(Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 1985) is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language at Georgia State University, Atlanta.
An Etiquette for the Nonsupervisory Observation of L2 Classrooms
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1992 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 215–223, May 1992
How to Cite
Murphy, J. M. (1992), An Etiquette for the Nonsupervisory Observation of L2 Classrooms. Foreign Language Annals, 25: 215–223. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1992.tb00530.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT Earlier discussions of an etiquette for classroom observation imply that a supervisor who observes a second language (L2) classroom in an official capacity poses more serious concerns for a classroom teacher than a person who visits for some other reason. Several writers suggest that a supervisory relationship between a classroom teacher and a visitor/ observer can be more unsettling for the teacher than one that is nonsupervisory. There is evidence, however, that visitors who are non-supervisors sometimes provoke anxiety in the lives of L2 teachers and their students. While not always recognizing this concern, programs of L2 teacher preparation encourage pre-service and in-service teachers to visit and observe classes being taught by their peers. Under such circumstances, visitors who are not supervisors sometimes lack necessary skills for observing in an unobtrusive manner. For this and other reasons, the problems that nonsupervisory observers pose in classroom settings need to be examined directly. The present discussion addresses visitors to L2 classrooms who are the colleagues and peers of both pre-service and in-service classroom teachers. The article's premise is that a non-supervisor's visit can be just as problematic for a classroom teacher as a supervisor's. Following discussions of the complexities of these relationships and possible solutions, illustrative guidelines for classroom visitation/observation etiquette are presented.