Important COVID-19 and ISS Updates | Click Here (Last Updated: April 27, 2021 | ELI Placement Form for Fall 2021 now open)

Return to Observations

Procedures for Observing ELI Classes


Photo: ELI

Every semester, ELI classes are observed by a number of people, including ELI administrative staff, ELI teachers, students in the Department of Second Language Studies, and other visiting language professionals.

Because the number of requests for observations of ELI classes is so large, we have had to set a limit on the number of times any one class section can be observed. Currently, the limit is four (4) class sessions. If the class you would like to observe already has four observations reserved (or completed), you will need to find another class to observe.

Peer Observations by Other ELI Teachers

All ELI Teachers are required, every semester, to observe a minimum of two other teachers (preferably in the ELI, but observations of others are possible with approval from the ELI Associate Director). Prior to observing, we strongly recommend that you review the Guidelines and Etiquette for Observers of ELI Classes.

Other Visitors to ELI Classes

Before approaching an ELI teacher, or the ELI Associate Director or Director, to ask about observing ELI classes, it’s important to determine the purpose of your observation. Is it for research purposes, or is it truly just an observation? It is assumed that, if this is just an observation, any recordings or notes taken will not be used for research and will not be made public in any form. Otherwise, it is considered a research project, and in these cases, you need to follow different procedures, as shown on Policies and Procedures for Conducting Research in the ELI.

If your observation is not for research purposes, follow the following steps:

  • Check this observation sign-up sheet. If the class you were hoping to observe already has four observers written in, you would have to find another class that has spaces remaining on the sign-up sheet.
  • Read the Guidelines and Etiquette for Observers of ELI Classes.
  • Contact the teacher to get permission to observe their class. Be sure to explain the purpose of your visit.
  • If given permission by the teacher, add your name to the observation sign-up sheet, once for each class session you observe.
  • If you hope to visit more than one class, first contact the ELI Associate Director to discuss which courses might be best to observe.