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PUPILS, TEACHER AND SCHOOL
Establishing a productive learning environment is a big challenge for teachers. For beginning teachers, it may be the primary concern. Studies show that nearly half of the teachers who leave the profession during the first three years do so because of problems with managing pupils. This unit and the next will help you establish and maintain a productive and orderly learning environment, i.e. a classroom that is safe, orderly and focussed on learning. Such an environment will enable your pupils to feel safe and to learn as much as possible. Their shared classroom routines, values, expectations, learning experiences, rules and procedures will increase their engagement, their sense of autonomy and will enhance the use of instructional time. All this will result in their improved achievement and motivation and in your job satisfaction. After you have completed the study of this unit, you should be able to: • explain how you can enable your pupils to learn English more happily and effectively • describe how the class atmosphere can assist language learning • identify the qualities of a good learner of English • identify essential teaching skills that help promote learning • identify the talents and skills of a good teacher of English • explain how creating and teaching rules can eliminate management problems
1 Learning English Inside and Outside the Classroom
Throughout the world, the majority of English language learning takes place outside the classroom. Learners are exposed to English in the course of their everyday life: they interact with other English speakers, listen to the radio and TV, read newspapers, write letters, socialize, etc., in a word, they do things with English. However, formal classroom learning may suit better some kinds of learners. These prefer that the responsibility of learning be taken away from them. In the classroom, frequency, pace and order of exposure to English is determined by a syllabus and/or a coursebook, and the teacher determines the learning activities. The control by the teacher of the organization of the classroom provides support to the learners lacking in motivation or confidence. Nevertheless, the same control may be a source of frustration to other learners, who know both what and how they want to learn. As an English teacher, you must bear in mind that you are responsible for the learning of all pupils within the classroom. You must also train them in good strategies to enable them to continue learning outside the classroom. You must develop in them pupils habits of independence and autonomy, preparing them to organise their own learning and to exploit other sources of language outside the classroom.
2 The Complexities of the Classroom
Classroom activities have characteristics that make them complex and demanding: o Several activities and tasks occur at the same time. When you teach a classroom, you need to maintain order, attract and keep your pupils’ attention, and keep them
Anca Cehan 1
In a sense. o Events often take unexpected turns. The unpredictable nature of classrooms increases their complexity and challenge. And yet it is impossible to plan for all of your pupils’ responses. You must always plan your classroom activity. however. you need to know your pupils and to build up a wide repertoire of skills and techniques. Anca Cehan 2 . In such a context. small groups. In the real world. The pupils’ (and possibly other observers’) perceptions of your actions can have unintended consequences. a teacher can create an orderly classroom. pairs). knowing your pupils and knowing how to approach them is crucial. In an ideal classroom. All these will enable you to develop useful structures and a personal style of teaching. Pupils and classroom activity are often unpredictable. Pupil characteristi cs Planning for effective management The physical environmen Procedures and rules (after Paul Eggen and Don Kauchak 2004 Educational Psychology. where the number of pupils and their immaturity combine to put to constant test the teacher’s classroom managerial skills.involved in a learning activity (individual. movement and interaction are comfortable. you are on a stage and your successes and mistakes occur in the public space. You will then maximize both your pupils’ potential and your own in the limited time and with the limited resources of the school. The teacher gives few directions and reprimands pupils infrequently. whole class. o The events occur rapidly. It also requires the existence of a clearly understood and consistently monitored set of rules and procedures that prevents management problems before they occur. The atmosphere is calm. o You teach in front of people. Before planning rules and procedures. Doing so requires good knowledge of the pupils and careful planning. and pupils work quietly. management is invisible. You may also have to deal with discipline problems. Things happen quickly and you need to make many of the decisions right now. and try to anticipate as much as you can of what will happen. The relationship among these factors is illustrated below. you must consider both the characteristics of your pupils and the physical environment of your classrooms. some classes are tough to manage. particularly for beginning teachers. In most instances. Pearson) The complexity of a teacher’s activity is especially apparent in the large classes of the primary and secondary schools. 3 Getting to Know Your Pupils To be able to predict as much of the unpredictable as possible. This need to make quick decisions can be almost overwhelming. but experienced teachers get used to expecting the unexpected.
