Classroom ManagementClassroom Management in an EFL Environment
Classroom management seems to be an area where many teachers struggle to find balance. Some teachers are too lenient and the students
take control. Other teachers may be too controlling and do not provide a fun learning environment for the students
. However, for the teachers that find a balance with classroom management, the classroom can be safe, enjoyable, and rewarding. A classroom where students
are learning English as a foreign language (EFL) is no different.
Classroom management is, first and foremost, the teacher?s responsibility in creating a proper learning environment. Martin and Sugarman state, ?Classroom management refers to those activities of classroom teachers that create a positive classroom climate within which effective teaching and learning can occur? (as cited in Metropolitan, 2008, p. 2). Some teachers do not understand that sometimes seemingly disrespectful student
responses in an EFL classroom may be culturally appropriate in their home country and not meant to be impolite. In this case, the teacher may overreact and cause unnecessary tension in the classroom. However, as Marzano, et al, states, ?a well-managed classroom provides an environment in which teaching and learning can flourish? (as cited in Metropolitan, 2008, p. 2). If teachers are aware and understanding of their students
? cultures, it is more likely that mutual respect will take place and deeper learning will occur.
Another problem for teachers is a lack of set procedures. There are many different proposals on which classroom management techniques work best; however, what is most important is that a teacher has a classroom management plan. Many times when procedures are in place for all the everyday tasks that must be done (i.e., sharpening pencils, throwing away trash, etc.), there will be a dramatic reduction in misbehaviors in the classroom. students
do not have to wait for the teacher to acknowledge them and tell them how to complete these tasks, so there are fewer delays in learning or interruptions to teaching time. ?Routines and procedures are the key to a well-managed, organized classroom? (Wagner, 2011).
Not only should there be procedures for everyday activities, there should also be a code of conduct that should be followed and consequences for not following it. It is extremely important that not only is there a code of conduct, but that the students
understand it and have it committed to memory. ?Usually a failure to understand a basic code of conduct leads to tremendous amounts of lost instructional time? (Classroom Management Tips, 2011). The consequences for not following the code of conduct should be consistently more severe with each misdemeanor and should be consistently followed.
Overall, classroom management for a class of English as a foreign language learners is not very different from classroom management in any other classroom or situation. There needs to be procedures put in place so students
know what to do and how to do the everyday tasks that arise. There should also be a code of conduct that is strictly and consistently followed so that students
know what behavior is expected of them and what will happen if their behavior does not match what is expected. However, what is different in classroom management for an EFL class is the teacher?s understanding that cultural differences may play a large role in students
? behavior. Teachers in these classes need to take time to get to know their students
and the cultures they come from so the teacher will not overreact to well-meaning yet misinterpreted behaviors.
Wagner, K.J. (2011). Routines and Procedures for Managing Your Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.educationoasis.com/instruction/cm/routines.htm
Ldrsaacteachbw. (2011). Classroom Management Tips for Managing Behavior. Retrieved from http://tips.atozteacherstuff.com/259/managing-behavior/
Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. (2008). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Strategies. Retrieved from http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/005/121/ Culturally%20Responsive%20Classroom%20Mgmt%20Strat2.pdf