Classroom Management for Teaching English as a Foreign Language - Writing on the Board
One of the major ideas here when writing on the board, is that we need to be aware that whenever we're using the board to write down information, we should not be talking and whenever we are talking we should not be writing on the board. This will inevitably lead to what's known as dead time when nothing is being said as we're putting information on the board. This dead time is not a problem but we can actually minimize it by using a number of techniques. We could use pre-prepared material. So we put information onto large pieces of paper and then instead of writing on the board, we actually stick those materials onto the board as we go through the class. Another idea is to actually ask students to write on the board for you. Another thing is that we could actually put work up onto the board before the class starts and then to cover that work with pieces of paper, which we can then take off as and when we get to it. Another very useful technique is to actually during an activity particularly study activities once the activity has got going and we've monitored to check that the students are all working correctly, use that study time to actually put material up onto the board and as mentioned before it is very important when we're writing on the board that we do print our letters out individually and clearly.
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.
Unit 20 covered common problems and situations that a new EFL teacher might encounter, some of which are quite intimidating for the new teacher. The first day of class can be as intimidating for new teachers as well as new students. In the first day of class the instructor should not rely on the text book and difficult materials. The first day of class is about establishing a connection between the students and the teacher. The teacher will learn about their students through warm up activities, questionaires, games and a Needs Analysis, if possible, for your specialty students.
The Needs Analysis is something that would be very helpful for all students though in other contexts it can be called a conference. It is an opportunity to evaluate as well as get to know your student. Students of all ages struggle and have challenges and have families and frustrations.
The beginning of every class session onward also needs to be off to a positive start with a welcoming and encouraging environment. Activities like warmers/warm-ups come in the form of games like Hangman, Pictionary and memory games. These games may seem silly but they can make the classroom a place that a student looks forward to going to because it is a fun place to be.
Classrooms will also be places where students have a wide range of language skill and levels of knowledge. This is quite intimidating to a new teacher in small class size but especially so in the large class size. Suggestions in this unit for dealing with this involve pairing stronger and weaker students together, creating team leaders in the larger classrooms. Giving students and different levels different tasks while being careful to not make students at their different levels feel uncomfortable in any way. Knowing your students is key to knowing who will or wont work well together. Knowing which students are stronger in some areas but weaker in others and coordinating student collaboration.
Again we teachers don?t use the native language except as a last resort. The students must remain focused on learning and being able to engage with the teacher using English.
There will be students who are confident in the classroom and others who are shy and may struggle. With the more shy students it is important to connect them with other studetns who can help them learn without making them uncomfortable. Things like pair work, controlled practice, role play and even time with a tape ? recorder to give students extra time and space for practice.
I believe that the keys to being a teacher are in being connected, aware, knowledgeable about your material and thoughtful. It takes knowing your community as well as your classroom and knowing the individuals who are in the room with you. It takes knowing your equipment, your materials, your school and your profession and understanding the special role of an EFL teacher.