Effective classroom management is an essential ingredient in successful teaching Whilst there are many elements to
Whilst there are many elements to teaching English as a foreign language, without successful classroom management the teacher will be ineffective and the students less likely to learn effectively. Key elements that should be focussed on are, e.g., teacher talk time, correct gesturing, appropriate interaction with the class, the manner of the teacher should be such that the atmosphere is balanced between casual yet with authority assigned to the teacher, etc. Although more elements are important to classroom management, the overall lesson is that the components of classroom management must be such that they are successfully integrated, or management will fail.
Teacher talk time is appropriate during different sections of a class. It related, not only to the introduction of the course and individual classes, but also the structuring of activities.
However, teacher talk time should not be the focus of the class or else the students will not have the opportunity to learn as much as possible.
Aside from teacher talk time, interaction and participation are also important. Therefore teacher talk time should be kept to a minimum. The students´ ability should be the focus of the course. The teacher is not, after all, the who counts and so should not be the central focus.
In addition, the gestures of the teacher are also important. Hand gestures, general posture, and facial expressions are vital in classroom management. There are most likely more gestures that are applicable to classroom management, but these need not be considered for this fairly brief research paper. The importance of facial expressions, for instance, is particularly important. They are such that they can either make the students at ease or intimidate them. Therefore facial expressions can affect classroom management greatly.
Turning to interaction with the students, it can either undermine or reinforce authority over the students. While a relaxed atmosphere can be fostered by lots of interaction with the student, the teacher should not forget their role. The students are there to gain knowledge and to do this the teacher must maintain their authority over the class.
Authority and control is particularly applicable to the activation stage. One must time the activity adequate, indicate when time is nearly up, monitor the progress of the students, control feedback to the class, etc. So, a mixture of TTT, activation, feedback from the students, correction by the teacher, and so forth, should be planned properly.
Effective solutions for controlling the activation stage, which may become unruly, are to indicate clearly what is expected, indicate when time is nearly up, raising ones hand to indicate that silence is required, indication of the time limit for the activity should be communicated to the students, and the teacher should monitor the progress of the activity effectively.
Further, the teacher should be vigilant in regards to student feedback to the class. While some students will be better at mastering the material, they should not be allowed to dominate the class. To manage student participation the teacher may want to ask particular students to contribute.
In conclusion, there are of course more elements that are required for effective classroom management. However, the above are some of the most important. Also, they must be integrated to be as efficient as possible. The teacher must, therefore, be flexible, alert to the needs of the students, and willing to adapt to their needs.
Success in English Teaching, Paul Davies and Eric Pearse, Oxford University Press, 2000
Teaching English as a Foreign Language, David Riddell, McGraw-Hill, 2003
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