Guide: Now let's take a look at Ayesha giving feedback to Jay after observing him teaching. Notice the way she uses questions. Try to decide whether her technique is effective in allowing Jay to develop a self-critical awareness. We join the session when Jay is outlining a few of his difficulties.
Jay: I really have difficulty when I get groups from varied backgrounds with different languages. It was easy when I worked up north as I taught groups that were mainly Panjabi speakers, but I just can't get this lot to communicate with each other.
Ayesha: Well, what works for me is using a universal theme, like marriage for example, and getting people to contribute what they call various parts of the ceremony in their language.
Jay: Oh, right, yes. That's a good idea, but I'll have to think of something more suitable for this all male group.
Ayesha: You seem to have quite a jokey style with the learners, which is really positive most of the time, but I felt that your use of sarcasm was a bit heavy, especially for some members of the group.
Jay: Well it's only a bit of fun and most of them get it and the ones that don't, er, don't seem to mind that much.
Ayesha: Well, that's OK from your perspective, but how do you know the students don't mind? I think you should think about how appropriate it is to use sarcasm.
Jay: Yeah, it's just that I find the sessions a bit dull without a laugh and a joke, but I sort of see what you mean. You think I was too sarcastic then?
Ayesha: Well in my experience, when I had a sarcastic teacher at school everybody thought it was great fun except me. I laughed along, but I found that it made me dread the lessons as I never really understood why people were laughing and thought they might be laughing at me.
Jay: I hear what you are saying. I'm probably assuming that people actually like my jokes, and the idea that they might not all be laughing because they want to...hmm. It's just that sometimes my materials don't work, or they aren't as good as they could have been, so I have to fill in a bit.
Ayesha: Right, so if I understand what you're saying, you're covering up difficulties within the session content by telling a few jokes (smiles), if you see what I mean. Is that right?
Jay: Er, yes, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound too great does it? I'll work on putting that right, Ayesha.
Ayesha: OK, let's carry on then. I really liked the way that you included everyone. I am curious why Rashid never spoke though?
Jay: Well, he had problems overseas. He was kept in solitary confinement as a prisoner and wasn't allowed to talk. Then he came here, and joining the class has been a big step for him. I'm sure he'll join in when he's ready. I just don't want to push him.
Ayesha: That's interesting Jay. You'll have to monitor that carefully. You also seemed to have a problem with Ahmed when he asked personal questions. I think we need to be open and honest about our reactions to certain situations. For example, I get defensive when people question my commitment or say I could earn more in industry.
Jay: So I should think about how I react and how I communicate that to people. Yes I can see that would be useful. I also wanted to ask you what you thought about the interactivity in the computer part of the session?
Ayesha: To be honest with you it looked good, but I'm not an expert. I'd like to think about it a bit more, do a bit of research. I'll get back to you on this.
Jay: OK, that would be great. We've got a few targets for my action plan anyway.
Ayesha: Yes, that's good. In fact I'm really pleased with the way things are going. When we started out, your classes were a lot more 'Jay centred'. Now all the students are involved, the movement to using computers is really paying off and you're really making progress.