Some common steps in exploring language teaching awareness

The article considers some standard steps in exploring language teaching awareness presented as issues to view teacher development in academic process that involves both the acquisition of practical knowledge and theoretical principles that influence the academic process. Exploring language teaching awareness helps to explore and become more aware of one's own teaching beliefs, attitudes, and practices. It provides with knowledge and guidelines that empower to make informed teaching decisions. The article also discusses activities teachers can use to gain awareness of teaching, including observation, research, keeping journals, and exploring. In language teaching awareness it is crucial to the process of exploratory the essence the abovementioned notions. Education is the „third eye‟ of an individual, it gives insight into all affairs, it teaches how to act justly and rightly, it assists to realize the true significance of academic teaching, it eliminates darkness and smash illusion, it increases our fame, makes us cultured and pure, nourish us like a mother, directs us to the proper path, guides us to reach our destination. Itis a very socially oriented activity and quality education has traditionally been associated with strong teachers having high degrees of personal contact with learners. An appropriate knowledge base is essential for creating powerful learning environments and for an adequate provision of supporting instructional material. In the process of transforming information to knowledge, the teacher plays an important part. Teaching is a process in which the teacher and students create an interactive environment. The article illustrates some of the research methods which are used to investigate classroom interaction and samples of learner production. The presented classification of the methods and their short descriptions allow language teachers to design their own study and shed light on important and/or controversial issues concerning teaching practice.

Nowadays, teaching is becoming one of the most challenging professions where knowledge is expanding rapidly and much of it is available to students as well teachers at anytime and anywhere. Therefore, teachers have to accept the demands of modern world and modify their old concepts and methods according to the needs of learners, otherwise the teachers will become updated in the coming future and it will deteriorate the quality of education. There is widespread belief that teaching awareness can and will empower teachers and learners for teaching-learning processes to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher-order thinking skills. Language learning awareness is not only used to enhance learning but also important for a teacher to be comfortable using to ensure that students get the full advantages of educational technology. Teaching with technology is different than teaching within a typical classroom. Teachers must be trained in how to plan, create, and deliver instruction.

Teaching awareness theme in teacher education is to view teacher development as a process that involves both the acquisition of practical knowledge (skills) and the examination of beliefs, principles, and theories and how they influence the way teachers teach.

Teaching involves both thought and action, and the interaction between two forms. Teacher education also has to face the issue of linking the content teacher education to the contexts in which teachers work. Hence teacher educators are constantly exploring ways of making their curriculum and the activities they make use of relevant to the immediate and long-term concerns of student teachers.

In language teaching awareness it is crucial to the process of exploratory the essence of observation and description of teaching events and processes, investigation of teaching through action research.

Language teaching awareness can be perceived by an exploratory approach that is realized by such steps as: observation; research; experience.


classroom observation is a formal or informal observation of teaching while it is taking place in a classroom or other learning environment. Typically conducted by fellow teachers, administrators, or instructionalspecialists, classroom observations are often used to provide teachers with constructive critical feedback aimed at improving their classroom management and instructional techniques. School administrators also regularly observe teachers as an extension of formal job-performance evaluations.

Classroom observations may be called learning walks, teacher observations, walkthroughs, and many other things, and they may be conducted for shorter or longer periods of time from a few minutes to a full class period or school day. Educators may also use a wide variety of classroom-observation methods. Some may be nationally utilized models developed by educational experts, while others may be homegrown processes created by the educators using them. In many cases, observation notes are recorded using common templates or guidelines that describe what observers should be looking for or what the observed teacher would like feedback on. Increasingly, educators are conducting and recording classroom observations using digital and online technologies, such as smartphones, tablets, and subscription-based online systems that can provide educators with observational functionality and data analytics that would not be possible if paperbased processes were used.

While classroom observations are conducted for a wide variety of purposes, they are perhaps most commonly associated with job-performance evaluations conducted by school administrators and with professional learning communities—groups of teachers who work together to improve their instructional skills. Classroom observations may be conducted by teachers in the same content area or grade level in these cases, teachers share students or similar expertise or they may be conducted by teachers across academic disciplines, in this case, the goal may be to observe and learn from the varied instructional practices used in different types of classes.

