What is Classroom Management and How Does it Affect the ESL Classroom?
Classroom management can be defined as the ability or skill to organize the class. This will involve the use of the eyes, the voice, and different gestures. Classroom management will also involve group arrangements which can consist of the whole class, individuals or pair work. The use of student’s names, desk arrangements, use of the board, giving individual attention, and teacher talk time also fall under the label of classroom management.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Taurayi G.
The Basic Teaching Tools
Use of the eyes. They say the eyes are a window into a person’s soul, in other words a teacher can hold a student’s attention by maintaining eye contact with them. Eyes can also be used to encourage, prompt, and also to correct. Moving on to use of the voice. When the teacher is speaking he should remember that he or she is not speaking to fellow English speakers and therefore the teacher should try to speak at a pace that is slow enough for the students to understand. Speaking slow should also go hand in hand with speaking on a level that the students can understand i.e. avoiding the use of unfamiliar words and jargon that will simply confuse the learners. Last but not least, the teacher should be able to speak clearly so that the students will not have a hard time trying to figure out what they are saying. Finally, the use of gestures. Gesture is a noun, which is the movement of part of the body, hand or head to express an idea. These gestures can reduce the teacher’s talking time so students can talk more, this can be seen as an opportunity for the students to practice the language more.
Student Arrangements in the Classroom
Classroom management also includes group arrangements. If students are grouped as individuals it can be much easier for the teacher to tend to each individual’s needs, to see where the student is having difficulties, and to correct it right on the spot if need be. Individualism can help a student become self-reliant. However, individualism comes with a set of disadvantages such as putting pressure on the students to perform and it reduces student to student interaction. Teachers can also group students as a whole class, this will give the students a sense of belonging, something like a second family and students will interact with each other more often. A whole class is also easier to keep under control, although it can be a disadvantage to shy students who don't like to speak in front of the class. The last arrangement is pair work. This method increases student talk time, but it can be a problem if the students do not get along.
Other Important Factors of Classroom Management
Another important thing to remember is using the students' names in class. Using names can save the teacher a lot of time because it can quickly bring order to the classroom. Names can also be used to indicate who should respond or who has the next turn in an activity. Usually a name should be used at the end of a question to let the student know that he or she should respond. The table arrangement in the classroom is also one of the more important aspects of management a teacher needs to consider. Classroom arrangements can depend on many factors, such as the age of the students, the space available, and the actual activity being used in the lesson.
All of the above mentioned factors are just some of what constitutes classroom management in an English language classroom. The bottom line is, if the classroom is not managed properly it will not be the right environment for learning and both students and teacher will suffer.
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