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Jeremy Harmer

how to teach english new edition

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"The How to... series is written by teachers and teacher trainers, people who know the reality of the classroom and the support teachers need to get the most out of their students. Our aim is to build teachers' confidence, knowledge and classroom abilities - and inspire them to try out new ideas." Jeremy Harmer, Series Editor

How to Teach English is a practical guide for teachers who are at an early stage in their careers and for those studying for the CELTA, Certificate in TESOL and TKT exams. This new edition has been fully revised to reflect recent methodological developments and includes a DVD with clips from actual classes demonstrating good teaching practice a comprehensive glossary of teaching terminology, including terms required for the TKT exam • a new chapter on testing a Task File of photocopiable training tasks www.longman.com/methodology

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Jeremy Harmer has taught in Mexico and the UK, and has trained teachers around the world. As well as editing the How to... series of books, he is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Practice of English Language Teaching.

Pearson Education Limited Edinburgh Gate Harlow Essex CM20 2JE England and Associated Companies throughout the world. www.longman.com © Pearson Education Limited 2007 All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The Publisher grants permission for the photocopying of those pages marked ‘photocopiable’ according to the following conditions. Individual purchasers may make copies for their own use or for use by classes they teach. School purchasers may make copies for use by their staff and students, but this permission does not extend to additional schools or branches. Under no circumstances may any part of this book be photocopied for resale. The right of Jeremy Harmer to be identified as the author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Sixth impression 2010 Printed in China CTPSC/06

Produced for the publishers by Stenton Associates, Saffron Walden, Essex, UK. Text design by Keith Rigley. Illustrations by Jackie Harland and Sarah Kelly. Editorial development by Ocelot Publishing, Oxford, with Helena Gomm. ISBN 978-1-4058-4774-2 Acknowledgements The Roald Dahl Estate for extract from George’ Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl published by Jonathan Cape © The s Roald Dahl Estate, and for extract from Matilda by Roald Dahl, published by Jonathan Cape © The Roald Dahl Estate; and Pearson Education for extract from How to Teach English by J Harmer © Pearson Education; and for extracts from Energy 4, Student Book by Steve Elsworth and Jim Rose © Pearson Education; and extracts from New Cutting Edge (Intermediate workbook) by J Comyns Carr and F Eales © Pearson Education; and extracts from ‘Business Opportunities for Women in the UK and the USA from Opportunities Upper Intermediate by M Harris, I) Mower, A Sikorzynska © Pearson Education; extracts from Total English Pre-intermediate by R Acklam and A Crace © Pearson Education and for extracts from New Cutting Edge by S Cunningham and P Moor; extracts from New Cutting Edge Elementary Student Book by J Harmer, D Adrian-Vallance, O Johnston © Pearson Education; and for extracts from now by Jeremy Harm er & Richard Rossner © Pearson Education and extracts from Energy 2 by Steve Elsworth & Jim Rose © Pearson Education, extract from Sky 3 by Brian Abbs and Ingrid Freebairn © Pearson Education; extract from How to Teach Writing by Jeremy Harmer © Pearson Education and an extract from Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate by S Cunningham and P Moore © Pearson Education; extract from The Practice of ELT by Jeremy Harmer © Pearson Education 2001; extract from Total English by Mark Foley & Diane Hall © Pearson Education; Oxford University Press for an extract from English File Upper Intermediate by Clive Oxenden and Christina Latham-Koenig © Oxford University Press 2001; Guardian Newspapers for Q&A Neil Gaiman by Rosanne Greenstreet first published in The Guardian 18 June 2005 and extracts from ‘We are at risk of losing our imagination’ by Susan Greenfield, The Guardian 25 April 2006 © Guardian News and Media 2006; Regina Schools, Regina SK Canada for Six Traits Writing Rubric published by Regina Schools adapted from original by Vicki Spandel; and Marshall Cavendish for an extracts from Just Right Intermediate Students’ Book (Mini Grammar) by Jeremy Harmer © Marshall Cavendish 2004 We are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce photographs: Page 88: (Thinkstock/Alamy; page 103: (all) Royalty-free; page 104: Royalty-free; page 114: Royalty-free; page 115: Royalty-free; page 124: (Paul M Thompson/Alamy (left), (GOODSHOOT-JUPITERIMAGES FRANCE/Alamy(middle-left), (Bubbles Photolibrary/Alamy (middle-right), (STOCKIMAGE/PIXLAND/Alamy (right); page 127: The Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife Giovanna Cenami (The Arnolfini Marriage) 1434 (oil on panel), Eyck, Jan van (c,1390-1441)/National Gallery, London, UK,/The Bridgeman Art Library; page 140: (AMET JEAN PIERRE/Corbis Sygma; page 210: Royalty-free; page 213: Royalty-free; page 217: (both) (Jeremy Harmer; page 221: (all) (Royalty-free); page 256: © Michael Booth / Alamy. We have been unable to trace the copyright holders for the photographs on page 151. We apologise for this and any other unintentional omissions. We would be pleased to insert the appropriate acknowledgement in any subsequent edition of this publication.

This is fo r the students that readers o f this book m ay teach. (B ut m ost especially fo r Tanya and Jessy.)

Contents
A cknow ledgem ents In tro d u ctio n 1 Learners • Reasons for learning • Different contexts for learning • Learner differences • The importance of student motivation • Responsibility for learning Teachers • Describing good teachers • W ho teachers are in class • Rapport • Teacher tasks • Teacher skills • Teacher knowledge • A rt or science? M anaging th e classroom • Classroom management • T he teacher in the classroom • Using the voice • Talking to students • Giving instructions • Student talk and teacher talk • Using the L I • Creating lesson stages • Different seating arrangements • Different student groupings Describing learning and teaching • Children and language • Acquisition and learning • Different times, different methods • Elements for successful language learning (ESA) • ESA lesson sequences • ESA and planning Page 8 9 11

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Describing language • M eaning in context • T he elements of language • Forms and meanings • Parts of speech • Hypothetical meaning • W ords together • Language functions • Text and discourse • Language variables Teaching th e language system • Teaching specific aspects o f language • Explaining meaning • Explaining language construction • Practice and controlled practice • Examples of language system teaching • Mistakes, slips, errors and attempts • Correcting students Teaching reading • Reasons for reading • Different kinds of reading • Reading levels • Reading skills • Reading principles • Reading sequences • M ore reading suggestions • Encouraging students to read extensively Teaching w ritin g • Reasons for teaching writing • W riting issues • W riting sequences • M ore writing suggestions • Correcting written work • Handw riting Teaching speaking • Reasons for teaching speaking • Speaking sequences • Discussion • M ore speaking suggestions • Correcting speaking • W h at teachers do during a speaking activity

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123

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10

Teaching listening • Reasons for listening • Different kinds of listening • Listening levels • Listening skills • Listening principles • Listening sequences • M ore listening suggestions • Audio and video Using coursebooks • Options for coursebook use • Adding, adapting and replacing • Reasons for (and against) coursebook use • Choosing coursebooks Planning lessons • Reasons for planning • A proposal for action • Lesson shapes • Planning questions • Plan formats • Planning a sequence of lessons • After the lesson (and before the next) Testing • Reasons for testing students • G ood tests • Test types • M arking tests • Designing tests W h a t if? • W h a t if students are all at different levels? • W h a t if the class is very big? • W h at if students keep using their own language? • W h at if students don’t do homework? • W h a t if students are uncooperative? • W h at if students don’t want to talk? • W h at if students don’t understand the audio track? • W h at if some students finish before everybody else?

