Classroom and Problems encountered

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Graziela
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Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:39 pm

A little survey: What are your classroom settings? Large, small classes? How many students?
What kinds of problems do you have in your daily teaching practice?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Teachers: What can we do to solve them?

Best wishes,
Graziela Peleteiro
http://getenglishlessons.com

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:40 am

Let's add it to the list:

- In monolingual classes, students resent to speak English and keep speaking their mother tongue....

klaudija_mtk
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby klaudija_mtk » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:47 pm

Hello Graziela,

... I hope it's not too late to answer your post.

I've encountered some of the themes listed above, and yours intrigued me most. What kind of problems do you have, discipline or managing the lesson? If I can help, pls reply to the post.
Hope to hear from you so we can exchange experience.

(I haven't said much, because I honestly do not know if it's late to reply your post)

Love,
K.

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:16 pm

Hey thanks for answering my post....it's never late ( :
Hope we can share experience....

klaudija_mtk
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby klaudija_mtk » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:27 pm

Hello Graziela,

I really hoped someone would understand, take into consideration, offer help, or at least share some similar problems here. And I'm glad there are ppl who want to take part in this. After all, who's more likely to understand you than your colleagues?!

I work in Croatia. I teach teenagers, ages 14-18. (One would say, the most difficult ones!) But, although there have been some difficult situations I've encountered, I strived to come out of them stronger and with greater wisdom, if I may say. To be honest, we all once were beginners and didn't have a clue how to deal with problems we faced. And now we have the Internet to share the experience and help each other, right?
I have been teaching English for almost ten years now. There have always been students who tend to be more aggressive, or agitate with their behaviour, and therefore impose an uncomfortable atmosphere in the classroom, and thus unable others to comprehend the lesson, or me, as a lecturer, to teach the lesson properly. When this happens, I bear in mind one important thing, "that student is an individual, he/she is the only one who makes trouble, others are polite students, some of them being "naive" so they get influenced by the trouble-maker, and the rest of the class would, actually, like to learn something." So, how do I deal with the trouble-maker?! I ask him politely, (and as sweetly as possible, a smile disarms everyone), to stop. Usually, this helps, and they immediately stop. I never yell in the class, I try to keep my voice friendly and soft, and try to assure them I'm there only to help them. If the trouble-maker goes on, I ask him nicely to wait for me after the lesson finishes, and I talk to him. This always helps, because if you talk to him /her in front of others he/she will perhaps feel provoked, more agitated. By doing this you show him he's also a person, and you're only trying to be a friend. Of course, nothing is 100 % sure, but if this solves at least half of the problems, we can be satisfied, right?

I hope this will help! How do you deal with trouble-makers?

I hope to hear from you soon.


Best wishes,
Klaudija
P.S. Many of your themes are interesting, but next time, perhaps, because there's so much to say

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:38 am

Hi Klaudija
Your insights helped me A LOT.... this week.... I changed my mind about how to deal with TROUBLE MAKERS (before I confess I'd lose my mind a little bit ( :)....I really gave a goal at asking in a gentle way for the student to be a good boy! And it worked marveously well, well....at least for that class ( :

Thank you so much for your writing,
My best wishes,
Graziela Peleteiro

klaudija_mtk
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby klaudija_mtk » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:30 pm

My dear colleague,

I'm so glad that I've been of help.

I deal with classes that number from 18-30 students. It depends on the number of interested students, enrolled in the current school year.

As in every class, there are always students whose English is, unfortunately, quite poor. And, on the other hand, there are always students(yet, a small number of those!) who speak English fluently, or those who tend to speak it fluently. However, my job is to teach them all speak English well. Sometimes, I have problems with certain classes, because the "climate" (so to speak) in class is pretty alike, they all seem not to know even the basics. When this is the case, I cannot follow the curriculum, I have to speak only in Croatian, which is worst of all, because they'll never learn then, they get used to speaking their mother tongue, and do not feel obligesd ever to learn a bit of English. As for me, I also get a bit disappointed, because, to tell you the truth, teaching in the classroom is the only means for me to speak in English. I do not have the chance often. Lame, isn't it?! So, I'm really trying over and over again to get them say general things in English, such as "May I go out?", "How do you spell this?"... and to make them say something about themselves whenever I have to ask them, making sure they use new vocabulary properly.

Once, I had this principal, who ordered me not to dare to teach the lesson in English, or ask them to speak in English. "This is not that kind of school", he said. "Each student should pass your subject."
But, thank God, those days are over...

What are your colleagues like? Or your principal? Do you have the support you expected?

