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Joseph Caiafa Topic: Troubleshooting TEFL Question: What are some different problems TEFL Teachers may come across? Teaching a class is always an interesting experience because of all the variables that are involved with the classroom. Based off of the age of students, their reasons for attendance, and the activities carried out throughout the lesson, there will inevitably be various issues that the teacher may come across. It is important to consider the various factors involved with the issue before being able to deal with it effectively. This is the whole concept of troubleshooting a problem by being able to interrogate the factors present that caused the issue to arise. Teachers may come a cross a variety of issues with any class they teach however it is in their response to these issues that separate the average teachers from the great ones. The problems a teacher may face are directly related top the type of class he or she is teaching. So lets say for example that the teacher is teaching a younger group of students let us say 13 to 15 year olds. This age range of students are difficult to teach because of their age, they may not necessarily motivated to give a effort and contribute to the class activities. Now if it is just one student who is reluctant to participate that is an easier situation to deal with than say if the entire class was reluctant or shy. Say maybe a student does not want to participate because they are worried they may embarrass themselves in front of their friends or someone they are trying to impress. All of these factors can contribute to make the classroom tenser and not a great learning environment. The proper way to deal with a group of tense students would be by starting the class off with a “warmer activity” in other words an activity that will get the students excited and participating in the correct language of course. So an example of this would be playing a game like hangman, to get students to participate. Depending on the level of the class you can change the difficulty of the game. So for this case with a class of reluctant students it would be best to choose an easier game that will encourage participation and also give them the satisfaction of success, and build up their confidence in dealing with the target language. Another issue that the teacher may come across is in the size of the class. For example it may be easier for a teacher to effectively teach a small more intimate group of students say about 5-10 kids, as opposed to the less personal larger class size of 15-20. Now in each scenario mentioned it will take a different approach in keeping the students engaged and able to understand the material. So for a large class some helpful ways to engage students would be to hand out worksheets. For a larger class worksheets will be able to make sure that all students are getting a chance to practice and work with the material they are being presented with. With larger classes this technique will also help to gage the level of each student based off of their worksheets, you will be able to tell which students are grasping the material and which students are struggling without talking with each student on a individual basis. This knowledge will not only work to the student benefit but also give the teacher the ability to do other things such as appointing class or group leadership roles to the advanced students so that they can help the students who are struggling. This will facilitate better classroom environment and also keep the student’s active and participating. The nature of issues that teachers may come across is largely dependent on the type of class, meaning the variety of students, age range, and amount of students in the class. All of these factors are going to dictate the best course of action for a teacher to take. The solutions are all contained within the nature of the problem, which makes it essential for the teacher to be able to properly identify and analyze the problem before acting and implementing a solution. It is important for teachers to remain calm and collected before jumping to action, in order to deal with whatever issue arises in the best way possible.