Every teacher wants to be the best they can be for their students. While there are many attributes that can make a great teacher, most importantly, giving students comprehensible input, we can also observe some behaviors and routines that are in a great world language teacher’s classroom.
It’s good to be reminded of the actions that make a good foreign language teacher. A supervisor may use a checklist like these during an observation, you may want to self-assess your own classroom, or if you are really daring, have a student(s) check off on these.
- Units have real world language performance goals and students have opportunities to communicate in real world context.
- Teacher uses the target language to conduct class. The teacher uses a variety of methods to make language comprehensible.
- Students have adequate opportunities to process the language before being expected to produce language.
- Instructional activities keep all students engaged and on-task in using the language.
- Authentic materials are integrated into the lesson and exhibit cultural significance/perspective.
- The teacher measures student language proficiency in a variety of ways that focus on what the student can do with the language.
Take a look at the following rubrics. Print them out and check to see how often YOU do these things in your classes:
1. Full class observation Secondary (source unknown*)
2. WL Walkthrough (source unknown*)
3. Observation Checklist (posted by KSWLA, adapted from Starting With the End in Mind, 2008, Pearson School)
4. What should I look for in an effective world language classroom (from KY Department of Education)
Check out the TELL (Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning) Project, who has some great rubrics and self-assessments, including this checklist for teachers:
We’d like to hear your thoughts. What do you feel are the most important things going on in a world language classroom? What qualities does an excellent foreign language teacher possess? Share in the comments below.