It avoids confusion which might arise in identifying which pupil should be responding. Very often you may find yourself wondering what you can ask and what is better to be left unasked. your way of approaching them.SAQ 1 You know that pupils think. Also. it generates a friendly relationship with the pupils and among them. Before you start teaching a new group. knowing their backgrounds and interests. Sometimes. you will want to find out what your pupils have already learnt. Almost any hobby which a pupil has can be incorporated into an English lesson. Anca Cehan 3 . act and feel differently at different stages of development. There is always an official syllabus (”programa”) of what needs to be taught at each level. it speeds up the organising of pair and group work. Your pupils will find their English lessons more stimulating if some of their work is concerned with things that interest them. SAQ 2 What can you do if you have large classes and you are not good at remembering pupils’ names? A language class gives you more opportunities to discover details about your pupils’ lives than most other classes. What are the general characteristics affecting classroom management of the primary school pupils (grades 2 to 4) compared to those of the lower secondary school pupils (grades 5 to 8)? Whether you teach younger or older children. A good principle is never to ask your pupils anything that you yourself would not wish to be asked. Being able to address your pupils by name has considerable advantages both for you and for them. think where you can find information about your pupils’ previous experience of learning English. You can also ask your pupils to bring you the coursebook(s) and notebook(s) they used. You will want then to find out what these things are. Knowing your pupils by name. Think First! Before continuing to read this text. Both the pupils and the previous teacher may also tell you what kinds of learning experience they had. which you can consult. especially in the early stages of the classroom activity. will be a major factor that affects your pupils’ confidence. you can talk to the previous teacher(s). This kind of discussion is very important as you may be able to find out what your pupils’ strengths and weaknesses are. and it produces a secure atmosphere. it is the natural way to attract somebody’s attention. Learners of all ages should be treated with care and respect. knowing about their previous language-learning experiences and their attitudes to English will enable you to help them learn more happily and effectively.
Note down a few ideas in the space below. memorise language items. This may simply mean that the class. and the school. positive attitudes to learning English need to be fostered constantly. However. • Age: young children do not make good learners of grammar. you must make sure that your pupils understand that the test is given only to help you decide what gaps they have in their knowledge. so that you can help them to fill these gaps. the young pupils’ attitude to English is more influenced by you than by their wants or needs. think of what you can do to find out what your pupils really know. checking that listeners have understood. 3. which will maintain your pupils’ positive attitudes. The best way to establish what your pupils already know is to start with a diagnostic test to discover what they can and cannot do. Consider these features: • Perceptual skills: they can perceive new sounds. Anca Cehan 4 . monitor their own speech and that of others. the teacher. • Study: they can organise their studies and study independently (e.) • Cultural openess: they are open-minded and open hearted with regard to foreign cultures and individuals. you will find that the class is different from what you would have expected. Remember that no matter what facilities the school offers. etc. They can transfer from Romanian to English communication strategies such as paraphrasing. as pupils almost always reach a stage when they feel that they are not making any progress. • Exposure: they seek out every opportunity to come into contact with English. etc.g. reading books and newspapers.Sometimes. However. In most cases. have changed. Think First! Before continuing to read this unit. • Motivation: they have a high motivation. Your enthusiasm and skills have an enormous effect on the attitude of your pupils. purposeful class atmosphere with plenty to do. they look for cues in the context. when you give them such a test. circumlocution. • Strategy: they concentrate on meaning rather than on form when practising. • Sociability: they mix well and work well in groups. The most important factor in keeping your pupils motivated is your own skill and enthusiasm. • Adaptability: they learn well despite the method. they make vocabulary lists and use them). • Experiment: they try out their language knowledge and are uninhibited about making mistakes. (watching films and TV programmes. you could draw the profile of the good learners of English. or individual pupils within it.1 The Good Learners of English Drawing on your experience as learners of English. • Analytical skills: they can formulate hypotheses. it is the lively. which you create. At this point you need to find new ways of motivating them and making their study seem worthwhile by seizing every opportunity to make their learning meaningful. however.
