Classroom Management for Teaching English as a Foreign Language - Classroom Arrangement

 

The dynamics of classroom interaction is often dictated by the arrangement of the classroom itself and the way in which the classroom is arranged could depend upon a number of factors and they might include things such as the age of the students, so for example we're unlikely to have the same arrangement for adult learners as we would have for young learners. It could also depend upon the actual physical space available. The physical space may determine how we have to arrange our classroom to maximize the opportunity for interaction and so forth. It will also depend on what material is available and by material in this case we're talking about the actual desks and chairs and so on and so forth. Perhaps the final thing we might put here is that it could also depend upon the students? personalities. So within the idea of classroom arrangements there are a number of possibilities and those possibilities we need to think about a number of questions as to how we arrange the classroom. Perhaps first and foremost how is it going to affect the actual classroom atmosphere? Secondly which actual classroom arrangement is going to be most conducive to our classroom control? Thirdly will it allow for maximum student to student interaction? So we could call that student talk time and finally, is it possible with the particular classroom arrangement that we've got to do all of the planned activities that we have created for this lesson? So before you actually arrange the classroom in any particular way ask these questions of yourself and think about the physical space, the age of the students and so on and so forth and from those parameters decide which classroom arrangements is going to be best.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Learning a language entails acquiring four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. All four skills are equally as important, but the unit specifically focuses on reading and listening. These are classified as receptive skills since they require a person to use their senses to receive, process and understand written or audible language. There are many reasons as to why a person listens or reads in a second language. The unit classifies these reasons into two categories: reading and listening for a purpose and reading and listening for entertainment. When employing receptive skills for a purpose, people usually have a specific goal which can range from reading a text to perform a job-related task, to listening to instructions in order to reach an address in a foreign country, to reading a manual that explains how to use a newly acquired device. When employing receptive skills for entertainment, it is usually a more relaxed endeavor since it is done for pleasure and enjoyment. The purpose that a person has to read or write in a second language will usually influence the way in which he/she applies his/her receptive skills. Some people will use predictive skills to deduce the content, for example when reading the headlines of articles in a newspaper and guessing what an article will be about. Other times they will scan for particular information that involves looking for a specific piece of information that doesn´t require detailed reading or listening. This is similar to the skimming skill employed to acquire a general idea of what a written or audible piece of information is about. In other occasions, the person will carefully read or listen in order to get all of the details and be able to grasp as much as possible of what is being said. And finally, people will use the skill of deduction which will greatly depend on the previous knowledge of the individual to interpret the meaning of unknown words and phrases based on context and take his/her understanding beyond the literal meaning of the text or dialogue. Understanding a written or oral piece can be challenging for a person due to various reasons. Among these reasons are a lack of necessary vocabulary, misunderstanding the context, trouble to understand an accent, and the habit of focusing too hard on individual words instead of trying to grasp the general idea of what is being talked about. Given these obstacles, teachers have to take certain approaches when teaching receptive skills in order to help students overcome these obstacles. Teachers can help students by pre-teaching difficult vocabulary before reading or listening to a text or spoken language, selecting texts that are appropriate for the level and interest of the students and creating realistic activities that are challenging but not too difficult as to discourage students.


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