It should also be noted that many educators make a strict delineation between observations made for the purposes of helping a teacher improve, and those conducted for the purposes of job-performance evaluation.

Being observed in the classroom can rattle any teacher's nerves. But, teacher observations that serve as vehicles for professional growth rather than performance evaluations have multiple benefits — for teachers, administrators, and the school.

More and more, administrators and teachers are viewing peer observation as a form of collaborative professional development. This kind of observation can yield its greatest benefits when used as a means of sharing instructional techniques and ideologies between and among teachers.

Classroom observation has been used many years ago to evaluate the quality of teaching provided and the consistency between the curriculum plan and the actual delivery of the material by teachers. Wagg (1999) stated that «the purpose of looking at implementation is to see whether there is mismatch between intention and strategies» [1; 29]. Classroom observation has constantly been seen as an effortful task from the side of the teachers. Negative attitudes have been expressed from several teachers venting their disappointment about the process by which observation has been implemented. This feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction is not a product of today; it is possibly an aggregation of many years of authoritarian, impressionistic, and impartial models of supervisions with teachers feeling of little ownership. Because the observer has a great role in renewing the teacher's contracts, they had to conform to the supervisor's viewpoints. This is considered an exceptional limitation of the observation process [1; 42].

Diverse research revealed that the way teachers behave in the classroom and the instructional methods they use impact the degree students learn. Consequently, using classroom observations, educators and investigators are capable of providing feedback that may improve the teaching practices in the class. Hopkins (2002) considers that the motivation behind any school observation is not limited to classroom research only but it extends to the professional development of teachers [1; 35]. This is because of the many years of observations that contemporary educationalists agreed to desert through time the conventional ‘recitation lesson' (Wragg 1999) [1; 30].

Clearly, different forms observations encompass different criteria. These criteria may be comprehensive or specific. Some observation forms may focus on the students' behavior while others may seek out the response of teachers to such behaviors. According to Hopkins (2002), there are four methods of observation: open, focused, structured, and systematic. Each method needs special instrument [1; 36]. Observation tools are forms that are to be filled out by the observer. Depending on the observation technique, some forms or instruments may simply be a blank sheet, a worksheet, a scale, checklists, computer software, or a tally sheet. Some observers may be affected by the setting in which the lesson takes place and may focus on some particular feature of the teaching of one specific subject, like science or English. This in turn may influence whether they adopt a quantitative style, which is a type of systematic approach; counting and recording of individual events, or a qualitative method, which is a type of the open observation approach, trying to look behind and beneath the mere frequencies (Wragg 1999) [1; 36].

Furthermore, there are many observations tools used by teachers on their classes or in peer observation settings (Malamah-Thomas 1987, Wajnryb 1992) [1; 35]. Such instruments are powerful developmental tools for teachers and for trainees advisors, allowing both to look at the lesson systematically in conjunction with the feedback from advisors. Therefore, teachers and observers must perceive the instruments similarly to avoid misinterpretations and predispositions of the items within the tools.

To pursue the task appropriately, the advisors will not be participated in any other job but collecting data. Instead, the observer should concentrate on a particular behavior — a specific criterion (Wragg, 1999, Hopkins 1999, 2002). For an observer, it is very important to avoid preconceptions and afterward approach whatever is to be observed with an open mind (Wragg 1999) [2].

Due to its direct involvement with the individuals observed, observation does have a benefit; however, it is time-consuming (Robson, 2002) [1]. Pre-judgments and predispositions may also produce troubles with observation. Such troubles may lead to misinterpretation of the data being collected (Brophy & Good 2003) [3]. Therefore, the observer should avoid any personal biases that may contaminate his/her results.

In such a small-scale study, the entire process of observation, from the instrument used by the observer to different stages of teacher observation, was totally decided by the observer and the investigator. The terms observer and advisor will be used interchangeably.

Exploring of teaching awareness is realized by observing other teachers. We can gain self-knowledge and self-insight by observing what teachers and students do in classrooms and other settings. It also makes point that when we generate our own alternative ways to teach based on our own observations of what the others do, we are constructing our own knowledge.