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Task File Task File Key DVD Task File Appendices • Appendix • Appendix • Appendix • Appendix Glossary Index

186 233 245 252 A: Classroom equipment, classroom technology B: Useful organisations and websites C: Chapter notes and further reading D: Phonemic symbols 268 286

7

Acknow ledgem ents In the first edition of How to Teach English, I acknowledged the contributions made to the development of the book by Richard Rossner, Anita Harmer, Gill Stacey, Sue Jones, Rodney Blakeston amd Martin Parrott. I was especially thrilled with the reactions of students being taught by Maggy McNorton (at the University of Glamorgan) and David Ridell (at Kingsway College, London). I paid tribute to Melanie Butler’s role in getting the whole project going. I should also, back then, have acknowledged Kate Goldrick’s support and help at Pearson Education, especially during one particular phase of development. With the development of this new edition I need to offer thanks to a whole lot of other people. At the start of the project in one truly wonderful day of meetings which included Katy Wright (the inspiring methodology publisher at Pearson Education to whom I owe an increasing debt of gratitude) many issues were confronted, and new directions suggested. And since then the clear head and firm editing of Helena Gomm have made putting thoughts into finished words a real joy. This new edition has benefited enormously from some stunning reporting by Hilary Rees-Parnell, Katie Head and Jeremy Pearman in the UK, Gabriel Diaz Maggioli in Uruguay, Adriana Gil in Brazil, Mitsuyo Ohta in Japan and Maria Pujak in Poland. I hope they all know how seriously I looked at their suggestions and criticisms, and how tough it was, sometimes, to decide how far to agree or disagree with them. They feel, to me, like real collaborators in this enterprise (and special thanks to Adriana, Gabriel and Jeremy for their input on planning). And it is thanks to Jacqui Hiddleston at Pearson that their thoughts came through so clearly. Jane Reeve has handled the production process with her usual exemplary skill. But it would be wrong of me to forget to m ention countless others - the teachers and trainers I meet and listen to at training sessions and conferences around the world. It is amazing how much you can learn, and how the process of reflection is enhanced by hearing other professionals describe their experiences and expound their beliefs. Finally, I want to thank Jane Dancaster (principal) and especially Fiona Dunlop (director of studies) at the Wimbledon School of English for letting us invade their school with a film crew, and for helping us to organise two fascinating days of filming. But it is to six teachers that I want to offer thanks from the bottom of my heart for their cheerfulness, cooperation and friendliness. They planned lessons for us, allowed themselves to be filmed delivering those lessons (a nerve-wracking experience!) and were prepared to be interviewed about their teaching on camera. W hen you watch Chris M cDermott, Louise Russell, Mark Smith, Philip Harmer, Pip Stallard and Pip Titley you will only see a fraction of their fabulous teaching, but it is worth every minute of the time they and we invested in it! O f course, none of the people I have m entioned should be held to account for the final version you have in your hands. In the end that is entirely my responsibility. But I hope that they (and you) will enjoy how it has all turned out. Jeremy Harmer Cambridge, UK

Introduction
A friend of mine who is an orchestral conductor was asking me (early in our acquaintance) about what I did for a living. When I told him that, apart from other activities, I wrote books about how to teach English he said ‘Books in the plural? Surely once you’ve written one, there’s nothing more to say!’ I wanted to reply that he had just argued himself out of a job (I mean, how many performances of Beethoven symphonies have there been in the twenty-first century alone?), but someone else laughed at his question, another musician made a different comment, the conversation moved on, and so M artin-the-conductor’s flippant enquiry evaporated in the convivial atmosphere of a British pub. But his question was a good one. Surely we know how to teach languages? After all, people have been doing it successfully for two thousand years or more, and some aspects of teaching in the past have probably not changed that much. But other things have, and continue to change. Which is (I suppose) why every time I re-examine past assumptions about teaching, I find myself questioning and reinterpreting things I thought were fixed. And of course, I am not alone in this. We all do it all the time - or at least we do if we haven’t closed our minds off from the possibility of change and renewal. Language teaching, perhaps more than many other activities, reflects the times it takes place in. Language is about communication, after all, and perhaps that is why philosophies and techniques for learning languages seem to develop and change in tune with the societies which give rise to them. Teaching and learning are very hum an activities; they are social just as much as they are (in our case) linguistic. But it’s not just society that changes and evolves. The last decades have seen what feels like unprecedented technological change. The Internet has seen to that and other educational technology has not lagged behind. New software and hardware has appeared which we could hardly have imagined possible when the first edition of How to Teach English was published as recently as 1998. And it’s exciting stuff. There are so many wonderful possibilities open to us now (not least the ability to write and edit books electronically!). I’ve tried to reflect that excitement and newness in parts of this new edition. But we need to be careful, too. In the words of Baroness Greenfield, speaking in Britain’s House of Lords, ‘We m ust choose to adopt appropriate technologies that will ensure the classroom will fit the child, and buck the growing trend for technologies ... to be used to make the twentyfirst-century child fit the classroom.’ But finally, there is the sheer joy - and frustration, and disbelief and (in the words of the playwright Dennis Potter) ‘tender contem pt’ - you experience when you look again at what you wrote a few years back; the challenge is to see, in the light of what has happened, what has been said and what has been written, the things that need to be changed, excised or added to. Readers of the first version of How to Teach English will notice a change of chapter order and see a new chapter to introduce the subject of testing. There are new materials and techniques on offer - and quite a few old ones too because they have stood the test of time. There’s a more up-to-date set of references at the end of the book, and a glossary to

help new teachers through parts of the mighty jargon swamp that our profession generates just like any other. And so - 1 want to say to my conductor friend - thank heavens for new developments, new technologies and new interpretations. They keep us alive; they make us better teachers. We shall not, of course, cease from exploration in T S Eliot’s famous words, but even if we do end up back where we started, the journey is all.

