Tool for the Field: Observing English Language Learners

Purpose

This observation tool provides a systematic way for you to gather information about the communication behaviors of English language learners (ELL).

Procedures

  1. Arrange to observe a class in which some English language learners are enrolled. Ask the principal or the English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to help you find a class that you can observe.
  2. Obtain permission from school authorities to observe the class. You can do the observation in the school where you work or some other school. Be sure to get permission from all of the educators who will be involved: your supervising teacher (if you plan to do the observation during the school day), the principal, and the teacher of the class in which you will be doing the observation
  3. Arrange the observation for a 20-30 minute period of time. During the observation, jot down notes using the blocks on the form below to organize the information you are recording.
  4. After the observation, reread your notes and think about what you learned about the communication behaviors of the English language learners and those with whom they interacted.
  5. If you are completing the Unit 3 activities on your own, perhaps record in a reflective journal your thoughts about the communication behaviors of the ELLs and those with whom they interacted as well as your thoughts about the experience of conducting the observation.
  6. If you are completing the Unit 3 activities with a group, the group facilitator may ask you to contribute to a group discussion in which you share your reflections about the students or the process of conducting the observation.

ELL Observation Form

 

ELL Observation Form

Information about the students

Number of ELLs ________
Approximate age level of the ELLs _____

Information about the classroom

Grade level(s) __________
Subject(s) _____________
Lesson ________________

Information about the observation

Date of Observation ________
Length of observation ______

Communication initiated by the ELLs

 

 

 

 

Communication initiated by the teacher to one or more ELLs Communication initiated by classmates to one or more ELLs
Behaviors that might reveal engagement on the part of the ELLs

 

 

 

 

Behaviors that might reveal frustration on the part of the ELL Any other relevant behaviors