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Why Group Seating Arrangement is Important

Why Group Seating Arrangement is Important | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Most of the teachers like to arrange the seating arrangement. The aim is the only one which is to make sure all the students focus and understand what is going on in class. Even no arrangement is perfect but yet it helps. As a teacher in a lower primary in one of the international schools in Indonesia, I do like to arrange my students’ seats. With English as a daily basis language and students are from different Asia countries with mixed language ability, the seating arrangement is one of the keys.

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

Usual Seating

For daily, I prefer my students to seat in a group of 3 or 4. It will be mixed between the ones who are good enough in academics and who are weak, well behaved and move and talk a lot, talkative and timid one. I keep changing the sitting partners in every term. Why do I like this seating arrangement? Here are the reasons.

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Why to Groups Students?

Firstly, by mixing the different abilities of students in terms of academics and language, it gives two ways of learning for both strong and weak students. It helps the teacher too. For the strong one, they can be one on one mentor for their friends in the group. They can explain and help them. In the other hand, weak students who are mostly shy to ask the teacher, by having a strong student who sits with them, they can ask and learn from their friends easily. Indirectly, it encourages weak students to learn and speak more. For example, I have one Korean shy girl. She does not want to talk as she thinks that her English is not good enough. In the previous year, she always sat with a Korean boy who speaks English well and he always helps her by translating in Korean. By mixing and separate them, in a few weeks, she started to speak English by herself. She dares to ask questions, study harder and her English is improving.

Secondly, it lowers the noisiness and increases discipline in the classroom. The class will be conducted more efficiently. In my observation, with this seating arrangement, most of the time students will pay more attention when I deliver the lessons. It happens because not all the students like to talk and being a busy body. The smooth delivery will never happen if I do not arrange the sitting. Students will prefer to sit with their best friends or whom they can talk to. Definitely, the class will be so noisy and inefficient.

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How Seating Arrangements Influence Students’ Results?

Lastly, by this kind of seating arrangement, the students can learn how to be emphatic, increase their leadership skills, and respect other cultures. For me, education is not only about the academic but also understanding the good behavior and how to apply it. For example, I used to have an Indonesian student who did not like Indian. It was not sound right for me as he tried to convince her friends not to befriend my Indian student. I rolled the seat and put them together. On the first day, she cried dramatically but slowly they started to talk and they became friends until now.

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In conclusion, the seating arrangement is one of the keys for the teacher to teach and deliver the lesson. By arranging the students’ seats with mixed abilities and behavior will help you to make the students understand more by one on one teaching done by the strong student, smooth and efficient in delivering a lesson and help the students to have better behaviors.

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