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ESL forum > Ask for help > Training    



Hello everyone,

I hope you can help me out here. I have to observe a teachers lesson this week. Does anyone have any pointers? The more detailed the better... Sorry I know its a big ask.... just want some advice from the combined wealth of experience on here...

In particular I would like some decent advice on how to speak to the teacher, what to look out for in their lesson, what to write without making anyone feel bad... etc. I dont want give them the impression im better than they are or make them feel bad as it is just a routine thing

PS My school is a private kindergarden type school.....

Thanks in advance,


24 Jun 2009      


Hi! Can I ask you a question? Are you the teacher trainer of the would-be teacher whose lesson you īre going to observe? If not, does she/he have any?

24 Jun 2009     


Hi mena,

Yes I am, my company is pretty new and have just started expanding. so we dont have an infrastructure set up yet... so I have been asked to observe a teachers lesson. I made up a feedback form with the help of the kind people on here but just want some tips about what to do say to the teacher....

24 Jun 2009     

New Zealand

Hi tuuuchida,

My suggestions are based on personal expereince from being observed:

1) Always tell the teacher a few things they are doing right (be specific - i.e. I like how you connect to the prior knowledge of the students at the beginning of your lesson).

2) Find one key area that you would like to see the teacher work on. 
  - To start with I would ask the teacher directly if there is an area that they feel they could have improved on - if they can īt think of one then give a suggestion on how they could extend part of their lesson.

3) HAve the teacher set a goal at the end for future improvement.

I find this formula very helpful to me.  It means you give positive feedback and also help the teacher to focus on something for professional development.

Only other idea is to ask the teacher if there is anything they would like you to focus on before the lesson starts (e.g. planning, including all students, classroom management, scaffolding students, providing for all levels, etc)

Good luck

24 Jun 2009     


I see. After observing a class  trainees have a day or two to reflect on it helped by a very simple questionnaire. For example, they have to refer to

   - the atmosphere created in the classroom (appropriate for learning); 
   - the main objectives of the lesson and which have been achieved;
   - the competences they wanted to develop in the students and which they have developed + objective evidence that they have developed them;
   - instructions (short and clear + plus feedback asked);
   - the involvement of the students in the task - were they motivated, did they work with a good rhythm.......?
   - the students ī talking time  (was it greater than the teacher īs?);
   - students īparticipation (did all participate or was a student/ a group of students forgotten?);
   - personalized teaching (was it provided?)
      - the  types of  interaction - were they appropriate? were they diversified (individual work, pair work, group work, whole class)?
    - unexpected situations in the classroom and how they dealt with them/ solved them;
    - Now, after their reflexion, what would they change if they could? Why?
So, when we meet, I usually follow the questionnaire. The trainee that was observed is always the first to talk, then the other trainees who observed the lesson and I am the last to speak. Trainees always refer to positive aspects first and then to aspects that have to be improved. I know this is an euphemism, but I do not use the phrase negative aspects.
I do the same. I mention the positive aspects, enhancing those I particularly liked with examples I wrote down while observing the lesson. (I  write everything down when I am observing a lesson - always facts, never inferences. Eg: After the instructions students started to work, 5 students called the teacher. They said they did not know what they had to do in the exercise -- just facts. Then I can ask the teacher in the meeting, what did they do after you gave the instruction..... why didn īt they know what to  do? .............). After the positive aspects I always focus on those that have to be improved. Here I ask a lot of questions, so that the trainee tells me what was not so good and why, not me.
Finally, I ask the trainee what we shall do to improve each of the negative aspects and we make a plan together.
Hope I could help.
Have a nice day.

24 Jun 2009     


Dear Mena, you are always so wise. I īd like you had been an observer of my lessons to help me with a class: they rarely studied and a group of them was interested in nothing. I had a lot of problems with them because they spoke loudly, played cards, threw pencil-cases or paper balls and often said coarse words. It was very difficult but now it īs ended...

24 Jun 2009