Observation, assessment and recording are parts of the process of collection of empirical data. This type of data is valuable because it consists on instantly available information regarding the formative process of language acquisition and development. This applies to first and second language learners equally.
As the first of three steps of the empirical data collection processes, observation is the careful scrutiny of salient behaviors and traits. This includes the student's attitudes towards learning, their tendency to imitate sounds and words, and the way in which they apply the newly-learned language.
When observation is purposeful and well-directed, assessments can be made as far as whether there has been improvement in language development or not. Have there been any gains? Is the child using language properly?Are there any impediments to the development? From the answers to these questions, a plan of action may or may not be required to ensure the student's success.
Recording is basically documenting the observable data, the plans put in place, and the outcome of them. The way that this helps the student is by measuring progress and by establishing linear growth as time goes by. This is the best way to look back and determine what works for the student as far as learning styles, length of interventions, and developmental readiness.