The Secret DOS

The Little Emperor Strikes Back

Observe

The other day, I attended a training/development session about observations. For most of the time, I had to swallow my bile as the usual hackneyed dross was piped out. How should we give feedback? Supportively! Always focus on the good! Point out areas “for development” and the recalcitrant teacher will see the light.In every lesson I observe, I learn something myself!” WHAT THE ACTUAL FLUX?! C’MON, SHEEPLE! To paraphrase (somewhat criminally) R.E.M., Everybody sucks, sometimes. In the style of Rafa Benitez, here we go:

FACT: I am not entirely opposed to the idea of observing teachers

I used to be, but I have changed my tune. These days I see a role for managers observing teachers purely in the interests of quality assurance. No need to say some nice little words about the rapport you have with the students. No need to gently suggest that perhaps 90 minutes of video might be better if supplemented with a worksheet. No need to wonder obliquely if English teachers wouldn’t, perhaps, you know, maybe want to give some thought to actually teaching some English. Just a simple, that teaching clearly meets/falls short of/has never even considered our teaching standards.

FACT: Observations should be informed by clear and agreed standards

When the trainer asked our group what the essentials were for a successful observation, I think the majority of answers were windchimes, soothing tones and patchouli-scented dreamcatchers. My curmudgeonly offering was agreed standards of teaching and evidence that these had (not) been met. “You mean,” asked the trainer, dismissively, “tick boxes?” Not really, I replied, I mean “agreed standards of teaching and evidence that these had (not) been met.”

I don’t have the Microsoft Word skills to draw little boxes that are perfectly aligned with the standards, so I’m not overly obsessed about the presence/absence of quadrilaterals. But I do think that if teachers and managers (and possibly even students) can reach agreement about what constitutes good teaching, this is what the observer should be looking for evidence of. A colleague uses competencies, but these only need to be evidenced “if appropriate”. Wouldn’t the checklist be better if it was slimmed down to stuff that you’d reasonably expect to see in each and every lesson?

In every lesson, wouldn’t you expect to see that the teachers were working to build and maintain student engagement? In every lesson, wouldn’t you expect to see the teacher communicating effectively with the learners? In every lesson, wouldn’t you expect to see the learners…ummm…learning something new and useful?

FACT: Grown-ups can take criticism of their shortcomings

Much was made of the need to be gentle and positive in the observation feedback. We are to always find something to praise. We are never to say that something was missing. Every teacher can teach us something. We need to remember that our views are not the Word of God.

Right…look here…this is nonsense. We praise things that need praising: effort, hardwork, full-on commitment. Great! But I’m not going to praise dull, ineffective teaching that has students being told to talk to each other just because in language classrooms students are expected to be told to talk to each other. I want to be able to see why they have been told to talk to each other. I want to see them struggling to talk to each other effectively but then surmounting whatever challenges that are in their way.

I want to be able to say, “I looked for evidence that the students were learning something new, but I just couldn’t see it. They seemed to be recycling existing knowledge for most of the lesson and they did that pretty poorly too. You didn’t intervene and correct them or quiz them. You only ever looked for feedback from the strongest members of the class and the fact that everyone in your class got the answers to the reading correct did not seem to floor you in the slightest. Might it not have been way too easy for them?”

It is my view that negative feedback (aka constructive feedback, or developmental feedback, or pearly-coloured rainbow wishes for a brighter future), is nothing to be feared. When all is said and done, we are not criticising the person who is teaching, we are criticising the teaching that the person is doing. They might still be a lovely person, worthy of the kindest epithets and most tear-wrenching elegies. But if their teaching is shit, wouldn’t it be kinder to say so?

FACT: Managers cannot force people to develop

There was the feeling in our group that managers should be helping people develop all the bleedin’ time. When we observe, it is -apparently- our job to spot opportunities for the teacher to develop and pass them on.

OK, maybe it’s just my way with people, but I have rarely (she wrote exaggeratedly) seen any teacher who has embraced any suggestion for change that has come about as the result of an observation. I have seen them dispute it; I have seen them say that they normally do that sort of thing anyway, but today, well, the cat had died in childbirth and the sight of them helpless little kittens… ; I have seen them say they will look harder at this, but once Real Life (TM) flooded back, the good intentions were seized by the Tartarus Road Building Corporation.