Both your behaviour and language and those of the pupils can contribute to this atmosphere. in your opinion. Think First! What factors are the most important. 4 Class Atmosphere The general atmosphere in the class can assist learning. if possible. addressing pupils by name encouraging the whole class to use first names always being polite to your pupils expecting your pupils to be polite to each other as well as to you always being punctual to classes encouraging your pupils to arrive to classes on time encouraging pupils to apologise for late coming making sure you do not show favouritism towards any particular pupil planning clearly what you are going to do in each lesson allowing valid questions and interruptions telling your pupils from the beginning what you want to achieve in the lesson saying. However. you should be able to show your pupils how to be ‘good’. which clearly involves helping them to become independent. for building a good atmosphere in your classes? Put in order the following suggestions according to how important they are for you and the pupils you are teaching. every pupil in some way during each lesson not letting one or two pupils monopolise the class providing opportunities for the pupils to talk and listen to each other reducing communication between you and your pupils to an optimum amount saying what you mean and meaning what you say: being firm in approving or disapproving doing the things which you have told your pupils you will do Anca Cehan 5 .Think First! What fundamental skill is hidden behind most of the features listed above? It would be difficult to imagine that all your pupils show all the above mentioned features and are all good learners of English. at the end of the lesson. how successful you think it has been including. Independence is a quality which seems to cut across most of the features listed above.
To avoid this. Anca Cehan 6 . you are less likely to have problems with discipline. Your pupils will know if you are calling on them in the order of the class register list. Also. you should be able to solve a number of questions. write down the means you can think of used for including all the pupils in the class activity. Avoid looking down at the list (by putting it where you can see it easily). “Good”. and not to punish misbehaviour severely on one occasion while ignoring it on another. they will be less likely to become disruptive. Here are some ways of making sure that you involve all the pupils. SAQ 3 How much freedom do you think you have in dealing with discipline problems? It is important to try to be fair. 4. 4. by the use of “Yes”. so that they may not realise what order you are using. “That’s right” and even by a simple nod of the head. treating all your pupils alike. what you consider unacceptable behaviour and how you can punish misbehavers. This can be done briefly and frequently. referring to maintaining order. the amount of noise you can tolerate. use every second or third name. Also. it is very easy to miss some pupils out. ask one or two for a second response. Avoid comparing one pupil’s performance with that of other pupils. In large classes in particular. If you keep your pupils busy and if they believe that what they are doing is worthwhile. or the area by the window –. Often teachers tend to focus on one particular section of the class – the area where the very good pupils sit. It is always better to avoid situations that may lead to misbehaviour. • Use the class register list. Ensure that all the pupils are included in the class activity.2 Involving All the Pupils You should seize every opportunity to give encouragement to those pupils who are making a real effort and not just to those who are being successful. It is always more constructive to compare a pupil’s work with his/her own previous performance as this gives the pupil a sense of one’s own progress. to prevent the ‘switching off’ of pupils who have just responded. As a teacher. if you are well organized. Think First! Before you read the rest of this section. or some other pattern.1 Discipline Discipline is an important matter. without realising it. without interrupting the flow of the lesson. • Think of your class as a set of lines or rows of pupils and address a question to a pupil from each line or row in turn. the front of the class.
Positive teacher attitudes are also fundamental to effective teaching as personal teaching efficacy. Essential Teaching Skills What kind of knowledge do you need to help your pupils learn as much as possible? • Knowledge of content. If the pupils get used to this system. However. You should be able to illustrate the concepts used (with examples. Sometimes. the pupils will take a more positive attitude to their studies.1. • Knowledge of learners and learning. it can move quite briskly and be successful. Try to help your pupils set these up and then give them assistance in running them. while insisting that the rest of the class remains quiet. • Invite the pupil who answers to name the one who will answer next. By organising a class library or an English club you can provide your pupils with the possibility of extending their knowledge and interests outside the classroom as well as giving them an opportunity for genuine communication. 4. you may wish to pass a factual question to another pupil. If the pupil you nominated is unable to respond. however. You should know not only English but also be familiar with the concepts used in the lessons. while waiting to join in again. This keeps the pupils busy counting.3 Extra-Curricular Activities Activities conducted outside lesson times can make an important contribution to maintaining a good atmosphere in the classroom. caring and high expectations promote pupil motivation. energy. or the class in general. If your pupils tend to shout out the answers before the others have time to try. If their knowledge of English opens the way to other interesting activities. SAQ 4 What advantages or disadvantages can you see in your pupils’ attending the activity of an English club? 5 The Teacher 5. enthusiasm. You should know how to organise orderly classrooms and use questioning skills that involve your pupils and lead to thorough understanding. • Pedagogical content knowledge. drawings.) • General pedagogical knowledge. charts.• Set rules. etc. if you are an elementary school teacher. help him/her by repeating or prompting. you can communicate Anca Cehan 7 . it can become unpleasant if the pupils see it as a way of victimising their slower classmates • Repeat the question and/or prompt. You should be able to understand when your pupils need concrete examples and what kind of tasks increase motivation and learning. For instance. make a rule that the pupil who has responded once must miss the next three questions before s/he can answer again.
