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Classroom Management Techniques You Can Implement in Your ESL Classroom

Classroom Management Techniques You Can Implement in Your ESL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Classroom management is an important topic to be familiar with especially when you are teaching young learners. Bad classroom management skills can result in a very unproductive lesson for you and the students, leaving the students with not much to take home and leaving the teacher exhausted. The main classroom management situation I will be talking about today is managing student behavior.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Tarryn-L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Poor Classroom Management Reasons

The first thing we going to look at is what are the results of a badly managed class. Most of the time it is usually one student that is being disruptive or badly behaved and distracting the other students. Not being able to control the individual student results in the other students losing essential learning time. If they leave the class without knowing the content of the lesson, you can’t move to the next lesson, you will have to teach the same lesson in the next class. This affects your course map if you have one planned out. This can also lead to parent/customer dissatisfaction. What is equally important is that it affects the motivation to teach after experiencing such difficulties.

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Look at why the student is being disruptive.

  • Is the content of the lesson too easy?
  • Is the lesson too difficult for that student?
  • Is the class activities not engaging and active enough for young learners?
  • Could it be that there is tension between that student and another?
  • It could also be situations that are out of the teacher's control such as home issues.

Look at your seating arrangements. In the case of a small class, if the students are sitting at the table, move the table out of the way and set the chairs in a half-moon shape. This way all the attention is towards the teacher and not towards each other. In the seating arrangements for the half-moon shape, place the disruptive student at the end. Then you can place the stronger students sporadically between all the other students to aid when needed.

esl children

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Another technique is a reward system. My students have a sticker book. At the end of every class, the students are rewarded with stickers for their participation and behavior. Once they have received a certain number of stickers, they will receive a prize that I have shown them at the beginning of the course. The students can also get stickers taken away when they behave badly.

You can also have a kind of game such as Tom and Jerry. Once you have printed out the picture of Tom and Jerry, you can place them at opposite ends of the classroom. When the students become disruptive, you can move Tom closer to Jerry. This is more fun and suspense-filled way to control the class.

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Set up a well-prepared lesson plan with timed activities to stick to. With a prepared lesson, it is much easier to keep your lesson on track than if you were to improvise the next activities. You should also have a list of activities that are less than 5min to complete for the students to feel refreshed before carrying on with their work. I call them brain breaks. There are many kinds of brain break activities that take less than 5min to do. Students become more motivated to carry on with their work. This can be done between activities or if an activity is taking longer than expected.

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