10

Learners
■ Reasons for learning ■ The importance of student motivation ■ Different contexts for learning ■ Responsibility for learning ■ Learner differences

Reasons for learning
All around the world, students of all ages are learning to speak English, but their reasons for wanting to study English can differ greatly. Some students, of course, only learn English because it is on the curriculum at prim ary or secondary level, but for others, studying the language reflects some kind of a choice. Many people learn English because they have moved into a target-language community and they need to be able to operate successfully within that community. A target-language com m unity is a place where English is the national language - e.g. Britain, Canada, New Zealand, etc - or where it is one of the main languages of culture and commerce - e.g. India, Pakistan, Nigeria. Some students need English for a Specific Purpose (ESP). Such students of ESP (sometimes also called English for Special Purposes) may need to learn legal language, or the language of tourism, banking or nursing, for example. An extremely popular strand of ESP is the teaching of business English, where students learn about how to operate in English in the business world. Many students need English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in order to study at an English-speaking university or college, or because they need to access English-language academic texts. Many people learn English because they think it will be useful in some way for international communication and travel. Such students of general English often do not have a particular reason for going to English classes, but simply wish to learn to speak (and read and write) the language effectively for wherever and whenever this might be useful for them. The purposes students have for learning will have an effect on what it is they want and need to learn - and as a result will influence what they are taught. Business English students, for example, will want to spend a lot of time concentrating on the language needed for specific business transactions and situations. Students living in a target-language com m unity will need to use English to achieve their immediate practical and social needs. A group of nurses will want to study the kind of English that they are likely to have to use while they nurse. Students of general English (including those studying the language as part of their prim ary and secondary education) will not have such specific needs, of course, and so their lessons (and the materials which the teachers use) will almost certainly look
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different from those for students with more clearly identifiable needs. Consideration of our students’ different reasons for learning is just one of many different learner variables, as we shall see below.

Different contexts for learning
English is learnt and taught in many different contexts, and in many different class arrangements. Such differences will have a considerable effect on how and what it is we teach.

EFL, ESL and ESOL For many years we have made a distinction between people who study English as a foreign language and those who study it as a second or other language. It has been suggested that students of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) tend to be learning so that they can use English when travelling or to communicate with other people, from whatever country, who also speak English. ESL (English as a Second Language) students, on the other hand, are usually living in the target-language community. The latter may need to learn the particular language variety of that com m unity (Scottish English, southern English from England, Australian English, Texan English, etc) rather than a more general language variety (see page 79). They may need to combine their learning of English with knowledge of how to do things in the target-language comm unity - such as going to a bank, renting a flat, accessing health services, etc. The English they learn, therefore, may differ from that studied by EFL students, whose needs are not so specific to a particular time and place. However, this distinction begins to look less satisfactory when we look at the way people use English in a global context. The use of English for international communication, especially with the Internet, means that many ‘EFL students’ are in effect living in a global target-language comm unity and so might be thought of as ‘ESL students’ instead! Partly as a result of this we now tend to use the term ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) to describe both situations. Nevertheless, the context in which the language is learnt (what comm unity they wish to be part of) is still of considerable relevance to the kind of English they will want and need to study, and the skills they will need to acquire. Schools and language schools A huge num ber of students learn English in prim ary and secondary classrooms around the world. They have not chosen to do this themselves, but learn because English is on the curriculum. Depending on the country, area and the school itself, they may have the advantage of the latest classroom equipment and information technology (IT), or they may, as in many parts of the world, be sitting in rows in classrooms with a blackboard and no other teaching aid. Private language schools, on the other hand, tend to be better equipped than some government schools (though this is not always the case). They will frequently have smaller class sizes, and, crucially, the students in them may well have chosen to come and study. This will affect their motivation (see page 20) at the beginning of the process. Large classes and one-to-one teaching Some students prefer to have a private session with just them on their own and a teacher, commonly referred to as one-to-one teaching. At the other end of the scale, English

Learners

is taught in some environments to groups of over 100 students at a time. Government school classes in many countries have up to 30 students, whereas a typical num ber in a private language school lies somewhere between 8 and 15 learners. Clearly the size of the class will affect how we teach. Pairwork and groupwork (see pages 43-44) are often used in large classes to give students more chances for interaction than they would otherwise get with whole-class teaching. In a one-to-one setting the teacher is able to tailor the lesson to an individual’s specific needs, whereas with larger groups compromises have to be reached between the group and the individuals within it. In large classes the teacher may well teach from the front more often than with smaller groups, where mingling with students when they work in pairs, etc may be much more feasible and time-efficient.

In-school and in-company The vast majority of language classes in the world take place in educational institutions such as the schools and language schools we have already mentioned, and, in addition, colleges and universities. In such situations teachers have to be aware of school policy and conform to syllabus and curriculum decisions taken by whoever is responsible for the academic running of the school. There may well be learning outcomes which students are expected to achieve, and students may be preparing for specific exams. A num ber of companies also offer language classes and expect teachers to go to the company office or factory to teach. Here the ‘classroom’ may not be quite as appropriate as those which are specially designed for teaching and learning. But more importantly, the teacher may need to negotiate the class content, not only with the students, but also with whoever is paying for the tuition. Real and virtual learning environments Language learning has traditionally involved a teacher and a student or students being in the same physical space. However, the development of high-speed Internet access has helped to bring about new virtual learning environments in which students can learn even when they are literally thousands of miles away (and in a different time zone) from a teacher or other classmates. Some of the issues for both real and virtual learning environments are the same. Students still need to be motivated (see page 20) and we still need to offer help in that area. As a result, the best virtual learning sites have online tutors who interact with their students via email or online chat forums. It is also possible to create groups of students who are all following the same online program - and who can therefore ‘talk’ to each other in the same way (i.e. electronically). But despite these interpersonal elements, some students find it more difficult to sustain their motivation online than they might as part of a real learning group. Virtual learning is significantly different from face-to-face classes for a num ber of reasons. Firstly, students can attend lessons when they want for the most part (though real-time chat forums have to be scheduled), rather than when lessons are timetabled (as in schools). Secondly, it no longer matters where the students are since they can log on from any location in the world. Online learning may have these advantages, but some of the benefits of real learning environments are less easy to replicate electronically. These include the physical reality of

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Chapter 1

having teachers and students around you when you are learning so that you can see their expressions and get messages from their gestures, tone of voice, etc. Many learners will prefer the presence of real people to the sight of a screen, with or without pictures and video. Some communication software (such as MSN Messenger and Skype) allows users to see each other on the screen as they communicate, but this is still less attractive - and considerably more jerky - than being face to face with the teacher and fellow students. O f course, whereas in real learning environments learning can take place with very little technical equipment, virtual learning relies on good hardware and software, and effective and reliable Internet connections. Although this book will certainly look at uses of the Internet and other IT applications, it is not primarily concerned with the virtual learning environment, preferring instead to concentrate on situations where the teachers and learners are usually in the same place, at the same time.

Learner differences
Whatever their reasons for learning (or the circumstances in which it takes place), it is sometimes tempting to see all students as being more or less the same. Yet there are marked differences, not only in terms of their age and level, but also in terms of different individual abilities, knowledge and preferences. We will examine some of these differences in this section.