And I have sat in many lessons where I, for the life of me, couldn’t actually think of suggested improvements: ehhhhhmmmm, it would have been quite the sight were you to deliver a similar lesson while balanced on a unicycle and juggling scimitars. Although it pains me to admit it, us managers are just humans too. We have limits and mine fall well within the boundaries of imagination and creativity.

I see only two openings for development in managerial observations: one is when the teacher says, Please, could you give me some feedback on… In this case, the teacher is either genuinely concerned that they are doing something less-than-perfect. They need reassurance that the way they are doing it is clearly the best that they are able to and that it is reassuring to know that they have identified it as an area for future development. If the manager knows of someone, somewhere or something that might help this poor child, then of course they should pass on the love. Secondly is when teaching falls short of the standards. This is when it is time to engage in Difficult Conversations.

FACT: There are no difficult conversations.

Or at least there shouldn’t be – not in a professional context. You see, the only really difficult conversations are along the lines of I know you’re married, but I have to tell you – you are never out of my thoughts. I love you! 

In the case of substandard teaching, the message is quite simple: I looked for evidence that you met standard A, but I couldn’t see  any. How do you think you measured understanding of all the students of each thing that you were teaching? Da-da! Nothing to it. It might be that the teacher gets angry and swears at you, but that will possibly be because they see the criticism as being of them rather than of their teaching. In fact, this has yet to happen to me.

I usually check that what I am saying is not news to the teacher: You put the students in pairs and asked them to work together. What was your thinking there? Teachers often put students in pairs because Pairwork is Good. There’s rarely much thought that goes into it. Do you think that the pairwork added anything to the task? Teachers will not infrequently say “yes”. Did you assess this? No. Was it one of the aims or the objectives of the lesson? No. How would the students know why they were being/had been asked to work in pairs? They wouldn’t.

All of this would lead me to say that I couldn’t -in all good conscience- say that I had seen a lesson where the students knew what they were doing and why; nor a lesson that had been built around helping the students progress towards meeting the aims and objectives. Now I would need to suggest that in the next observation, we would want to see evidence that something had been done to address this shortfall. Did the teacher feel that they needed help/advice/guidance/training? If so, this would need to be made available to them.

FACT: When the standards talk about essentials, there are no excuses

I know that I am not the only manager ever to have sat in an observation and thought Holy Fu…Schmoly…to teach like that is baaaad. But to teach like that knowing that you are being observed by a manager, well, that is…HOLD ON A MINUTE…that is DAMNED INSULTING!!!

Oftentimes, there is an excuse of some sort: the teacher was feeling ropey; the whiteboard wasn’t working (GO TECHNOLOGY!!!); the registers weren’t available; the teacher didn’t see; student X is a pain; the Rapture is upon us; who could have foreseen the mysterious appearance of bunny rabbits in the classroom etsoddingcetera.

But if the standards which the observer is looking for are the bare bones of what makes a good teacher, there is no excuse. In our line of work, students are often paying top whack to sit in a room with us and listen to what we are going to say. They may be unmotivated; they may be truculent; they may be detestable; lazy; feckless; spoilt. But they are still entitled to expect that the poor sod in front of them has been trained to such a level that they will be able to use whatever strategies necessary to ensure that learning might reasonably be expected to take place. The teacher should still be able to highlight the need for commitment to learning. And another etcetera to stop the list getting too long.

FACT: This is my conclusion

So there you have it. I know that a lot of people I respect see no value for observations whatsoever. I know that I wrote an MA dissertation that -surprise, surprise- confirmed my own suspicions that observations were a waste of time. But my incisive enquiry did not rock the Pedagogical Universe and my Senior Managers insisted that I do observations. I needed to rationalise my participation in this utterly worthless exercise, so I did. If a manager is going to come crashing into an underpaid and overworked teacher’s classroom, I thought, it can only be to say that Yes! This teacher meets the minimum requirements for Good Teaching! Carry on! Alternatively, Oops! This teacher cannot teach in a style that meets the requirements for Good Teaching! They need help!

Perhaps I sound like a conservative Conservative. Perhaps I sound like the wisest of all people. I know not; I care not. The important thing is that I can sleep at night without nightmares and with no need for patchouli-scented dreamcatchers.

