the introductory chapter of my ebook ‘How to write audio and video scripts.’ (See end of post for details). So you think writing dialogues and scripts for ELT is new? It’s easy to think that the scripts we use as teachers or write as materials writers are a new phenomenon. Because audio and video is delivered using modern technology (sound files, podcasts, downloads etc) we tend to associate ELT script writing with the recent world of ELT. But in fact scripts and especially dialogues feature in some of the very earliest materials written for language…

Eye on the classroom 5: Post-observation feedback

This is the fifth and final post in a series that originally appear in English Teaching Professional and is reposted here with the permission of Pavilion Publishing. The previous posts in this series about classroom observation have all been about why and how we can observe the classroom. So it seems fitting that this final post looks at how feedback after the observation is approached. Watch what you say   For many observations, feedback afterwards is not necessarily planned. For example, a trainee teacher may be asked to observe a lesson and have little or no further contact with the more experienced teacher. However,…

Eye on the classroom 4: lesson snapshots

A longer version of this post originally appeared in English Teaching Professional, issue 60, January 2009. It is reprinted here with the permission of Pavilion Publishing. As observers, our tendency is to observe and then immediately try to put into words our interpretation of what is happening. Then, when we meet the teacher afterwards to give feedback, we report back on what we’ve written and probably add even more interpretation to the events. The advantage of simply drawing and sketching what you can see is that you are observing rather than interpreting. At different stages of the lesson, you can…

Eye on the classroom 3: Observation by checklist

I originally wrote a version of this article for English Teaching Professional, Issue 59 in November 2008. It is reprinted here with permission from Pavilion Publishing. Fulfilling criteria Anyone who has taken a formal teaching qualification with assessed teaching practice will recall the stress of having an assessor at the back of the class, ticking and scoring a set of criteria. Alternatively, you might have had visits from your director of studies to check up on how your lessons are going. They will probably have had a form with a set of criteria that might have looked something like this:…