Age Learners are often described as children, young learners, adolescents, young adults or adults. W ithin education, the term children is generally used for learners between the ages of about 2 to about 14. Students are generally described as young learners between the ages of about 5 to 9, and very young learners are usually between 2 and 5. At what ages it is safe to call students adolescents is often uncertain, since the onset of adolescence is bound up with physical and emotional changes rather than chronological age. However, this term tends to refer to students from the ages of about 12 to 17, whereas young adults are generally thought to be between 16 and 20. We will look at three ages: children, adolescents and adults. However, we need to remember that there is a large degree of individual variation in the ways in which different children develop. The descriptions that follow, therefore, m ust be seen as generalisations only.
Children We know that children don’t just focus on what is being taught, but also learn all sorts of other things at the same time, taking information from whatever is going on around them. We know that seeing, hearing and touching are just as im portant for understanding as the teacher’s explanation. We are conscious, too, that the abstraction of, say, gram m ar rules, will be less effective the younger the students are. But we also know that children respond well to individual attention from the teacher and are usually pleased to receive teacher approval. Children usually respond well to activities that focus on their lives and experiences. But a child’s attention span - their willingness to stay rooted in one activity - is often fairly short.
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Learners

A crucial characteristic of young children is their ability to become competent speakers of a new language with remarkable facility, provided they get enough exposure to it. They forget languages, it seems, with equal ease. This language-acquiring ability is steadily compromised as they head towards adolescence. Adolescents One of the greatest differences between adolescents and young children is that these older children have developed a greater capacity for abstract thought as they have grown up. In other words, their intellects are kicking in, and they can talk about more abstract ideas, teasing out concepts in a way that younger children find difficult. Many adolescents readily understand and accept the need for learning of a more intellectual type. At their best, adolescent students have a great capacity for learning, enorm ous potential for creative thought and a passionate com m itm ent to things which interest them. Adolescence is bound up with a search for identity and a need for self-esteem. This is often the result of the students’ position within their peer group rather than being the consequence of teacher approval. Adults Older learners often (but not always) have a wider range of life experiences to draw on, both as individuals and as learners, than younger students do. They are often more disciplined than adolescents and apply themselves to the task of learning even when it seems fairly boring. They often have a clear understanding of why they are learning things, and can sustain their motivation (see pages 20-21) by perceiving (and holding on to) long-term learning goals. On the other hand, adult learners come with a lot of previous learning experience which may ham per their progress. Students who have had negative learning experiences in the past may be nervous of new learning. Students used to failure may be consciously or subconsciously prepared for more failure. Older students who have got out of the habit of study may find classrooms daunting places. They may also have strong views about teaching methods from their past, which the teacher will have to take into account. Because students at different ages have different characteristics, the way we teach them will differ too. With younger children we may offer a greater variety of games, songs and puzzles than we would do with older students. We may want to ensure that there are more frequent changes of activity. With a group of adolescents we will try to keep in m ind the importance of a student’s place within his or her peer group and take special care when correcting or assigning roles within an activity, etc. O ur choice of topics will reflect their emerging interests. One of the recurring nightmares for teachers of adolescents, in particular, is that we might lose control of the class. We worry about lessons that slip away from us, and which we can’t manage because the students don’t like the subject, each other, the teacher or the school - or sometimes just because they feel like misbehaving, or because issues in their life outside the classroom are affecting their behaviour and outlook on life. Yet teenagers are not the only students who sometimes exhibit problem behaviour (that is behaviour which causes a problem for the teacher, the student him- or herself, and, perhaps, the others in the classroom). Younger children can, of course, cause difficulties for the teacher and class, too. Adults can also be disruptive and exhausting. They may not do it in the same way

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Chapter 1

as younger learners, but teachers of adults can experience a range of behaviours such as students who resist the teacher’s attempts to focus their attention on the topic of the lesson and spend the lesson talking to their neighbours, or who disagree vocally with much of what the teacher or their classmates are saying. They may arrive late for class or fail to do any homework. And, whatever the causes of this behaviour, a problem is created. Teachers need to work both to prevent problem behaviour, and to respond to it appropriately if it occurs. We will discuss how the teacher’s behaviour can inspire the students’ confidence and cooperation on pages 25-27, and we will discuss what to do if students exhibit problem behaviour on pages 180-182.

Learning styles All students respond to various stimuli (such as pictures, sounds, music, movement, etc), but for most of them (and us) some things stimulate them into learning more than other things do. The Neuro-Linguistic Programming model (often called NLP) takes account of this by showing how some students are especially influenced by visual stimuli and are therefore likely to remember things better if they see them. Some students, on the other hand, are especially affected by auditory input and, as a result, respond very well to things they hear. Kinaesthetic activity is especially effective for other learners, who seem to learn best when they are involved in some kind of physical activity, such as moving around, or rearranging things with their hands. The point is that although we all respond to all of these stimuli, for most of us, one or other of them (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) is more powerful than the others in enabling us to learn and remember what we have learnt. Another way of looking at student variation is offered by the concept of Multiple Intelligences, first articulated by Howard Gardner. In his formulation (and that of people who have followed and expanded his theories), we all have a num ber of different intelligences (mathematical, musical, interpersonal, spatial, emotional, etc). However, while one person’s mathematical intelligence might be highly developed, their interpersonal intelligence (the ability to interact with and relate to other people) might be less advanced, whereas another person might have good spatial awareness and musical intelligence, but might be weak mathematically. Thus it is inappropriate to describe someone as being ‘intelligent’ or ‘unintelligent’ because while we may not have much of a knack for, say, music, that does , not mean our abilities are similarly limited in other areas. W hat these two theories tell us (from their different standpoints) is that in any one classroom we have a num ber of different individuals with different learning styles and preferences. Experienced teachers know this and try to ensure that different learning styles are catered for as often as is possible. In effect, this means offering a wide range of different activity types in our lessons in order to cater for individual differences and needs. Nevertheless, we need to find out whether there are any generalisations which will help us to encourage habits in students which will help all of them. We might say, for example, that homework is good for everyone and so is reading for pleasure (see Chapter 7). Certain activities - such as many of the speaking activities in Chapter 9 - are good for all the students in the class, though the way we organise them (and the precise things we ask students to do) may vary for exactly the reasons we have been discussing. Levels Teachers of English generally make three basic distinctions to categorise the language knowledge of their students: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Broadly speaking,
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Learners

beginners are those who don’t know any English and advanced students are those whose level of English is competent, allowing them to read unsimplified factual and fictional texts and communicate fluently Between these two extremes, intermediate suggests a basic competence in speaking and writing and an ability to comprehend fairly straightforward listening and reading. However, as we shall see, these are rough and ready labels whose exact meaning can vary from institution to institution. Other descriptive terms are also used in an attem pt to be more specific about exactly what kind of beginner, intermediate or advanced students we are talking about. A distinction is made between beginners (students who start a beginners’ course having heard virtually no English) and false beginners to reflect the fact that the latter can’t really use any English but actually know quite a lot which can be quickly activated; they’re not real beginners. Elementary students are no longer beginners and are able to communicate in a basic way. They can string some sentences together, construct a simple story, or take part in simple spoken interactions. Pre-intermediate students have not yet achieved intermediate competence, which involves greater fluency and general comprehension of some general authentic English. However, they have come across most of the basic structures and lexis of the language. Upper-intermediate students, on the other hand, have the competence of intermediate students plus an extended knowledge of grammatical construction and skill use. However, they may not have achieved the accuracy or depth of knowledge which their advanced colleagues have acquired, and as a result are less able to operate at different levels of subtlety. In recent years, the Council of Europe and the Association of Language Testers of Europe (ALTE) have been working to define language competency levels for learners of a num ber of different languages. The result of this is the Com m on European Framework (a docum ent setting out in detail what students ‘can do’ at various levels) and a series of ALTE levels ranging from Al (roughly equivalent to the elementary level) to C2 (very advanced). The following diagram shows the different levels in sequence: beginners interm ediate advanced