Organisation determines how efficiently time is used. Different types of classroom time influence learning in different ways: Type of classroom time Allocated time Instructional time Engaged time Academic learning time Description The amount of time a teacher uses for a content area or topic The amount of time left for teaching after routine management and administrative tasks are completed The amount of time pupils are actively involved in learning activities The amount of time pupils are actively involved in learning activities during which they are successful. you should increase instructional. make a list of the skills that are essential. connected discourse. minimising time spent on matters unrelated to the topic. In order to increase learning. preparing materials in advance. Besides all the types of knowledge and attitudes. which alert pupils to important information Anca Cehan 8 . viewing it as something to be filled or even ‘killed’. if your talk is sequenced inappropriately.g. They alert the pupils that the lesson is making a shift and allow them to adjust and get prepared. You should know how to increase learning by using time efficiently. for any teacher. The way you interact with pupils influences their motivation and attitudes toward school in general and English in particular. As you move from allocated time to academic learning time. Precise terminology is language without vague terms. etc. discourse becomes disconnected. teachers do not always use time effectively. now we’ll turn to…). the correlation with learning becomes stronger.g. and academic learning time to make as much use of the allocated time as possible. Transition signals indicate that one idea or activity is ending and another is beginning (e. Four aspects of effective communication are especially important: precise terminology. Emphasis consists of verbal (e. If the point of a lesson is not clear. It includes starting on time. There is a strong link between effective communication. All right. there are basic abilities that all teachers should have to promote order and learning in the classroom. which would leave the pupils with a sense of uncertainty and detract them from learning. engaged. if incidental information is included. Unfortunately. Some teachers seem unaware of the importance of time. Keep your lessons on track.your personal efficacy and caring by calling a pupil’s parents and soliciting their help as soon as the pupil fails to turn in an assignment or receives an unsatisfactory grade. and create a sense of order and equilibrium in your classroom. establishing routines. Connected discourse is talk that leads to a point. save your energy. transition signals and emphasis. in your opinion. Think first! Before reading the following section. Listen carefully now…) and vocal cues (such as raising the voice) and repetition. pupil achievement and pupil satisfaction. Routines reduce the load of your working effort and memory.
Anca Cehan 9 .in a lesson.
Effective feedback has four essential characteristics: it is immediate or given soon after a pupil response it is specific it provides corrective information for the learner it has a positive emotional tone Provide feedback throughout all learning experiences. connected discourse. The information pupils receive about the accuracy or appropriateness of their responses and work is crucial in promoting learning. promote success. materials displayed around the room. maps. and emphasis have for teachers? To check on your organisation and communication skills. Introductory focus attracts pupils’ attention and provides a framework for the lesson. Jill? Jill: A panther. you can ask another teacher to visit your class and observe your language and nonverbal communication or to see how many minutes you spend before actually beginning instruction. it can increase motivation by arousing curiosity. Effective questioning • • • • Anca Cehan is frequent is equitably distributed uses prompting allows adequate wait-time 10 . Feedback gives pupils information about the validity of their knowledge or skills. you can guide learning rather than simply deliver information. information written on the board – all meant to maintain pupils’ attention during learning activities. Mr. Which of the characteristics of feedback listed above is not illustrated by this dialogue: Mr. sequence the presentation logically. You can also involve shy pupils. Help her out. It also helps them to elaborate on their existing understanding. transition signals. SAQ 6 Look at the following teacher – pupil dialogue. B: Not quite. models. pictures. B: What kind of an animal is shown in the picture. photos. Feedback is also important for motivation because it provides pupils with information about their increasing competence. and enhance self-esteem. recapture pupils’ wandering attention. Use objects. help them form relationships. etc. cause pupils to rethink their ideas. In addition.SAQ 5 What practical implications may terminology. charts. Questioning can also maintain the pace and momentum of a lesson. communicate changes in topics or the way you give feedback. By questioning you can assess pupil background knowledge. to provide introductory and sensory focus during your lessons. You can also ask your colleague to see whether you clearly emphasise the important points in the lesson. In an English lesson you can use concrete objects. … Betty? Using questions.
