Sunday, October 11, 2009

Classroom management ideas

During my career as an ESL teacher I have come across plenty of teachers who dread teaching children. Because they are naughty. Because they cannot concentrate. Because all they want to do is run around and make a lot of noise. Having taught kids for a few years now I wholeheartedly agree with all the aforementioned complaints. It takes however a few things to bear in mind to make your YL classes work like magic.

Teamwork, games and the sense of competitiveness

Students love competitions and YL are no exception. The only difference is that they love them even more! Hence you should take every opportunity to turn any activity into a contest. Start up by dividing the class into two or more groups.

Give each team a name e.g. oranges and apples or red and blue. You can use the vocabulary you have recently taught to provide some extra practice and give your students an opportunity to encounter the new words again.

Very YLs tend to forget which group they belong to so use colored chalk to mark their desks. Always check that the students know which group they are a memeber of by making them raise their hands and see who else is in their group.

On the blackboard write each group’s name and give them an equal numbers of points for a start. Warn the students they you will erase their points if anyone from the group shouts, walks around, keeps talking, does not raise their hand etc. Tell them that points will be added if group members speak English or complete tasks successfully.

With very young lerners, not being able to use L1 may cause loads of unnecessary stress. My kids, therefore, are allowed to speak their mother tongue only if they whisper to their partners and if they don't do it very often.

Reward the kids for every positive thing they do. Keep in mind that rewards have a much more encouraging and motivating effect than any form of punishment.

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