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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds And when we say - when we’re talking about monitoring, what do we actually mean here? What are we actually doing and saying in the classroom to sort of monitor? I’ll be very transparent. I’ll tell the class that I’m going to - let’s say it’s art - that I’m going to look at this group’s work in this lesson and talk about how far they’re achieving the learning outcome. And I might make a comment, for example, your still-life sketch is really well done. And then what about trying to sketch it from another angle? So giving them something more to build on. I like to keep a list of the learning objectives.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds And I keep that list at hand all the time, so that throughout the lesson and at the end of the lesson I can do mental checks to all of the learning objectives. And sometimes I design specific activities or a certain rubric. It pretty much depends on the content. But it’s something that I think that we should also have at hand. Teaching and learning is going on in steps. There are steps which you go through. And at the end of a particular unit or so, I think it’s a good idea to stop, breathe deeply, take stock, look back, look forward, and decide which the next steps could be.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds As to monitoring your students’ progress, I think you should never underestimate the power of justified praise. I think power of praise is something extremely important. And it helps to keep students motivated. It helps to keep them on board. So if you were in a classroom and you see that a group is struggling, what kind of things would you say to that group to try and help them to learn what you intended? Always praise first. We’ll say what’s done well, even if it’s just that they work together well. They used English well. But then you need to give the suggestion or an alternative of how they can move forward. You might have to spend a bit more time with that group.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds And in one lesson, as I say, with a lot of learners in the class, you can’t always do that, which is why I do the monitoring plan to make sure I give groups equal attention. I think it’s also important, from my own experience, we tend to spend a lot of time with the learners who are perhaps less able, and we extend the more able learners. But I think the learners who are in the middle also deserve as much attention as everyone else. So I try to be as democratic as possible. And what kind of things do you actually say to make sure that the learning is happening?

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 seconds So do you talk about the methods they use or do you talk about how they’re doing their group work? I keep focusing back on the learning objectives and asking them how much they think they have learned or what they’ve not understood or how we can help them. There’s a joint responsibility, I think, for the teacher. You don’t want to spoon- feed them all the time. But the learning objective is key. And sometimes you have a child or a learner who is really good at the maths, but not at the English, or you have someone who’s very good at English but doesn’t really understand the science.

Skip to 3 minutes and 41 seconds So there’s a quite a complexity in teaching subjects in another language compared with a native language.


You’re going to watch our teacher trainers Kay, Claudia and Franz talking about ways they support and guide learners during the lesson. They talk about two types of monitoring:

  1. Monitoring learners’ progress. This is when we look at learners’ work to evaluate how well learners have done and to check on learners’ progress.

  2. Monitoring when learners are working individually or in groups or pairs (like Kata did in the video at the end of last week): when we watch and listen to learners working to make sure that they’re doing what they’ve been asked to do, and to help them if they are having problems with a task.

For example: How about trying to sketch the still life from a different angle?

Ten top tips

Watch the video and try to note down ten tips that Kay, Claudia and Franz give. You can check your answers in the pdf below.


Kay, Claudia and Franz think that monitoring learners is an important part of classroom practice. Do you agree that monitoring learners’ progress in subject lessons is important?

Let’s see how many of you agree or disagree. Click here to tell us.

Tell us the reason why you agree or disagree in the comments and tell us how you guide and stretch your learners while they’re working. Read other participants’ ideas and ‘like’ the ones you find most useful.

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Teaching Your Subject in English

Cambridge Assessment English

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