Bye,

and hope to hear from you soon
K.

efnicaragua
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby efnicaragua » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:21 pm

horseshoe setting is the best IMHO.

assia
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby assia » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:33 pm

my classes usually range between 30 and 50 students. The problems that I face are of two types:
a- not enough time for all of them to express themselves
b- students tend to take too much time to react to questions due to their lack of proficiency

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:16 am

Hello, Klaudija!!!
:)
Groups with different levels of English is really hard!!!!
I had this class once, who had a guy (adult) with extreme difficulty. What I did was I set an extra day for him to come to the school and do some extra work.
At my school we’ve got great support. We have something called APOIO which means SUPPORT. They are classes in which there is a tutor to help the weak students to clear their doubts. We have a tutor all day long so it is really nice. And before a test there’s “BIG SUPPORT” ( : When weak students come to have a review for the test. All us teachers have to do is indicate the student,
With us speaking English all the time, the school’s principle is to have SOUND use of the mother tongue. The class is conducted in English, but there’s no problem to use the mother tongue to clarify grammar rules or when sts don’t understand something at all…..
The mentor watched my class and said I need to control the Use of Portuguese on class. She gave me the idea of a Traffic light…..Making a Traffic light and an arrow with the name of the group. Then, when the class is over all students can annalyse what color they get:
RED – means: TOO MUCH PORTUGUESE!
YELLOW – means: TRY HARDER!
GREEN – means: WE DID GREAT!

I think I will use it with myself, because sometimes it is hard even for me to stick to English!I do believe that speaking your mother tongue can be great at times, speciallly when the students are begginers but overusing it is what I concern!

Another thing she suggested: Students have to ask for permission to speak Portuguese and the teacher as well. I have watched classes when that’s done and that helped.

Well, I guess that’s it for now….It got kind of long ( :

Have a great week and great classes!

http://getenglishlessons.com

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:21 am

Anybody? Ideas to help Assia and Linuskea? Problems, problems, problems!
Graziela Peleteiro
http://getenglishlessons.com

Graziela
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby Graziela » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:46 pm

I will try....
My classes usually range between 30 and 50 students. The problems that I face are of two types:
a- not enough time for all of them to express themselves.

PAIR WORK IS A GREAT WAY TO MAXIMIZE STUDENT TALKING TIME.
UNFORTUNATELY YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO THEM ALL, BUT GO AROUND AND MONITOR FOR LANGUAGE PROBLEMS.
DON'T CORRECT THEM RIGHT ON THE SPOT, WRITE DOWN THE MOST RELEVANT MISTAKES AND MENTION THEM LATER.
ALSO, IF THEY BREAK UP COMMUNICATION, TELL THEM TO RAISE THEIR HANDS AND ASK FOR YOUR HELP!


b- students tend to take too much time to react to questions due to their lack of proficiency.

LACK OF PROFICIENCY - THEY NEED MORE INPUT, MORE HOMEWORK, MORE ENTHUSIASM MAYBE. ( :
BUT HAVE PATIENCE WTH THEM. WHEN YOU ASK A QUESTION THEY WILL NEED A CERTAIN TIME TO THINK.
ONE THING YOU COULD DO IS TELL THEM TO WRITE THEIR ANSWERS INDIVIDUALLY...THEN LATER YOU CAN COMMENT ON ALL THE QUESTIONS OR SOME OF THEM.


I got large ESL classes in China (50-75) middle school students per class which could really make teaching difficult at times. And also, students tend to go to sleep during class hours (which some Chinese teachers would say is okay or even tell me to just let them). Those who aren't really interested in English will just listen to their mp4's, read magazines or make their Chinese homework.

THIS IS SUPER ANNOYING AND DISRESPECTFUL I WOULD SAY.
THEY CERTAINLY NEED SOME CONVERSATION WITH YOU. YOU CAN SUGGEST THEM TO BE MORE ACTIVE IN THEIR LEARNING AND TELL THEM THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE FOR IT.
ALSO, VERIFY IF THE LEVEL OF ENGLISH TAUGHT IN THE CLASSROOM HASN'T BECOME TOO EASY FOR THEM BECAUSE IT CAN ALSO CAUSE DEMOTIVATION.


The best of LUCK to all of you.....
Have a great teaching! ( :

Graziela Peleteiro
http://getenglishlessons.com

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ICAL_Pete
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Re: Classroom and Problems encountered

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:20 pm

There is an article in the ICALwiki that deals with the various Seating Arrangements available to the ESL teacher, their advantages and disadvantages, and how each one can contribute to improve your lesson, making it more effective.


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