Ai

A2

—I Bi -------

B2 upper intermediate

Ci

I --------- C2

fa se elem entary pre­ beginners intermediate

Terms for different student levels (and ALTE levels) W hat do these levels mean, in practice, for the students? If they are at level BI, for example, how can their abilities be described? ALTE has produced ‘can do’ statements to try to make this clear, as the example on page 18 for the skill of writing demonstrates (Al is at the left, C2 at the right). ALTE levels and ‘can do’ statements (alongside the more traditional terms we have mentioned) are being used increasingly by coursebook writers and curriculum designers, not only in Europe but across much of the language-learning world.

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Can complete basic forms and write notes including times, dates and places.

Can complete forms and write short simple letters or postcards related to personal information.

Can write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

Can make notes while someone is talking or write a letter including non-standard questions.

Can prepare/ draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay which shows an ability to communicate.

Can write letters on any subject and full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression or accuracy.

ALTE ‘can do’ statements for writing However, two points are worth making: the ALTE standards are just one way of measuring proficiency. ESL standards were developed by the TESOL organisation in the US (see chapter notes), and many exam systems have their own level descriptors. We also need to remember that students’ abilities within any particular level may be varied too (i.e. they may be much better at speaking than writing, for example). If we rem ind ourselves that terms such as beginner and intermediate are rough guides only (in other words, unlike the ALTE levels, they do not say exactly what the students can do), then we are in a position to make broad generalisations about the different levels: Beginners Success is easy to see at this level, and easy for the teacher to arrange. But then so is failure! Some adult beginners find that language learning is more stressful than they expected and reluctantly give up. However, if things are going well, teaching beginners can be incredibly stimulating. The pleasure of being able to see our part in our students’ success is invigorating. Intermediate students Success is less obvious at intermediate level. Intermediate students have already achieved a lot, but they are less likely to be able to recognise an almost daily progress. On the contrary, it may sometimes seem to them that they don’t improve that much or that fast anymore. We often call this the plateau effect, and the teacher has to make strenuous attempts to show students what they still need to learn w ithout being discouraging. One of the ways of doing this is to make the tasks we give them more challenging, and to get them to analyse language more thoroughly. We need to help them set clear goals for themselves so that they have something to measure their achievement by. Advanced students Students at this level already know a lot of English. There is still the danger of the plateau effect (even if the plateau itself is higher up!) so we have to create a classroom culture where students understand what still has to be done, and we need to provide good, clear evidence of progress. We can do this through a concentration not so much on grammatical accuracy, but on style and perceptions of, for example, appropriacy (using the right language in the right situation), connotation (whether words have a negative or positive tinge, for example) and inference (how we can read behind the words to get a writer’s true meaning). In these areas, we can enable students to use language with more subtlety. It is also at this

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level, especially, that we have to encourage students to take more and more responsibility for their own learning. Although many activities can clearly be used at more than one level (designing newspaper front pages, writing radio commercials, etc), others are not so universally appropriate. With beginners, for example, we will not suggest abstract discussions or the writing of discursive essays. For advanced students, a drill (where students repeat in chorus and individually - see pages 86-87) focusing on simple past tense questions will almost certainly be inappropriate. Where a simple role-play with ordinary information questions (‘What time does the next train to London leave?’ ‘W hat’s the platform for the London train?’ etc) may , , be a good target for beginners to aim at, the focus for advanced students will have to be richer and more subtle, for example, ‘W hat’s the best way to persuade someone of your opinion in an argument?’ ‘How can we structure writing to hold the reader’s attention?’ , , ‘W hat different devices do English speakers use to give emphasis to the bits of information they want you to notice?’ Another obvious difference in the way we teach different levels is language. Beginners need to be exposed to fairly simple gram m ar and vocabulary which they can understand. In their language work, they may get pleasure (and good learning) from concentrating on straightforward questions like ‘W hat’s your name?’ ‘W hat’s your telephone number?’ , , ‘Hello’ ‘Goodbye’ etc. Intermediate students know all this language already and so we will , , not ask them to concentrate on it. The level of language also affects the teacher’s behaviour. At beginner levels, the need for us to rough-tune our speech (see page 37) is very great: we can exaggerate our voice tone and use gesture to help us to get our meaning across. But at higher levels, such extreme behaviour is not so important. Indeed, it will probably come across to the students as patronising. At all levels, teachers need to ascertain what students know before deciding what to focus on. At higher levels, we can use what the students already know as the basis for our work; at lower levels we will, for example, always try to elicit the language (that is, try to get the language from the students rather than giving it to them) we are going to focus on. That way we know whether to continue with our plan or whether to amend it then and there because students, perhaps, know more than we expected.

Educational and cultural background We have already discussed how students at different ages present different characteristics in the classroom. Another aspect of individual variation lies in the students’ cultural (and educational) background. Some children come from homes where education is highly valued, and where parental help is readily available. Other children, however, may come from less supportive backgrounds where no such backup is on offer. Older students - especially adults - may come from a variety of backgrounds and, as a result, have very different expectations of what teaching and learning involves. Where students have different cultural backgrounds from the teacher or from each other, they may feel differently from their classmates about topics in the curriculum. They may have different responses to classroom practices from the ones the teacher expected or the ones which the writers of the coursebook they are using had anticipated. In some

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educational cultures, for example, students are expected to be articulate and question (or even challenge) their teachers, whereas in others, the students’ quietness and modesty are more highly prized. Some educational cultures find learning by rote (memorising facts and figures) more attractive than learning by doing (where students are involved in project work and experimentation in order to arrive at knowledge). And it is worth remembering that even where students all live in the same town or area, it is often the case that they come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In many English-speaking countries such as Britain, the US, Australia, etc, multilingual classes (classes where students come from different countries and therefore have different mother tongues) are the norm, especially in private language schools. As a result, students are likely to represent a range of educational and cultural backgrounds. As teachers, we need to be sensitive to these different backgrounds. We need to be able to explain what we are doing and why; we need to use material, offer topics and employ teaching techniques which, even when engaging and challenging, will not offend anyone in the group. Where possible, we need to be able to offer different material, topics and teaching techniques (at different times) to suit the different individual expectations and tastes.

