Classroom Management: How to Regulate a Large EFL Class
Managing a class involves organizing and controlling a class. It also involves having a relaxed manner and a sense of discipline. The class has to be interesting for the learners. A large class can be fun if managed well by the teacher.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Esther O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The first thing to do as a teacher is to fix the arrangement of the classroom
I would suggest an orderly row arrangement for a large class. This will enable the teacher to move back and forth. This arrangement also enables the teacher to keep eye contact with the learners.
A large class requires a confident voice and changes based on the stage of the lesson. Learners can sense a teacher that is not confident. It is important to be audible and clear so that all the learners can hear you when you speak. I would suggest moving around the rows while teaching at different intervals to keep the learners listening and make them realize that they are all involved in the lesson.
Also Read: English as a Global Language
Another way to manage a large EFL class is to make sure all your materials and aids for the lesson are ready and accessible to you while teaching. A teacher who is searching for materials like whiteboard markers, chalk, pencils, or trying to print worksheets can distract the learners from the topic. It can be perceived by the learners that the teacher is unprepared.
It is better to set out rules before the start of the engage stage to keep orderliness and reduce noise in a large class. This will also reduce problem behavior from learners. Rules like 'we do not talk when someone is talking' or 'we raise our hands and seek the permission of the teacher before speaking in class' will help reduce the noise or rowdy talk in a large class. Be careful not to shut a learner up as a teacher so that the learner does not feel bad and lose his or her confidence to speak. Ensure to allow the learners to make good use of their student talk time during the engage phase of the lesson.
During the study phase, worksheets are the best form of activity for a large class. This will ensure that everyone has participated in the task. The teacher could ask the learners to swap their sheets with the person closest to them for peer evaluation. This could also create a form of student talk time.
A teacher should use the board effectively in a large class
It can aid clarity in a class and reduce questions from learners. New vocabulary should be put on the board and if necessary the meaning of the new words. Learners tend to write everything they see on the board and this would ensure a form of learning.
Giving responsibilities to the learners can help the lesson to be organized in a large class
Every week or lesson, a teacher could pick someone who will help in sharing the worksheet or even be a group leader. This should be rotated regularly to ensure everyone has a taste of it. Problematic learners can be given responsibilities to keep them calm and make them involved in learning.
Attention grabbing techniques
To get the attention of a large class, the teacher needs to try and know the names of his or her learners so that each learner feels noticed. Ask questions using the name of the learner at the end of the question so that the whole class will be thinking about the question also. Do not pick on special learners. Use a lot of visuals; the teacher could ask the learners to pass it on for everyone to see and feel properly. This will ensure the learners are not moving around unnecessarily.
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In as much as we want to manage a large class, one thing that can not be avoided completely is noise, especially during student talk time. The aim of learning a language is to be able to use the language frequently and accurately. As long as the noise is productive, I would encourage it in a large language class.
I believe this information can help in the management of a large EFL class.
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