Interaction Analysis—A New Modern Language for Supervisors


  • Gertrude Moskowitz

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      GERTRUDE MOSKOWITZ (Ed.D., Temple Univ.) is Coordinator of Foreign Language Education at Temple Univ. She has conducted research in the areas of foreign language, supervision, and behavioral psychology, and has led many workshops on interaction analysis for school districts, state FL associations, annual conferences, NDEA and EPDA Institutes, and the Peace Corps. She has developed a special summer workshop in interaction analysis systems for foreign language teachers, held at Temple Univ. for the past five years. She is the author of The Foreign Language Teacher Interacts (rev. ed., Association for Productive Teaching, 1970), a programed text with tapes in six foreign languages. Dr. Moskowitz has published many articles in professional journals. She is a member of AATSP, ACTFL, the American Educational Research Association, and the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association.


ABSTRACT  To establish good rapport in supervision and to get teachers to change without feeling resentment toward the supervisor, interaction analysis is used as the basis of supervisory conferences. The FLint system (Foreign language interaction system), developed to give objective feedback about classroom interaction to FL teachers, assesses nonverbal communications and the kinds and amount of student talk and teacher talk in the target and native languages. Through a chart called a matrix, which gives a complete visual picture of a lesson, teachers improve through self-evaluation rather than by being told what they should do. This discovery method of supervising is based on the teacher (1) discussing the goals he had for the lesson and (2) seeing whether his actual behaviors on a matrix match his intentions. Focus is on the teacher's goals for the lesson—not the supervisor's. Vague impressions and personal perceptions are replaced by an objective frame of reference for communicating about teaching. Seeing what actually does happen in his class, a teacher can intelligently decide what should happen in his class. Defensiveness is reduced and supervisory relations and teaching improve, as the teacher becomes his own agent for change and is left equipped to supervise himself when on his own.