Besides knowledge. It emphasizes important points and encourages elaboration.Lessons are more coherent when review and closure are used to summarise and pull ideas together. listen to the recording too. Guide the review with questioning. phrases. And there are lots of ways in which you can develop your language skills. For instance. Closure is a form of review that occurs at the end of a lesson. If there is a cassette to be used with the book.” These skills are interdependent as none is effective alone. so that you can hear how they sound. It pulls content together and signals the end of the lesson. have regular meetings with other teachers of English to help each other with the preparation of classes. The day before the class. If you can. as this can help with pronunciation. Do not feel embarrassed that you don’t know every word of English. Begin and end each class with a short review. but only in combination with the others. 5. When your pupils will ask you What’s the English for …. say “We studied present perfect yesterday. and try to get them right. the teachers of English can use successfully a variety of other abilities. although it is common at the beginning and end. attitudes and essential teaching skills that are common to teachers of all subjects. Give me an example that illustrates this. Think First! Before reading the following section.? and you do not know the answer. Anca Cehan 11 . Think how many words of Romanian you don’t know! We all continue to learn throughout our lives. and explain why your example is correct. What is important is to work on improving the quality of the English you use and want to teach your pupils. write down in the space provided the answer to this question: “What ways of improving your classroom English can you think of now?” Here are a few solutions: Make sure that you are familiar with the language in the lesson. but I’ll find out for you rather than to try to avoid answering the question. It can occur at any point in a lesson.2 Language Ability Fluency and accuracy in English do not make anyone automatically into a successful teacher of English. it is better to say I don’t know. these teachers may have the advantage of understanding better their pupils’ difficulties. Their interaction and integration are crucial. You may soon discover that each of you can gain something from the experience of the others. and sentences. Review is a summary that helps pupils link what they have already learned to what will follow in the next activity. prepare the lesson by speaking out the words. The secret lies in being confident about your English without being embarrassed about your lack of greater knowledge. However. There are also teachers’ clubs (“cercuri”) or teachers’ centres (“CCDs”) where you may check up on anything you are unsure of by asking colleagues or experts. skills and talents. See if there are words which you have difficulty in pronouncing. and share with them your difficulties and your successes. Many good teachers of English have a limited command of English.
so that they can be read easily from the sides and back of the class). you will still make the contrast between speakers clear. it is unreasonable to expect your pupils to do things that you are not willing to do yourself. If you cannot lead the singing yourself. You need to know how to use an overhead projector or a video player. and your letters clear and big. Read carefully the instruction manual. The best way to learn is by ‘hands on’ experience: have someone explain it and demonstrate it. with a good intonation and sounding as if you care about what you are reading. If you cannot handle the equipment. you will get angry and frustrated. write legibly and quickly on the board. the knowledge of an English-speaking country? Explain why you think this is so. Always try it out or prepare it in advance. in your opinion. and you may lose the Anca Cehan 12 . you can still have a song in your class by playing a tape or a record and singing along with the recording. This will show your pupils what you expect of them and will encourage them to take part in the activity. you are good at singing or playing an instrument. you should read clearly and loudly. think of the practical skills that a good teacher needs. Drawings are often used as a way of presenting new language and explaining new vocabulary. just join in and encourage the pupils to sing. 5. good presentation skills. 5. if it is available. Think First! Before reading the next section. You will sound more convincing if you use different voices to indicate changes of speaker. on their behaviour. Clean the board before you start writing on it.3 Teacher Talents A clear voice. without stumbling over difficult words.4 Practical Classroom Skills Your good performance in the classroom will have a significant effect on the way in which the pupils see you and. Even if you only change the loudness or speed or pitch of your voice. If you cannot play or sing well. Use your acting skills if you decide to read out a dialogue or organise a role play activity.SAQ 7 How big an advantage is. You do not have to be an artist: just make sure that you keep the drawing simple and you draw it big enough to be seen by every pupil in the classroom. perhaps. It is always acceptable to say I’m not very good at this. Or. Otherwise. and then go through the various steps a number of times yourself. Write your lines right. self-confidence are all big advantages. consequently. but I’ll try. It is important for you to master the equipment. Organise your board work well. Always practise any piece you want to use in the next lesson. Here are some necessary practical skills: In the classroom.