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17 Oct 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

17 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

    Comment by teachingbattleground | 19 Oct 2015 | Reply

  2. A very entertaining and insightful post. I think the point about have clear criteria / standards shared (and ideally co-written) with teachers is key, followed by including these criteria as part of the recruitment process so that you have teachers who at least share the same outlook if not the same personality or technique. I don’t agree with the direct method, but if I was working at a Callan school I think it would be perfectly reasonable for my brilliant task-based lesson to be deemed as inadequate (though they should’ve found out that I was a TBL practitioner at interview and not employed me then – but you get my point I hope!). And of course, the opposite might be true in a TBL school.

    The criteria don’t have to be based on any particular method. I like your basic aim of a lesson and criteria for judging teaching – ‘teach the learners something new and useful’ and I’d maybe add “I gave students opportunity to do something with it / incorporate it within their existing knowledge”.

    Sweet dreams!

    Comment by Andrew | 24 Oct 2015 | Reply

  3. Having experienced some of the most teeth-gnashing and breast-beating moments of my career watching other people teach, I feel your pain. But…

    “I looked for evidence that the students were learning something new, but I just couldn’t see it.” Nobody can, or will, and not even the learner will know, hand on heart, if today’s ‘lesson point’ (let’s say the third bloody conditional) will be available for use when the time comes. Just because the learners are throwing examples backwards and forwards with speed and flair in a classroom context (which in fact they rarely do) means, well, sod all.

    And something ‘new’? What is the measure of ‘new’? Never before encountered, uttered, internalized (back to the ‘learning’ vs ‘using’ problem)? And what is that SOMETHING – a word, a phrase, a structure, a skill, a strategy? Can you see it? Can you measure the cut of its jib?

    And WHO has learned this elusive something? One student? All of them? Over half? At what point can you decide that
    ‘ the students were learning something new,’ and you can move on?

    My point is that observation of the unobservable is a non-starter. In the end, it’s your word against the teacher’s:

    You: ‘They didn’t seem to be learning anything.’
    Teacher. ‘Not true.’

    (A trainee actually said this to me once, and every time I hear that phrase I think of her – implacable, po-faced, unrepentant).

    Even if we agree on standards, we will never agree on whether they’ve been met. Because language learning, unhappily, is not like the production of ‘churros’. The product is not visible, tangible, instant, uniform. It has to be inferred. It takes time – ages, even. It is individualistic: everyone marches to the beat of their only tiny drum.

    All observation can do is focus on the observables. Did all the students speak? Were they sitting up or slouching? Did the IWB work? Did the lesson start on time? Did you use the sodding book?

    Comment by Scott Thornbury | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

    • There are a plenty of observables that something new is being taught. Obviously, we can’t decide if these things are learnt because even if used today it might be forgotten tomorrow. So you’re statement was the wrong thing – ‘you didn’t seem to be teaching anything new’ might have been better.

      Here are some observables for teaching something new:
      – students ask what something means
      – students use dictionaries
      – students underline language in a text
      – students get things wrong in an exercise
      – the teacher ask questions that generate associated language – which students can’t say or say wrongly
      – language is written on the board (which you judge to be new for the level – disputable I know)
      – teacher writes a gapped sentence on the board an tries to elicit word and students can’t answer
      – students write down the language on the board in a notebook
      – you ask students to mark vocab / phrases according to whether they use it / know the meaning but don’t use / don’t know meaning (see e.g the Schmidts’ textbook “Focus on vocabulary”)

      Certainly these observables are less concrete with grammar, but I’d say – of course – that that’s another reason to make grammar secondary to or more part of of a holistic teaching of lexis. How many students? That’s a discussion – but several of the observables above would be observable among a number of students and if teacher names students to answer questions they may get further feedback on that. And of course the criteria of new and useful should be open to discussion within a school – and indeed if agreed will produce further discussion about what is new and useful, which seems toi me to be excellent discussions to be having.

      Still, my bigger point is that a school might choose some quite different standards – all students should speak / students shouldn’t slouch / the IWB should work and be used / the lesson should start on time / they shouldn’t use a coursebook. These will make recruitment, observations, staff development and teachers focus on different things to maintain the standards of the school. I know which school standards I’d prefer and which school I’d prefer to attend, but these are ultimately choices and as long as these are clear to teachers and students (a big if) and teachers and students have been involved (either in the origins or through recruitment), you can choose the standards you like.

