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by Luke Prodromou and Lindsay Clanfield
Common difficulties that we encounter
New teaching strategies, latest research into language learning….but….
Bread-and-butter issues are rarely mentioned Teachers and students both lack motivation
What are These………
1. Large Classes and Classroom Management 2. Discipline Problems 3. Mixed-level Classes 4. Homework 5. Teaching Exam Classes 6. Professional Development
1 Large Classes
1.1 Managing Big Numbers 1.2 Starting Right 1.3 Handling Latecomers 1.4 Engaging Students with the Materials 1.5 Moving Students Around 1.6 Drilling 1.7 Speaking 1.8 Finishing Right
1.1 Managing Big Numbers
Knowing, and using, student’s names Using the space to your advantage Checking and cross-checking Making eye contact Using the board effectively Being organized and prepared Having routines
Activities: The Attention getter Group Leaders The board plan Which answers are different? Think, Pair, Share Check, Cross-check Listen and Stand
1.2 Starting Right
Starting a lesson is a crucial phase of any lesson. Rapport is the positive relationship we try to build and without which little can happen Activities: Entry Music Who’s Here? Split Jokes Name Circle Back-to-back Face-to-face
1.3 Handling Latecomers
Make a declaration on lateness First five minute Incentives The late seats How good is the excuse Feedback
1.4 Engaging Students with the Materials
Try to engage students’ interests before they open their books Activities: Authentic anecdote Quote Anagram Questions, Questions Word Race
1.5 Moving Students Around
Moving students and setting up pairs and groups can itself be an opportunity for language practice Activities: ABC Order, Changing Place If…, In the Cards, In the picture, The Odd Number 1, 2
“Solo performances” riddled with errors of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are not everyone’s cup of tea. Activities: Jazz Chants and Rhymes, True for You, Personal Transformation, Drill Duels
Speaking activities are fluency-based, which means that you may want to save the correction of any spoken errors until after the activity is finished, if you correct at all.
ACTIVITIES Anchors Who Am I? Make Your Own Questionnaire Thirty students, Thirty Questions Tongue-tied Backs Turned The Best Memory Ping pong speaking Half a Minute Why?
1.8 Finishing Right
Ending on a good note will, hopefully, make your students more enthusiastic about coming back the next time. Activities: What Did We Do Today?, Future Test Questions, Word of the Day, Don’t Smile, Body Dictation, Exit Music
2 Discipline Problems (Overt or Covert)
2.1.Diffusing Discipline 2.2 Rules and Regulations 2.3 Raising Awareness 2.4 Building Good Behavior 2.4 Discipline Friendly Tasks 2.5 An Element of Surprise
2.1 Diffusing Discipline
The best attention getter is the sheer force of your personality, your presence. The First Encounter (scan, wait, prepare) Further Encounter Feeling Good, Working Better A Rewarding System Sanctions ***Always use WE instead of I
2.2 Rules and Regulations
Let’s Make a Contract Brainstorm Some of the activities that help. If students feel they ”own” the rules, they are more likely to uphold them and resent those who violate them.
2.3 Raising Awareness
Many students will have their own feelings about discipline and how to deal with it. even very young students have a very clear idea of what is fair and what is unfair (Bad teacher, Good Teacher, Act It Out, Surprise Tactics)
2.4 Building Good Behaviour
Maslow’s scheme (students need to feel safe, comfortable with a feeling they belong to a group) Activities: Class Helpers (The Timekeeper, The Boardkeeper, The Messenger, The Attendance Taker) A Suitable Model A Quiet Word After Class Invisible Body
2.5 An Element of Surprise
Qualities of a good teacher: 1.Friendly 2. Explains well 3. Has a sense of humour 4. Is patient 5. Is kind 6. Knows the subject 7. Believes in students 8. Is interesting 9. Talks about other things 10.Is enthusiastic
ACTIVITES. Catch Them Being Bad What Happened in the Class Be My Guest Team Teaching
BAD STUDENT-GOOD TEACHER
3 Mixed-level Classes
3.1 Different Level, Different Task 3.2 Extending Class 3.3 Catering for Learner Style 3.4 One Teacher, One Class 3.5 One Class, Not Several
3.1 Different Level, Different Task
Mixed-level classes are also, and among other things, the result of: The different learning styles of students The pace at which they each learn Their level and kind of motivation Their personal interests Their background knowledge Any social problems that they may be facing
Activities: Truth or lie? Mixed ability, Mixed-up Sentences Jigsaw pictures Books Open, Books Closed Complete the Story, etc
3.3 Extending Class “The quick students finish early and then disrupt the class because they are bored”. Activities: Give Them the Slip, Choose Two, Class Mascot
3.4 Catering for Learner Styles Different people learn things in different ways. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities (Timelines, Spidergrams, Choose Your words, Draw Your Picture, Mime Scenes)
3.5 One Teacher, One Class
Nominating Correcting Monitoring Giving Time to Think Asking and Listening to Each Other Reviewing and Recycling
4.1 Valuing Homework 4.2 Linking Homework to Classwork 4.3 Correcting Homework 4.4 Following up Homework
“I suspect my students don’t do their homework
because they think it’s boring and useless”.