The importance of student motivation
A variety of factors can create a desire to learn. Perhaps the learners love the subject they have chosen, or maybe they are simply interested in seeing what it is like. Perhaps, as with young children, they just happen to be curious about everything, including learning. Some students have a practical reason for their study: they want to learn an instrum ent so they can play in an orchestra, learn English so they can watch American TV or understand manuals written in English, study T ’ai Chi so that they can become fitter and more relaxed, or go to cookery classes so that they can prepare better meals. This desire to achieve some goal is the bedrock of motivation and, if it is strong enough, it provokes a decision to act. For an adult this may involve enrolling in an English class. For a teenager it may be choosing one subject over another for special study. This kind of motivation - which comes from outside the classroom and may be influenced by a num ber of external factors such as the attitude of society, family and peers to the subject in question - is often referred to as extrinsic motivation, the motivation that students bring into the classroom from outside. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is the kind of motivation that is generated by what happens inside the classroom; this could be the teacher’s methods, the activities that students take part in, or their perception of their success or failure. While it may be relatively easy to be extrinsically motivated (that is to have a desire to do something), sustaining that motivation can be more problematic. As students we can become bored, or we may find the subject more difficult than we thought it was going to be. One of the teacher’s main aims should be to help students to sustain their motivation. We can do this in a num ber of ways. The activities we ask students to take part in will, if they involve the students or excite their curiosity - and provoke their participation - help them to stay interested in the subject. We need, as well, to select an appropriate level of challenge so that things are neither too difficult nor too easy. We need to display appropriate teacher qualities so that students can have confidence in our abilities and professionalism (see Chapter 2). We need to consider the issue of affect - that is, how the students feel about the

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learning process. Students need to feel that the teacher really cares about them; if students feel supported and valued, they are far more likely to be motivated to learn. One way of helping students to sustain their motivation is to give them, as far as is feasible, some agency (a term borrowed from the social sciences) which means that students should take some responsibility for themselves, and that they should (like the agent of a passive sentence) be the ‘doers’ in class. This means that they will have some decision­ making power, perhaps, over the choice of which activity to do next, or how they want to be corrected, for example (see page 97). If students feel they have some influence over what is happening, rather than always being told exactly what to do, they are often more motivated to take part in the lesson. But however much we do to foster and sustain student motivation, we can only, in the end, encourage by word and deed, offering our support and guidance. Real motivation comes from within each individual, from the students themselves.

Responsibility for learning
If giving students agency is seen as a key component in sustaining motivation, then such agency is not just about giving students more decision-making power. It is also about encouraging them to take more responsibility for their own learning. We need to tell them that unless they are prepared to take some of the strain, their learning is likely to be less successful than if they themselves become active learners (rather than passive recipients of teaching). This message may be difficult for some students from certain educational backgrounds and cultures who have been led to believe that it is the teacher’s job to provide learning. In such cases, teachers will not be successful if they merely try to impose a pattern of learner autonomy. Instead of imposing autonomy, therefore, we need to gradually extend the students’ role in learning. At first we will expect them, for example, to make their own dialogues after they have listened to a model on an audio track. Such standard practice (getting students to try out new language) is one small way of encouraging student involvement in learning. We might go on to try to get individual students to investigate a grammar issue or solve a reading puzzle on their own, rather than having things explained to them by the teacher. We might get them to look for the meanings of words and how they are used in their dictionaries (see below) rather than telling them what the words mean. As students get used to working things out for themselves and/or doing work at home, so they can gradually start to become more autonomous. Getting students to do various kinds of homework, such as written exercises, compositions or further study is one of the best ways to encourage student autonomy. W hat is im portant is that teachers should choose the right kind of task for the students. It should be within their grasp, and not take up too much of their time - or occupy too little of it by being trivial. Even more im portantly than this, teachers should follow up homework when they say they are going to, imposing the same deadlines upon themselves as they do on their students. Other ways of prom oting student self-reliance include having them read for pleasure in their own time (see pages 99-100) and find their own resources for language practice (in books or on the Internet, for example). Apart from homework, teachers will help students to become autonom ous if they encourage them to use monolingual learners’ dictionaries (dictionaries written only in

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English, but which are designed especially for learners) and then help them to understand how and when to use them. At earlier stages of learning, good bilingual dictionaries serve the same function and allow the students a large measure of independence from the teacher. We will help students to be responsible for their learning if we show them where (either in books, in self-access centres or online) they can continue studying outside the classroom. For example, we can point them in the direction of suitable websites (if they have computer access), or recommend good CD or DVD resources. If students are lucky, their institution will have a self-access centre with a range of resources comprising books (including readers - see page 100), newspapers, magazines, worksheets, listening material, videos and DVDs, and computers with access to the Internet. Students can decide if and when to visit such centres and what they want to do there. Self-access centres should help students to make appropriate choices by having good cataloguing systems and ensuring that people are on hand to help students find their way around. However, the object of a self-access centre is that students should themselves take responsibility for what they do and make their own decisions about what is most appropriate for them. O f course, many schools do not have self-access centres, and even where they do, many students do not make full use of them. This is because not all students, as we have said, are equally capable of being (or wanting to be) autonom ous learners. Despite this fact, we should do our best to encourage them to have agency without forcing it upon them.

Conclusions | In this chapter we have:
■ discussed different reasons for learning, including students living in a targetlanguage community, or studying English for specific or academic purposes, or because they want to improve their English generally. ■ looked at different learning contexts, including English as a Foreign or Second Language (now both generally called English for Speakers of Other Languages), the world of schools and language schools, different class sizes, in-company teaching and virtual learning (via information technology). ■ detailed student differences in age, learning styles, language level and cultural/ educational background, and how we should cater for such differences. ■ talked about the importance of motivation and how to foster it. ■ discussed the students’ responsibility for their own learning, and how we can encourage this.

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■ Describing good teachers ■ Who teachers are in class ■ Rapport ■ Teacher tasks ■ Teacher skills ■ Teacher knowledge ■ Art or science?

