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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HOW Journal

HOW Journal

HOW is a journal by and for teachers of English who wish to share outcomes of educational and research experiences intended to add understanding to English language teaching practices.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reflective practice and identifying your needs

Reflective practice is an approach to teaching that involves critical evaluation of your actions, to better understand your strengths and areas for development as a teacher.
In other words, you look back at what you’ve done, consider carefully whether it worked or not, and if so, why. This helps you to pinpoint and develop successful practices, as well as identifying your professional development needs and finding solutions for problems.
You may be familiar with Kolb’s experiential learning cycle – reflective practice is based on this:
1. You have an experience
e.g. you teach a lesson
2. You reflect on the experience
You think about what went well, or not so well
3. You critically analyse the experience
You identify what it was that made the lesson go well or not so well – the activity? Your instructions? Your knowledge of the subject/topic? Etc.
4. You plan future actions based on what you have learnt
e.g. you try the same speaking activity with another class because it worked well, or you research language so that you know the language point better for next time, etc.
Most teachers reflect mainly on lessons, but you could reflect on other things too: a course, an interaction with a learner/parent/co-worker, an interview or conference presentation, for example.
Ways to reflect

  • Keep a learning diary of what went well or not so well in a lesson
  • Ask your learners for feedback on a lesson or activity
  • Make notes in your coursebook after each lesson
  • Talk through your lessons with another teacher
  • Ask a colleague to sit in and observe your lesson
  • Record yourself teaching (and then watch it!)
  • Use an online journal to keep your reflective practices in one place - notes, videos, documents, links