4.1 Valuing Homework
Homework is seen as a punishment or irrelevant …as a mechanical (easy to copy) …boring (too difficult or too easy) …covered in corrections or just given a mark, both of which may low student’s self-esteem Students don’t have enough time to do it Activities (Homework Survey, Homework Log, Check After, Check Before)
4.2 Linking Homework to Classwork
This can be done: 1.From class to home-by starting something in class and finishing it at home. 2.From home to class-by doing something at home and bringing it to class (not just workbook). Activities: Finish It at Home, Memory Tests, Writing to Each Other, Pictures in My house, Phone Survey, In the News)
4.3 Correcting Homework
Positive Comments: o A lovely piece of work I especially like the way you… o The…was especially good You’ve made a lot of progress in this area You’re using the language we’ve learnt in class very well In-deed-of Improvement Comments o -I think you need to work on… -There are very few mistakes in this homework, but the vocabulary/grammar is very simple. At your level I think you can use more complex structures/words.
o o o
Responding-to-the-content Comments: o Is this a true story? Amazing! o What a frightening/funny/exciting experience o What happened at the end? o I agree/disagree.
…correcting code (don’t use correction as a display of teacher power-let the students have the power…and the glory)
Only a sample, the important thing is to consistent ^ =something missing #= number or agreement WO =word order WW wrong order VF wrong verb form WF= wrong form T= tense Prep preposition Art=article
?= what do you mean? Sp=spelling P=punctuation Ǿ=not necessary NA=not appropriate in this context [ = start a new paragraph NB if you insist on accuracy on all times then you will be forever trapped in correcting all deviant language (accuracy vs. fluency)
5 Teaching Exam Classes
5.1 Making the Most of It 5.2 Teaching Not Testing 5.3 Testing without Tears
Testing vs. Teaching
…is product-oriented …is failure-oriented …is stressful …is individualistic …is competitive …works with one right answer …withdraws support …is context-less …is monotonous …is culture-bound …uses closed-ended exercises …is teacher controlled …is judgmental …measures success in marks …is process-oriented …is success oriented …is relaxing …is group-oriented …is collaborative …accepts more than one answer …provides support …is context-sensitive …is varied …is culture-sensitive …uses open-ended tasks …allows learner-control …raises self esteem …measures success in many ways
5.2 and 5.3 Teaching Not Testing/Testing without Tears (“My students panic so much about the test they can’t concentrate”)
The sudden announcement of an impending test will calm the beast in learners and increase attention and attendance. Testing at the right time and in the right proportion has a valuable contribution to make in assessing learners’ progress and proficiency. Activities. Your Sentences, My essay, Heads and Tails, Group Test, The joker
6 Professional Development
6.1 You Are Not Alone 6.2 Read On!
6.1 You Are Not Alone
Discuss the Problem in the Staffroom Arrange a Teacher Meeting Set Up a Workshop Set Up a Swap Shop Organize a Teacher Development Group Ask a Colleague to Watch You Teach Watch a Colleague Teach Exchange Classes Get the Management on Your Side Get the Parents on Your Side Get the School on Your Side
Thank You for Your Time!
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