      Comment by Andrew Walkley | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

      • Thank you, Andrew. Just to say that your list of observables is pretty damn close to mine! Scott seems to be giving a more literal reading to “new” than I intended. For me, it’s all about perception: if the students think it’s new, that’s good enough for me.

        Comment by TheSecretDoS | 27 Oct 2015

    • There are a plenty of observables that something new is being taught. Obviously, we can’t decide if these things are learnt because even if used today it might be forgotten tomorrow. So you’re statement was the wrong thing – ‘you didn’t seem to be teaching anything new’ might have been better.

      Here are some observables for teaching something new:
      – students ask what something means
      – students use dictionaries
      – students underline language in a text (which teacher then deals with)
      – students get things wrong in an exercise
      – the teacher asks questions that generate associated language – which students can’t say or say wrongly and are then corrected
      – language is written on the board (which you judge to be new for the level – disputable I know)
      – teacher writes a gapped sentence on the board and tries to elicit the word(s) and students can’t answer
      – students write down the language on the board in a notebook
      – you ask students to mark vocab / phrases according to (1) whether they use it; (2) know the meaning but don’t use; (3) don’t know meaning (see e.g the Schmidts’ textbook “Focus on vocabulary”)

      Certainly, these observables are less concrete with grammar, but I’d say – of course – that that’s another reason to make grammar secondary to or more part of a holistic teaching of lexis. How many students? That’s a discussion – but several of the observables above would be observable among a number of students and if the teacher nominates students to answer questions, they may get further feedback on that. And, of course, the criteria of new and useful should be open to discussion within a school – and indeed if agreed will produce further discussion about what is new and useful, which seems to me to be an excellent discussion to be having.

      Still, my bigger point is that a school might choose some quite different standards – all students should speak / students shouldn’t slouch / the IWB should work and be used / the lesson should start on time / they shouldn’t use a coursebook. These will make recruitment, observations, staff development and teachers focus on different things to maintain the standards of the school. I know which school standards I’d prefer and which school I’d prefer to attend, but these are ultimately choices and as long as these are clear to teachers and students (a big if) and teachers and students have been involved (either in the origins or through recruitment), you can choose the standards you like.

      Comment by Andrew Walkley | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

      • I agree, Andrew, that teaching behaviours are observable, but there are a lot of behaviours that you haven’t mentioned, like ‘the teacher chorus-drilled every word’, ‘the teacher explained the grammar’, ‘the teacher had the students read the text aloud’, ‘the teacher corrected every error’, and so on. Why did you not include these? Because (a) we don’t think they correlate with learning? But do the behaviours on your list correlate with learning? (You don’t seem to care if they do or not); or (b) because they are out of fashion? Either way, if for teacher A they are plausible teaching behaviours (maybe because that’s how she was taught) how should the observer (who doesn’t think they are acceptable teaching behaviours any longer) respond? In the end, it’s my sense of plausibility against yours. Or my fashion against your fashion.

        OK, so, as an institution we could also sit down and thrash out a mutually acceptable set of behaviours – we could even get the students involved – and observation could become the policing – I mean, moderation – of those behaviours. But learning? What happened to learning?

        I’m not pretending I have any answers. I observed some teachers this summer. I wanted to help them become better teachers. We negotiated some behaviours that I believe promote learning. But I was powerless against (a) their individual personalities, histories, predispositions etc (b) their personal theories of language learning and (c) the inability to demonstrate conclusively that learning had or had not occurred. Even when they ‘obeyed’ me, I knew that once they were back in their own classrooms, they would become Mrs Milner, their grade 10 language arts teacher, all over again.

        Comment by Scott Thornbury | 27 Oct 2015

      • True too. I see observation as a form of surveillance (as characterised in Taylor Webb’s 2005 paper). But if I absolutely have to do it, it will not be under the pretence of aiding teacher development and the standards it claims to promote will be student-generated and teacher-endorsed.

        How can you not love me?!?!?

