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SURVIVAL GUIDE

By Lindsay Clandfield and Duncan Foord

Troubleshooting

Oh no! The photocopier isnt


working again
and its not just the photocopier! Teachers come
up against all sorts of minor and major frustrations
every day. Relax and take a deep breath. Our
troubleshooting guide will sort everything out for you.

listening material coursebook

problem area solution problem area solution


Your CD player Check that it is plugged in and You cant find Be honest if you dont know.
/ MP3 player turned on. If it still doesnt work, the teachers Tell students you will check this
doesnt work. see below. book with the for the next class. Then do so.
You cant Read the text yourself. If it is a answer key and
find the CD / dialogue, read it with a student you dont know
audio file. or read both parts yourself. the answer.
The pictures / Find your own pictures by
The audio quality
photos in the using an image search on the
is terrible.
coursebook are internet, if necessary.
The students say Consider what you were really old / out of
the listening is hoping students would get out In the class before, ask students
date / horrible.
too hard. of listening to the recording. to bring in pictures of the topic
Perhaps you can re-create the / area in question.
same input by telling a story
or anecdote or by initiating a
dialogue with a strong student.

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Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014


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SURVIVAL GUIDE
By Lindsay Clandfield and Duncan Foord

Troubleshooting

online video / DVD material photocopier / printer

problem area solution problem area solution


The DVD player Check that the DVD player is The photocopier Start the class by dictating
doesnt work. plugged in and turned on. / school printer some of what was on the
doesnt work. worksheet (possible if there are
If you are playing the DVD
only sentences or words).
on a computer, check the
software is compatible with Make the reading into a listening
the file you are wishing to play. and dictate the questions or
write them on the board (if the
Ask if a student can help you
handout was a text).
make the player work.
Abandon the lesson and do
If all that fails, see the
a standby activity (see The
next page.
emergency activity file).
You cant find Abandon the lesson and use
You left See above for ideas.
the online video a standby lesson (see The
your flashdrive
/ DVD you want emergency activity file). Begin using an online cloud
at home.
to use. storage system (e.g. Dropbox,
You cant find Bring in DVDs in the students Google Drive) instead. These
any suitable L1 and use scenes or visuals let you save your files to the
online videos from them to do interpreting internet and then access them
or DVDs in work or as a springboard for from anywhere.
English but your discussion (see Using L1 in the You have only Have students share the
students would classroom for more ideas). ten copies for a photocopies and write answers
really like to do a class of 15. individually in their notebooks.
video class. Collect the copies at the end
of the class (that way they
dont litter the floor).

If it is crucial that every student


have a copy, then abandon
the activity and do a standby
activity (see The emergency
activity file).

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Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014


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SURVIVAL GUIDE
By Lindsay Clandfield and Duncan Foord

Troubleshooting

You always have Use photocopies for texts but The wi-fi Download as much as you can
too many copies ask students to write answers in connection at for presentations at home (e.g.
and your school their notebooks. Collect copies the school images, video) and save to a
has set a limit. back in and keep them in a file. is terrible. USB stick.

You have to pay Do a photocopy audit activity Take snapshots of key websites as
for your to see if you are using too backup to show.
own copies. many copies (see Professional
If your phone has a cheap data
development).
plan, you may be able to make
it into a hotspot and use the
whiteboard / blackboard / projector internet that way, in a pinch.

students

problem area solution


Its really small! Be as economical as possible.

Plan your board in advance. problem area solution


Your Prepare some of your Your students Do a survey to find out what
whiteboard is presentation on big pieces of are not topics your students think are
always really paper (A3, for example), which interested in relevant, and have some
messy. you could use again, if need be. the lessons ideas yourself. Supplement the
in the coursebook with these topics. Get
Have a colleague observe you coursebook. learners to help you by bringing in
and your board use and help material themselves. If they cant
you with it (see Professional find anything in English, let them
development). bring texts in their own language.
The projector Check that it is plugged in and These can provide a springboard
does not attached to a computer. for discussion and vocabulary
turn on work, as well as translation.
Check the input. Press the
input or source button on Your students Adapt activities so that there
the projector. all have are easier and more difficult
different levels. versions, and allow students to
If neither of these works, the bulb choose which they would like to
may be broken or the projector do (sometimes this could mean
may have overheated. Turn it off giving hints for the answers).
and try again later. Do a standby
activity (see The emergency Have activities that are
activity file). extendable (activities that will
allow early finishers to continue).

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SURVIVAL GUIDE
By Lindsay Clandfield and Duncan Foord

Troubleshooting

Your students Draw up a list of class rules with


constantly the students participation. Allow
misbehave. them to help make rules both for
themselves and for you. Display
the rules where everyone can
see them.
Your students Start the lesson with something
always turn that students will regret missing.
up late. This could be an important
exercise, giving back test
results or a fun activity they like.
Incorporate latecomers discreetly
but dont stop the activity for
them. Talk to them about their
lateness afterwards.


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Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014


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