Teaching Special Groups in ESL - The 5 Student Groups


There are many different types of groups of students that you will encounter when teaching English as a foreign language. This video introduces you to the five different types of student groups.

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.

This unit covered the basics of controlling the classroom environment in order to promote STT, discipline, and maximization of attention given to students when appropriate. In addition to these goals; this unit also described how to manipulate the classroom environment to arrange the students in such a way as is conducive to the teacher being able to maintain a position enabling him/her to deliver in the best way possible the course material. These variables include the organization of seats within the physical space of the classroom, the application of eye contact, strategies enabling the teacher to prevent him or herself from becoming too predictable, and methods for dealing with disruptive behavior. I particularly took away from this unit the importance of how the classroom is physically arranged and how that arrangement can emphasize or de-emphasize the teacher's role in the classroom setting. I also took away how this physical arrangement can serve to emphasize the role of the students as compared to each other; for example, if the class is arranged in a semi-circle, every student in the class can see every other student; thereby, giving each student the ability to engage with everyone else. This model also emphasizes the teacher at the same time by leaving the gap in the circle for the teacher to occupy. While this latter point was not mentioned in the unit, I think it is just as important of an observation. It is true that in a semi-circle, every student can see every other student; it is equally true that every student has a direct line of sight with the teacher, with no one directly in front of the student between him/her and the teacher. This means that the student has an incentive to remain engaged with the lesson as opposed to allowing the mind to wander because not only can all of the students in the class observe the actions of any one of the selves; but the teacher can clearly see as well without having to look around another student. This therefore implies that this arrangement simultaneously emphasizes students and the teacher.

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