To gain awareness, we first understand the patterns or rules we follow in our teaching by analyzing the interaction in own classroom atmosphere. Once we understand those patterns, we can generate alternative ways to teach. We can explore by trying the opposite to see what happens or by replacing one teaching behavior with another. No matter which alternative is used, the idea is to try something different to see what happens.

In general, generating alternatives, whether based on self-observation or observation of other teachers, does not have to be concerned with fixing problems. We can try some alternative techniques to explore simply to see what happens. It is through an awareness of what and how we teach, and the consequences of teaching on classroom interaction, as well as the relationship between teaching behavior and student learning.

One of the main purposes of observation is to evaluate teaching. The goal is to help the teacher to improve and to become a more effective teacher.

A second purpose of observation is to learn to teach. Unlike with a supervisory purpose in which the teacher is observed, when the goal is to learn to teach, the teacher is the one doing the observing. The purpose is often used in preservice teacher-education programs. Inexperienced teachers can learn much from such observation, especially of the models and «prescriptions are presented and seen as samples of possibilities or prods to question what we do» [1].

The observation «should not be an endorsement» [1] for promotion and tenure, a judgment of the teacher's teaching methods, styles and skills, or an assessment of the teacher's knowledge of disciplinary content. It is purely developmental rather than intimidation and making decisions.

Teacher observation should be part of a pool of professional development opportunities. One way in which peer observation can be very effective is when teachers acquire new skills or ideas at conferences and then model those new approaches for their colleagues. That is best done through observation, who advocates learning in academic process, rather than through «pull-out» training, such as workshops. Professional development should be job-embedded, he emphasized. That is one of the greatest benefits of teachers observing other teachers [4].


Another way to explore teaching is through research. It includes such issues and concerns based on academic process in a classroom. Systematically working through the problems by creating an initiating plan of action, and reflecting on the degree to which the plan works. Often action research is a community effort. In addition, action research helps us to discover some similar problems, such as — large number of students, complaining about the curriculum, and not doing homework.

First of all, action research takes its initial and primary place in research field applied in teaching awareness studies. Action research cannot always be associated with exploration due to its narrow problemsolving approach to teaching. If the objective of the research is just to find a solution to a problem or best way to teach, then it cannot be considered as a real exploration.

A number of books and articles have been written on action research, although there are surprisingly few published action research studies done by EFL teachers investigating problems in their own classrooms. One of them are Burns and Hood (1997) who have published a variety of action research projects done in Australia [1; 60]. She illustrates the usual «problem-solving» way action research in which small groups of teachers supported one another as they each raised their own questions, refined issues, posed problems, planned action, collected data, and interpreted what they found.

Changes in and reflections on classroom interaction allowed her to raise new concerns and pose a new problem. She observed that students would not cooperate during joint activities. Some expressed boredom, irritation, or exasperation, although the teacher thought her activities would engage the students. Recognizing this new problem, she wanted to know why students' felts like this, so she decided to consult with each student and to document their comments. Finally, she discovered that students did not like activities and discussions that revolved around cultural and social differences, a theme that ran throughout many of the activities she had created.

Overall, she discovered that students were already deeply aware of ethnic, religious, and political differences from their life experiences and that they did not want to expose and discuss their strongly personal beliefs and values.

There are also some detailed non-action -oriented teacher-research studies, such as those found in Cardoza (1994) who studied independently a collaborative action research group made in 1994 [5]. Like many teachers, Cardoza was concerned about whether or not quiet students were learning. Posing this problem, she explored these students' true abilities with English and discovered they were quite capable of expressing themselves in their jobs (where they use their second language, English). The most significant trait of her is study is the focus on a fresh perspective on the idea that not voluntary speaking in class does not necessarily mean not learning. The research project also illustrates that not all perceived problems are actually problems, and that sometimes it is needed to dig a little more deeply into the students' lives to understand what is actually going on.

These above -mentioned studies show research exploring and the latest discoveries made in that field of studying of teaching language awareness.

The second place is given to writing journal (Russian name — register) exploring. By writing a teaching journal we can criticize, doubt and raise questions. Journals can provide a way to work through the emotional part of teaching. They also can supply with a place to articulate and explore different practices. They can be used to keep a record of such things as self-observations, general observations, and so-called drops-in, some of the teaching ideas and so on. Which actually might able to create a wonderful opportunity to openly explore teaching interaction with the students, as well as analyzing of teaching activities in detail (mostly as a part of paper work).