        Comment by TheSecretDoS | 28 Oct 2015

      • Er … I’m not sure where you get the idea that I don’t care about teaching correlating to learning. I thought I was just replying to/ agreeing with your point that we can’t ultimately control the internal learning process. Pesky written exchanges!;-). But to be clear, I’d say that, while we rarely go directly from teaching language to language being learnt, as teachers and observers we have to believe that learning starts with the teaching! And to me, ‘teaching’ in itself implies the passing on of something (inductively or deductively) which the learner didn’t know before. Finding out what they don’t know may well start with the students, but can equally start with a guess about where they are at or revising what we thought they’d learned and ‘testing’ students to find out. Setting a conversation might be an example of that (the current fashion?). The various teaching behaviours I suggested are also ways to do that. However, I certainly wasn’t excluding behaviours by listing some! You are right to be concerned about fashions, but as one unfashionable person to another I think we know that fashion is not where I’m at!!;-) Within her Secretness’s criteria (even if the new, useful language and the being engaged is only perceived by students), there’s plenty of scope for the teaching equivalent of leg warmers, Mohicans or the finest hipster beard, if that’s the cut of your jib!
        So with regard to the behaviours you mentioned, choral drilling sounds fine to me, if they are drilling something new and useful. But if that was all they were doing it wouldn’t fit into my addition to the Secret DOS’s criteria, which is “giving students opportunity to do something with the language/ incorporate it into their existing knowledge”. Isn’t that, more to do with learning than teaching? ‘Correct every single error’ – I would say that would fail on the same criteria – and might also fail on teaching something useful, depending on what the student was being allowed / told to say. Actually, I’d like to see the teacher who is capable of doing that – in a class! If they did, presumably no other student would have chance to speak, so it might fail on teaching the others something new!
        I recently did a Michael Thomas Russian course and I would say I learnt with more or less from those two teaching behaviours, (I was taught by a tape and I can reproduce what I was taught sometime after finishing it. Is that learnt enough?!). I kind of enjoyed it, but the main problem for me was that I learnt to say “This is not a bank, it’s the Bolshoi Theatre”! – new, but not terribly useful!
        As for ‘policing’, I think in Dornyei and Murphy’s book Group Dynamics, they talk about the importance of enforcing rules fairly especially when the group has agreed to them? I would see that as being equally true of the standards of teaching as a school. Not everyone wants to be a policeman, but but personally I’m happy to be in a country with police!

        Comment by Andrew Walkley | 28 Oct 2015

    • I see what you’re saying, Scott. And I’m not in total disagreement. The position that I take is one that I have taken after being told that observations were not an optional extra for my team. So, I thought, if I have to do them, I’m not going to go through the farce that they are developmental. They are quality assurance and I will try to agree standards and then observe lessons around these.

      Who decides if something is new? Why, the students, of course! We use the standards to ask the students how they perceive their lessons. It seems reasonable to expect that the students go home after X hours of learning thinking, “I learnt something new/interesting/useful”. And so, we drew up a corollary: it seems reasonable to expect that the teachers go into class with the intention of teaching something new/interesting/useful. And every student has the right to expect this, surely?

      Is it new? Who knows?! Who cares, when all is said and done. Just make sure that the students feel that they are getting new/useful/interesting things for their money. And if you fall short, ask yourself why. You may have a perfectly acceptable rationale. We’re not looking for blame; just accountability.

      Have I made it better…or worse?

      Comment by TheSecretDoS | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

      • I agree, your secretness, that we should consult the students, find out what they like, want, what keeps them coming back. I have always argued that. It’s the failure to address the needs, interests, desires and dispositions of the students that fuels my beef with coursebooks. Coursebooks assume they know what’s good for the students, as if the coursebook writer had god-like access to their every waking thought. And everyone plays along. ‘It’s Tuesday. It’s time for the third conditional’. Why? ‘It’s in the book.’

        But if you REALLY take the students’ needs and expectations seriously, then where do you stop? The logical next step is a student-negotiated (or process) syllabus, but this would require a degree of teacher resourcefulness – even spontaneity – that some teachers might resist and that institutions (and their need to have everyone on the same page) would balk at. And what about the students who say: we want more grammar? We don’t want group work? We want you to translate everything? Or the students, like a class of teens I had at IH Barcelona, who, when asked, said ‘We want to watch movies and play pictionary?’ ‘Nothing else?’ ‘No.’

        So, yes, ask the students by all means. But if the question ‘What is it you liked or didn’t like about this lesson?’ comes with the corollary, ‘You can’t NOT like the syllabus, the coursebook, the exam, the division into levels, the level test, the integrated technology – in short the whole blooming curriculum – because that is a given. You can only not like the fact that you didn’t learn something new today, whether or not you were ready to’. THAT is an education?

