Christine Irvine-Niakaris and Jenny Zimianitou, faculty in the Applied Linguistics TESOL program Hellenic American University, presented at a peer-reviewed conference in Brighton (UK), organized by the International Association for Teaching English as a Foreign Language April 10 – 13.
Christine Irvine-Niakaris, coordinator of the MAAL TESOL program at Hellenic American University explained that the presentation, entitled Professional Development for English Language Teachers: A competency-based approach, was based on a long-term project which examined national and international teaching standards and input from teachers to develop an organic classroom observation checklist.
Dr. Irvine-Niakaris points out that assessing teaching competencies is more than a matter of just "ticking boxes". For this reason, she proposes an organic checklist to measure and develop best practices throughout teachers’ careers. The checklist presented at the conference was developed over the last two years with contributions from teachers and observers and used for both formative and summative assessments in a variety of professional development contexts. Dr. Irvine-Niakaris notes that the checklist serves as an important tool in pre-observation and post-observation conversations as a means of fostering self-reflective practices. These reflections have an impact on changes and additions and therefore contributes to the organic nature of the checklist.
The classroom observation checklist is available for download for those wishing to use it for professional development or classroom research.