Video: Principles of reflective practice for language teachers



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Below are the key-elements of the video:

At the end of Module 5 we talk about a very important aspect in the life of a teacher: reflection.

Reflection is a reasoning with which teachers collect data on the quality of their work. This enables teachers to make informed decisions about their classroom activities.

A good teacher reflects on the things he or she knows, but also on his or her actions in the classroom, to avoid mistakes and to improve. This reflection allows the teacher to understand how his or her personal knowledge and opinions influence his or her work in the classroom.

There are three different types of reflection: reflection on action, reflection in action and reflection for action.

Reflection on action

After class, teachers need to take time to reflect on how the lesson went, what they did right and wrong. This allows them to learn from their experiences.

Reflection in action

Teachers must also reflect during lessons to solve problems and difficult situations immediately.

Reflection for action

Teachers must also reflect in order to think about future action, to change the way they teach.

But how do teachers collect data on the quality of their work?

Teachers can use teaching diaries, critical friends, training groups, class observations and action research.

Teaching diaries: allow teachers to write down data on their work. This data can be reviewed, interpreted and analysed later. Writing helps teachers reflect on their personal actions and opinions, their teaching style and monitor their improvements. Moreover, teachers can share these diaries with colleagues and ask them for their opinions.

Critical friends: these are fellow teachers who can encourage and help you reflect on your actions and teaching styles. This way you can become more aware of what you do. In this way you can also build a positive and trusting relationship with your colleagues.

Training groups: these are teachers who work together on the problems they face in the classroom. In this way they exchange ideas and grow together. These groups can work in schools or on the Internet.

Classroom observations: they help teachers to be aware of what is happening in the classroom. If you are alone, you can register, asking the students' permission first. Or you can ask one or more colleagues to observe you and give you their opinion. 

Action research: this is linked to a particular problem. Again, teachers can do their own research to improve the way they teach, solve a problem and create an action plan to observe their improvements.

There are several ways to reflect on your work as a teacher and improve. Remember that you never stop learning, especially when you are a teacher.

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