Describing good teachers
Most people can look back at their own schooldays and identify teachers they thought were good. But generally they find it quite hard to say why certain teachers struck them as special. Perhaps it was because of their personality. Possibly it was because they had interesting things to say. Maybe the reason was that they looked as if they loved their job, or perhaps their interest in their students’ progress was compelling. Sometimes, it seems, it was just because the teacher was a fascinating person! One of the reasons that it is difficult to give general descriptions of good teachers is that different teachers are often successful in different ways. Some teachers are more extrovert or introvert than others, for example, and different teachers have different strengths and weaknesses. A lot will depend, too, on how students view individual teachers and here again, not all students will share the same opinions. It is often said that ‘good teachers are born, not made’ and it does seem that some people have a natural affinity for the job. But there are also others, perhaps, who do not have what appears to be a natural gift but who are still effective and popular teachers. Such teachers learn their craft through a mixture of personality, intelligence, knowledge and experience (and how they reflect on it). And even some of the teachers who are apparently ‘born teachers’ weren’t like that at the beginning at all, but grew into the role as they learnt their craft. Teaching is not an easy job, but it is a necessary one, and can be very rewarding when we see our students’ progress and know that we have helped to make it happen. It is true that some lessons and students can be difficult and stressful at times, but it is also worth remembering that at its best teaching can also be extremely enjoyable. In this chapter we will look at what is necessary for effective teaching and how that can help to provoke success - so that for both students and teachers learning English can be rewarding and enjoyable.

Who teachers are in class
When we walk into a lesson, students get an idea of who we are as a result of what we look like (how we dress, how we present ourselves) and the way we behave and react to what is
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going on. They take note, either consciously or subconsciously, of whether we are always the same or whether we can be flexible, depending on what is happening at a particular point in the lesson. As we have said, teachers, like any other group of hum an beings, have individual differences. However, one of the things, perhaps, that differentiates us from some other professions, is that we become different people, in a way, when we are in front of a class from the people we are in other situations, such as at home or at a party. Everyone switches roles like this in their daily lives to some extent, but for teachers, who we are (or appear to be) when we are at work is especially important.

Personality Some years ago, in preparation for a presentation to colleagues, I recorded interviews with a large num ber of teachers and students. I asked them ‘W hat makes a good teacher?’ and was interested in what their instant responses would be. A num ber of the people I questioned answered by talking about the teacher’s character. As one of them told me, ‘I like the teacher who has his own personality and doesn’t hide it from the students so he is not only a teacher but a person as well - and it comes through in the lesson.’ Discussing teacher personality is difficult for two reasons: in the first place there is no one ideal teacher personality. Some teachers are effective because they are ‘larger than life’ while others persuade through their quiet authority. But the other problem - as the , respondent seemed to be saying to me in the comment above - is that students want not only to see a professional who has come to teach them, but also to glimpse the ‘person as well’ . Effective teacher personality is a blend between who we really are, and who we are as teachers. In other words, teaching is much more than just ‘being ourselves’ however much , some students want to see the real person. We have to be able to present a professional face to the students which they find both interesting and effective. When we walk into the classroom, we want them to see someone who looks like a teacher whatever else they look like. This does not mean conforming to some kind of teacher stereotype, but rather finding, each in our own way, a persona that we adopt when we cross the threshold. We need to ask ourselves what kind of personality we want our students to encounter, and the decisions we take before and during lessons should help to demonstrate that personality. This is not to suggest that we are in any way dishonest about who we are - teaching is not acting, after all - but we do need to think carefully about how we appear. One 12-year-old interviewee I talked to (see above) answered my question by saying that ‘the teacher needs to have dress sense - not always the same old boring suits and ties!’ However flippant this comment seems to be, it reminds us that the way we present ourselves to our students matters, whether this involves our real clothes (as in the student’s comments) or the personality we ‘put on’ in our lessons. Adaptability W hat often marks one teacher out from another is how they react to different events in the classroom as the lesson proceeds. This is im portant, because however well we have prepared, the chances are that things will not go exactly to plan. Unexpected events happen in lessons and part of a teacher’s skill is to decide what the response should be when they do. We will discuss such magic moments and unforeseen problems on page 157.

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Good teachers are able to absorb the unexpected and to use it to their and the students’ advantage. This is especially im portant when the learning outcomes we had planned for look as if they may not succeed because of what is happening. We have to be flexible enough to work with this and change our destination accordingly (if this has to be done) or find some other way to get there. Or perhaps we have to take a decision to continue what we are doing despite the interruption to the way we imagined things were going to proceed. In other words, teachers need to be able to ‘think on their feet’ and act quickly and decisively at various points in the lesson. When students see that they can do this, their confidence in their teachers is greatly enhanced.

Teacher roles Part of a good teacher’s art is the ability to adopt a num ber of different roles in the class, depending on what the students are doing. If, for example, the teacher always acts as a controller, standing at the front of the class, dictating everything that happens and being the focus of attention, there will be little chance for students to take much responsibility for their own learning, in other words, for them to have agency (see page 21). Being a controller may work for grammar explanations and other information presentation, for instance, but it is less effective for activities where students are working together cooperatively on a project, for example. In such situations we may need to be prompters, encouraging students, pushing them to achieve more, feeding in a bit of information or language to help them proceed. At other times, we may need to act as feedback providers (helping students to evaluate their performance) or as assessors (telling students how well they have done or giving them grades, etc). We also need to be able to function as a resource (for language information, etc) when students need to consult us and, at times, as a language tutor (that is, an advisor who responds to what the student is doing and advises them on what to do next). The way we act when we are controlling a class is very different from the listening and advising behaviour we will exhibit when we are tutoring students or responding to a presentation or a piece of writing (something that is different, again, from the way we assess a piece of work). Part of our teacher personality, therefore, is our ability to perform all these roles at different times, but with the same care and ease whichever role we are involved with. This flexibility will help us to facilitate the many different stages and facets of learning.

Rapport
A significant feature in the intrinsic motivation of students (see page 20) will depend on their perception of what the teacher thinks of them, and how they are treated. It is no surprise, therefore, to find that what many people look for when they observe other people’s lessons, is evidence of good rapport between the teacher and the class. Rapport means, in essence, the relationship that the students have with the teacher, and vice versa. In the best lessons we will always see a positive, enjoyable and respectful relationship. Rapport is established in part when students become aware of our professionalism (see above), but it also occurs as a result of the way we listen to and treat the students in our classrooms.