5. Moreover. with strict discipline to very casual. some of the factors that affect your pupils’ leaning either cannot be changed or are difficult to change. you may perhaps suggest ideas which they can consider and possibly adopt. Once you have become accepted by the other members of the staff. by joining a local library. School principals also range from authoritarian to permissive. Opportunities for self-development may be offered by attending refresher courses. arranging to work with teacher colleagues. you should be aware of what motivates your pupils to learn English and try to bring about factors which increase your pupils’ motivation. 5. This awareness will help you to enhance your pupils’ learning. They are important aspects of school life and affect the status of English in the school. SAQ 8 What factors cannot be changed and what factors can you influence or change in making your pupils good learners of English? 6 The School 6. You may need to try to convince the other teachers and the school principal that in order to learn to speak English and understand the spoken language. In the beginning. School responsibilities are relevant for teachers of all subjects. Schools may range from very formal. classes in art. etc. This in turn affects what you can achieve. finding out what local organisations exist and asking what they can do to help.respect of your pupils. you should be aware of what makes a good learner in order to try to make your pupils good learners. However.6 The Good Teacher of English As a teacher you should be aware of the factors affecting learning. your pupils will need to make some noise. reading books about teaching. Also. Anca Cehan 13 . While you are new. It is important to respect the norms of the school in which you are working and not to impose your own system from the beginning. It is always easier to become more relaxed with your pupils as time goes on rather than to become more formal with them. It is important for you to realise what type of school you are in and to adjust your own behaviour accordingly. music or drama.1 Getting a New Job No two schools are alike. keep your teaching style rather formal until you learn more about how the other teachers work. where discipline is not considered important. that group and pair work cause some noise. you need to be careful about how much noise your classes make. Understanding the system can save you a lot of time and trouble and leave you to devote more energy to the actual teaching/learning process.5 Opportunities for Self Development By thinking critically about yourself. you may have identified aspects of your professional performance which you want to improve.
But if you must move from class to class. maps may cover the board. pupils’ work.6. you will have the opportunity to create an appropriate environment (with wall-charts. Here are a few guidelines for beginning the school year: • Explain requirements and grading systems Establish expectations (particularly with older pupils) • Emphasize that learning and classroom order are interdependent Plan with great care during this period • Conduct eye-catching and motivating activities Plan structured instruction • Assess pupils’ skills and background knowledge • Use large. Spend a little time at the beginning of the year explaining how you intend the class to operate.2 The Classroom Few classrooms are ideal. posters photos. etc. and state parents your positive statements for the year • Call or visit parents after the first or second week to nip potential problems in the bud Your life will be made easier and your class more successful if you establish rules for your lessons which everybody understands and accepts.rather than small-group instruction • Minimize transitions from one activity to another • Begin teaching rules and procedures the first day Teach rules and procedures • Discuss and practise rules and procedures during the first few days • Intervene and discuss every infraction of rules Begin communication with • Meet the parents or send them a letter. because they create lasting impressions and patterns of behaviour for the year are established in these first days.3 School Routines The first few days of the school year are crucial to classroom management. In most cases. They may be too small or too large. but if it is possible. try to experiment with different arrangements to see what works best for you. and the like) so that everyone coming in knows immediately that English is the focus of attention there. you can still do quite a lot to ensure that the environment in which your classes are held is as encouraging as possible. Here are a few examples of teacher’s rules: Anca Cehan 14 . This should be done in a friendly but firm manner. you have to accept the room(s) you are allocated for your work. Rearranging desks is sometimes impossible. without sounding threatening. SAQ 10 How would you describe the ideal room in which you would love to teach? 6. storage space may be limited. too dim or too bright. and making it clear what you consider to be acceptable behaviour. In the schools where there are fixed rooms for English or language labs. Do not forget to consider the room arrangement in your planning.
