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Building block 5:
How can teaching practice and lesson observation be made more language-sensitive?

This Building block is aimed at those responsible for creating, reviewing, adapting, implementing and supervising the design of practical elements of teacher education courses and professional development. These elements usually include lesson observation, microteaching and teaching practice assignments. It is especially important that the requirements in teacher education curricula regarding these elements should be strengthened in order to help ensure that the classroom teaching done by pre-service and in-service teachers is language-sensitive and that it consistently meets the language-related needs of their students.
As stated in Building block 1, we use the following definition of language-sensitive education: 
The term ‘language-sensitive education’ describes an inclusive approach to teaching any subject: teachers help their learners to deal with the language demands of learning tasks so that, whatever their language and/or social background, all learners can make the most of their education.
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Who is this Building block for?

  • teacher educators and other responsible stakeholders
  • those responsible for observing lessons and establishing criteria for the observation of lessons

Main objectives

  • to offer guidance on reviewing the objectives and procedures related to the lesson observation and microteaching and/or school-based teaching practice which is done by pre-service teachers as part of their course or by in-service teachers as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD);
  • to incorporate explicit focuses on language-sensitive aspects of teaching and learning into lesson observation assignments, microteaching assignments and teaching practice in schools (practicum);
  • to indicate how the assessment of teaching practice and observation of classroom teaching of in-service teachers can be strengthened by including lesson observation criteria which support learning and focus specifically on language-sensitive aspects of teaching.