The final step goes for intentional supervising. Supervision promotes teacher learning, similar to the way teaching fosters student learning. They key focus is on exploring a variety of contexts and activities that promote talk between teachers and supervisors.

Teacher research can be a powerful form of professional development that can change a teacher's practice. But what is it exactly and what does it involve?

Teacher research is practical, action-based research. It enables educators to follow their interests and their needs as they investigate what they and their students do. Teachers who practice teacher research find that it expands and enriches their teaching skills and puts them in collaborative contact with peers that have a like interest in classroom research.

Teacher research can change a teacher's practice, but it can also have a profound effect on the development of priorities for schoolwide planning and assessment efforts as well as contribute to the profession's body of knowledge about teaching and learning.


Learning experience refers to any interaction, course, program, or other experience in which learning takes place, whether it occurs in traditional academic settings (schools, classrooms) or nontraditional settings (outside-of-school locations, outdoor environments), or whether it includes traditional educational interactions (students learning from teachers and professors) or nontraditional interactions (students learning through games and interactive software applications).

Because students may learn in a wide variety of settings and ways, the term is often used as a more accurate, preferred, or inclusive alternative to terms such as course, for example, that have more limited or conventional connotations. Learning experience may also be used to underscore or reinforce the goal of an educational interaction—learning—rather than its location (school, classroom) or format (course, program), for example.

The growing use of the term learning experience by educators and others reflects larger pedagogical and technological shifts that have occurred in the design and delivery of education to students, and it most likely represents an attempt to update conceptions of how, when, and where learning does and can take place.

The focus is on life experience that might be elicited outside of school to what we do within the walls of the workplace. The kinds of experiences mostly promoted by arts or humanitarian disciplines.

A renewed look at teaching experience is warranted due to advances in research methods and data systems that have allowed researchers to more accurately answer this question. Specifically, by including teacher-fixed effects in their analyses, researchers have been able to compare a teacher with multiple years of experience with that same teacher when he or she had fewer years of experience. In contrast, older studies often used less precise methods, such as comparing distinct cohorts of teachers with different experience levels during a single academic year.

According to Jeery G. Gebhard and Robert Oprandy there are several basic outcomes that analyze the effect of teaching experience on students' activity in classroom [4]:

  1. Teaching experience is positively associated with student achievement gains throughout a teacher's career. Gains in teacher effectiveness associated with experience are steepest in teachers' initial years, but continue to be significant as teachers reach the second, and often third, decades of their careers.
  2. As teachers gain experience, their students not only learn more, as measured by standardized tests, they are also more likely to do better on other measures of success, such as school attendance.
  3. Teachers' effectiveness increases at a greater rate when they teach in a supportive and collegial working environment, and when they accumulate experience in the same grade level, subject, or district.
  4. More-experienced teachers support greater student learning for their colleagues and their school, as well as for their own students.

Of course, there is variation in teacher effectiveness at every stage of the teaching career, so not every inexperienced teacher is less effective, and not every experienced teacher is more effective.

If teachers are given multiple opportunities to develop teaching, they can more easily gain awareness of their teaching. Teachers gain a lot from doing individual teacher-development activities, such as observing other teachers, keeping a journal, working in a research project, talking with a supervisor, or working on a personal development project. Each activity certainly offers an opportunity to explore their teaching. However, teachers are provided with even more opportunity to develop when they process teaching through multiple activities, especially if given chances to relate the experience of one activity to that of another.



  1. Jerry G., Gerhard & Robert, Oprandy (First published 1999, 2nd printing 2003). Language teaching awareness. A Guide to Exploring Beliefs and Practices. Cambridge Language Education series editor Jack C. Richards. Cambridge University Press.
  2. MacLean, Marion S. & Mohr, Marian M. (1999). Teacher-researchers at work. Berkeley, Calif.: National Writing Project.
  3. Mills, Geoffrey (2002). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill Prentice Hall.
  4. Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition, Second Edition. Oxford University Press.
  5. Nunan, D. (1991). Methods in second language classroom-oriented research: a critical review. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 13, 249–274. Cambridge University Press.
Year: 2019
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy