Friday, November 12, 2010

Classrom Obsevation...

Today, I want to talk about my classroom observation in Copenhagen. Firstly, it was a really different experience for us as we haven’t been in a class to observe in Turkey yet. So, this first class observation is both a sweet memory and an experience for me that I learned something.
            As for the classes, I say classes because we attended two different classes with the same grade and the students in general were really active and willing to participate in the lessons. To some extent, it is teacher’s success as she is able to make them engaged in the lessons and make the topics attractive for them.
            Anyway, there are some striking differences between schools in Turkey and ones in Denmark. Firstly, students have to wear uniforms determined by the school or government. On the contrary, in Denmark students can wear like they want even caps. As far as I have seen, all of them are trying to create their own free style also by following popular culture. The classroom was so colorful with their clothes that sometimes I even observed wearing styles of them. However, the funniest part is that Uğur’s being so in their walking around without shoes. We were also surprised but Uğur was the one who was the most surprised by their taking off shoes. J I think this is something good because it is one of the ways of creating a comfortable learning environment and in Turkey, you cannot do something like that.
            Also, another observation is that students sit in a circle around a table. I like this way of sitting because it provides students with face to face communication environment and also this is useful for group activities. In Turkey, students sit in a row style and this means that education is based on a teacher centered way as all students are able to see just the teacher but not each other. In Turkey, we don’t have communicative lessons based on group activities so it is depended on just teacher who comes and teaches. If you ask me which way is better, I will certainly choose student centered class and also in Turkey education is changing from a traditional way ( behaviorism) to a more communicative way ( constructivism) and I believe that we will be qualified teachers to realize this. Also I want to emphasize that education in Turkey is not very bad but it just needs some amendments and we cannot expect it to be a sudden change but slightly in time. Moreover, education is a living thing, so you cannot keep it in the same condition. It is a part of life and society, so when the needs of society and life changes, education also needs change. As a result, education should perceive the social changes not to be out of date.

I also want to discuss methods and teaching style of the teacher. To my observation, grammar is taught inductively contrary to deductive way in Turkey. In this way, students acquire grammar rules without direct instruction of rules so they create their Meta linguistic awareness in second or foreign language by themselves. Thus, activities are chosen in this way to support repetition and communication. For example, teacher started with a warm up activity and continued many following activities. In all activities she gave rules implicitly and sometimes she turned to her native language and used translation to negotiate the meaning and this also what communicative approach says: sometimes you can use your native language and translation when needed to negotiate the meaning (Any device which helps the learners is accepted - ). Also the strong version of communicative approach is used in this class that is to say “using English to learn it “.  As a result, by using these methods students interact with each other not interact with all those linguistic items.
“Writing a poem” activity is the one that I liked very much. When teacher wanted them to write a poem about animals and read aloud it in the class, I realized that they came up with a perfect creativity, so I thought that using this kind of activities revealing their creativity is very useful.
           Another point is that teacher gave very clear instruction and in English and also made students aware of the topic of the day.
            Turning back to contrasts between Denmark and Turkey, here teachers are free to choose textbooks or materials unlike teachers in Turkey. In Turkey, textbooks are determined by the ministry of education, so you must be bound to a certain book and curriculum.
            All in all, I enjoyed very much during a three-hour period of class observation. So I want to thank Peter who gave us that chance. Also it was nice to see Cemetery with Peter after classroom observation. That’s all I wanted to talk for today. Hope to enjoy with reading. J

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