Asking your pupils to put up hands is not always appropriate in a class where everybody must speak. Help your pupils establish an organised way of keeping their notes by using the lesson/unit titles of the coursebook and perhaps the exercise/section/activity number as headings. Sometimes you need responses from pupils who do not know them. and wait your turn to speak What rules that you have already used with your pupils would you like to add to the lists in the table above? Such rules can be worked out together with the pupils. The pupils can then write under these headings and the notebook can be Anca Cehan 15 . do not insist on your pupils’ always raising their hand before asking. Although involving pupils in rule making does not solve all management problems. With younger pupils. if you ask them to bring something and never ask them to use it. insist that they do not keep on the desk things which are not to be used during the lesson. However. On the other hand. Get your pupils to put up their hands before they want to ask a question.Primary school • We raise our hands before speaking We leave our seats only when given permission by the teacher SAQ 11 Lower secondary • Be in your seat and quiet when the bell rings Raise your hand for permission to speak or to leave your seat Upper secondary • Be in your seat before the bell rings • Give your full attention to others in discussion. the pupils may be expected to stand (or not) when you come into the room. If there are no norms. as one of the skills they must acquire is that of being able to interrupt and seek clarification. The board may be always cleaned by the pupil sitting nearest to it or by a pupil on duty. Ask a second or a third pupil if the first pupil is unable to answer. Then you should be firm in reprimanding those who fail to bring what is needed to the first few lessons. Once established. so that it becomes second nature for your pupils to bring the right things. You have to plan this and ask them to bring only what they will use. or who do. For instance. it is wise for you to establish some of your own. don’t be cross if someone fails to bring that thing to the lesson when you finally decide to refer to it. Make sure you first ask the question and then name a pupil to answer. and contribute to the development of responsibility and self-regulation in your pupils. Homework may be collected by a pupil rather than by you. rules create a sense of ownership. This helps to prevent noisy interruptions. Try to find out what the norms there are in your school. it is an important step in gaining their cooperation. but do not put up their hands. and comply with them. SAQ 12 When would you insist on your pupils’ raising their hands? Your pupils need to know in advance of the lesson what will need to bring to class.
Make it clear from the outset what your name is and how you like to be addressed. and maybe have other talents. If. There is almost always an established way in which young pupils will address you and you them. Summary This unit presents the complexity of the job of being an English teacher and the many requirements that you need to comply with: you must have a deep understanding of the topics you teach. Longman Anca Cehan 16 . be able to represent the topics in ways that are understandable to pupils. With older pupils you may establish the form of address together. Longman 2. A Practical Approach. However. and communicate clearly. You should be well organized. As a teacher. Jeremy (2001) The Practice of English Language Teaching. however. Mary (1987) Effective Class management. Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • productive and orderly learning environment formal classroom learning multidimensional activities characteristics of classroom activities good English learner profile building a good atmosphere means for including all pupils in the activities types of knowledge needed by the teacher types of classroom time essential teaching skills language ability practical classroom skills factors affecting learning guidelines for beginning the school year establishing classroom rules Further Reading 1. the notebook must become an essential tool for the pupil. do not forbid them to write in them or mark things they want to remember.referred to alongside the coursebook. You should be able to draw. you are responsible for classroom learning and should be able to increase it. You should be able to create a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning and establish rules and routines which enhance the use of classroom learning time. You should be caring and enthusiastic. prompt pupils who do not answer successfully. You should present content in attractive ways. and give pupils time to think about their answers. Underwood. to organize and maintain productive learning environments. books belong to the school. know what is going on in your classrooms. this will depend largely on school custom and pupils’ expectations. and understand the learning and the characteristics of your pupils. and review important ideas. write legibly and speak convincingly. Harmer. too. or even colour the pictures. a good role model. use your class time well. and have high expectations for your pupils. If your pupils buy their own coursebooks. provide clear and informative feedback. You should use effective questioning strategies.
Cambridge University Press Anca Cehan 17 . Ur.3. Penny (1996) A Course in Language Teaching. Practice and Theory.
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