        Comment by Scott Thornbury | 27 Oct 2015

      • Well, we use the CEFR for a syllabus because that was the most subtle way I could think of for saying “Errr…just do anything that you think might work.” The CEFR is like the Barnum Effect applied to ELT. That’s its sole benefit for me…

        My belief is that if teachers are cut free to teach in a way that they feel happy with, students will generally follow merrily. Which is why some teachers rock da house when teaching coursebooks and others rule the roost by burning the hateful things and jazz chanting satanic verses.

        The standards are intended to try and get those idiosyncratic practices focused on the idea of satisfying students’ (rather than teachers’) needs.

        You write (somewhat harshly), “You can only not like the fact that you didn’t learn something new today, whether or not you were ready to’”. But ready or not ready…that’s not key for me. It’s more that the students leave with a sense of satisfaction. It might be smoke and mirrors…I also have the suspicion that engaged students learn…sometimes in spite of the teacher…

        Comment by TheSecretDoS | 28 Oct 2015

      • “I also have the suspicion that engaged students learn…sometimes in spite of the teacher…” I think we can agree on this, and all the evidence suggests that learning is optimized when attention is highest. Hence, Andrew’s faith in the learners asking questions and the teacher underlining lexical chunks on the board. And mine in body language: I wasn’t being flippant when I suggested that students slouched or slumped in their seats was NOT a predictor of learning. An astute observer can tell, immediately on walking into a classroom, whether or not the level of engagement is high (once you factor out the ‘observer’s paradox’ whereby the very presence of a stranger in the room causes a momentary spike of interest). A checklist of ‘engagement indicators’ might be a better rubric than ‘did the students learn anything?’-type questions.

        Comment by Scott Thornbury | 28 Oct 2015

  4. I am not a teacher-trainer but I have been involved with peer observation programmes among business English trainers, where the aim and scope of the observation session was agreed between the two colleagues in advance.

    The trainer being observed will have decided which lesson will be used for the observation, and will explain the purpose of that lesson and on what aspects of their teaching they would like feedback. These could range from technical aspects such as classroom management, giving correction and explanation on grammar and vocabulary, to more personal areas such as voice, body language, or pace and variety of the lesson.

    Typically, the person being observed asks for feedback on one or two specific points, so that the observer can remain focused and not have to prepare ‘scattergun’ feedback on the whole lesson. That could be counterproductive, I think.

    I have written something about my experience of peer observation here:

    https://eltcriticalmoments.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/peer-observation-teacher-development-in-the-classroom/

    Comment by eltcriticalmoments | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks for that. As you’ll have seen from the above comment, I distinguish very much between the observations that a manager does -which are solely concerned with quality assurance- and those done by peers which may well have great developmental value (for somebody).

      Comment by TheSecretDoS | 27 Oct 2015 | Reply

  5. Observations on observations. Those done by a DoS are not even QA as what the DoS sees is not what happens in a normal lesson. The presence of another person in the room changes the dynamic. Good teachers are their own best critics what they need is support for their own development. The reason many believe that prayer works is that God does not reply or interrupt. In terms of learning, the only measure is the ability to produce the language in authentic situations, nothing in the classroom can replicate that unless the objective is performance in the classroom or in an exam. But I guess we are talking about the difference between learning and acquisition (Krashen).

    Comment by pepper | 02 Nov 2015 | Reply

    • Firstly, apologies for the delayed reply.

      Secondly, DoS-obs can be QA. They don’t need to be “what happens in a normal lesson” if you are content with them being evidence that in this particular instance, the teacher has demonstrated that they are capable of teaching to the specified standards.

      The reason that people believe that prayer works is because they believe in a god that listens and generally wants the best for them and is prepared to overlook the lifetime of sins that they are trailing round behind them. A DoS who listens, wants the best and can overlook the many failings is like a god…OK…my delusions of grandeur may now have excelled themselves.

      I’m always reluctant to agree to anything that says, “The only way…” so I am going to have to disagree with the view that there is a unique way to measure learning. For me, the best way to measure learning is to ask the fee-paying customers if they think they are learning. Of course, it isn’t gold standard science, but if they’re happy enough, so am I!

      Am I alone in wishing that Krashen marry someone called Burns and that they adopt a double-barrelled surname?

      Comment by TheSecretDoS | 20 Nov 2015 | Reply


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