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Recognising students One of the students I talked to in my research said that a good teacher was ‘someone who knows our names’ This comment is revealing both literally and metaphorically. In the first place, students want teachers to know their names rather than, say, just pointing at them. But this is extremely difficult for teachers who see eight or nine groups a week. How can they remember all their students? Teachers have developed a num ber of strategies to help them remember students’ names. One m ethod is to ask the students (at least in the first week or two) to put name cards on the desk in front of them or stick name badges on to their sweaters or jackets. We can also draw up a seating plan and ask students always to sit in the same place until we have learnt their names. However, this means we can’t move students around when we want to, and students - especially younger students - sometimes take pleasure in sitting in the wrong place just to confuse us. Many teachers use the register to make notes about individual students (Do they wear glasses? Are they tall?, etc) and others keep separate notes about the individuals in their classes. There is no easy way of remembering students’ names, yet it is extremely im portant that we do so if good rapport is to be established with individuals. We need, therefore, to find ways of doing this that suit us best. But ‘knowing our names’ is also about knowing about students. At any age, they will be pleased when they realise that their teacher has remembered things about them, and has some understanding of who they are. Once again, this is extremely difficult in large classes, especially when we have a num ber of different groups, but part of a teacher’s skill is to persuade students that we recognise them, and who and what they are. Listening to students Students respond very well to teachers who listen to them. Another respondent in my research said that ‘It’s im portant that you can talk to the teacher when you have problems and you don’t get along with the subject’ Although there are many calls on a teacher’s . time, nevertheless we need to make ourselves as available as we can to listen to individual students. But we need to listen properly to students in lessons too. And we need to show that we are interested in what they have to say. O f course, no one can force us to be genuinely interested in absolutely everything and everyone, but it is part of a teacher’s professional personality (see page 24) that we should be able to convince students that we are listening to what they say with every sign of attention. As far as possible we also need to listen to the students’ comments on how they are getting on, and which activities and techniques they respond well or badly to. If we just go on teaching the same thing day after day without being aware of our students’ reactions, it will become more and more difficult to maintain the rapport that is so im portant for successful classes. Respecting students One student I interviewed had absolutely no doubt about the key quality of good teachers. ‘They should be able to correct people w ithout offending them ’ he said with feeling. , Correcting students (see page 97) is always a delicate event. If we are too critical, we

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risk demotivating them, yet if we are constantly praising them, we risk turning them into ‘praise junkies’ who begin to need approval all the time. The problem we face, however, , is that while some students are happy to be corrected robustly, others need more support and positive reinforcement. In speaking activities (see Chapter 9), some students want to be corrected the m om ent they make any mistake, whereas others would like to be corrected later. In other words, just as students have different learning styles and intelligences, so, too, they have different preferences when it comes to being corrected. But whichever method of correction we choose, and whoever we are working with, students need to know that we are treating them with respect, and not using mockery or sarcasm - or expressing despair at their efforts! Respect is vital, too, when we deal with any kind of problem behaviour. We could, of course, respond to indiscipline or awkwardness by being biting in our criticism of the student who has done something we do not approve of. Yet this will be counterproductive. It is the behaviour we want to criticise, not the character of the student in question. Teachers who respect students do their best to see them in a positive light. They are not negative about their learners or in the way they deal with them in class. They do not react with anger or ridicule when students do unplanned things, but instead use a respectful professionalism to solve the problem.

Being even-handed Most teachers have some students that they like more than others. For example, we all tend to react well to those who take part, are cheerful and cooperative, take responsibility for their own learning, and do what we ask of them w ithout complaint. Sometimes we are less enthusiastic about those who are less forthcoming, and who find learner autonomy, for example, more of a challenge. Yet, as one of the students in my research said, ‘a good teacher should try to draw out the quiet ones and control the more talkative ones’ and one of her , colleagues echoed this by saying that ‘a good teacher is ... someone who asks the people who don’t always put their hands up’ . Students will generally respect teachers who show impartiality and who do their best to reach all the students in a group rather than just concentrating on the ones who ‘always put their hands up’ The reasons that some students are not forthcoming may be many and . varied, ranging from shyness to their cultural or family backgrounds. Sometimes students are reluctant to take part overtly because of other stronger characters in the group. And these quiet students will only be negatively affected when they see far more attention being paid to their more robust classmates. At the same time, giving some students more attention than others may make those students more difficult to deal with later since they will come to expect special treatment, and may take our interest as a licence to become overdominant in the classroom. Moreover, it is not just teenage students who can suffer from being the ‘teacher’s pet’ . Treating all students equally not only helps to establish and maintain rapport, but is also a m ark of professionalism.

Teacher tasks
Teaching doesn’t just involve the relationship we have with students, of course. As professionals we are also asked to perform certain tasks.

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Preparation Effective teachers are well-prepared. Part of this preparation resides in the knowledge they have of their subject and the skill of teaching, something we will discuss in detail on pages 30-32. But another feature of being well-prepared is having thought in advance of what we are going to do in our lessons. As we walk towards our classroom, in other words, we need to have some idea of what the students are going to achieve in the lesson; we should have some learning outcomes in our head. O f course, what happens in a lesson does not always conform to our plans for it, as we shall discuss on pages 156-157, but students always take comfort from the perception that their teacher has thought about what will be appropriate for their particular class on that particular day. The degree to which we plan our lessons differs from teacher to teacher. It will often depend, among other things, on whether we have taught this lesson (or something like it) before. We will discuss planning in detail in Chapter 12. Keeping records Many teachers find the administrative features of their job (taking the register, filling forms, writing report cards) irksome, yet such record keeping is a necessary adjunct to the classroom experience. There is one particularly good reason for keeping a record of what we have taught. It works as a way of looking back at what we have done in order to decide what to do next. And if we keep a record of how well things have gone (what has been more or less successful), we will begin to come to conclusions about what works and what doesn’t. It is im portant for professional teachers to try to evaluate how successful an activity has been in terms of student engagement and learning outcomes. If we do this, we will start to amend our teaching practice in the light of experience, rather than getting stuck in sterile routines. It is one of the characteristics of good teachers that they are constantly changing and developing their teaching practice as a result of reflecting on their teaching experiences. Being reliable Professional teachers are reliable about things like timekeeping and homework. It is very difficult to berate students for being late for lessons if we get into the habit (for whatever reason) of turning up late ourselves. It is unsatisfactory to insist on the prom pt delivery of homework if it takes us weeks to correct it and give it back. Being reliable in this way is simply a m atter of following the old idiom of ‘practising what we preach’ .

Teacher skills
As we have suggested, who we are and the way we interact with our students are vital components in successful teaching, as are the tasks which we are obliged to undertake. But these will not make us effective teachers unless we possess certain teacher skills.

Managing classes Effective teachers see classroom management as a separate aspect of their skill. In other words, whatever activity we ask our students to be involved in, or whether they are working with a board, a tape recorder or a computer, we will have thought of (and be able to carry

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out) procedures to make the activity successful. We will know how to put students into groups, or when to start and finish an activity. We will have worked out what kinds of instructions to give, and what order to do things in. We will have decided whether students should work in groups, in pairs or as a whole class. We will have considered whether we want to move them around the class, or move the chairs into a different seating pattern (see pages 40-43). We will discuss classroom management in more detail in Chapter 3. Successful class management also involves being able to prevent disruptive behaviour and reacting to it effectively when it occurs (see pages 180-182).

Matching tasks and groups Students will learn more successfully if they enjoy the activities they are involved in and are interested or stimulated by the topics we (or they) bring into the classroom. ‘Teachers’ I was , told when I conducted my interviews (see above), ‘should make their lessons interesting, so you don’t fall asleep in them!’ Of course, in many institutions, topics and activities are decreed to some extent by the material in the coursebook that is being used. But even in such situations there is a lot we can do to make sure we cater for the range of needs and interests of the students in our classes (see pages 14-20). Many teachers have the unsettling experience of using an activity with, say, two or three groups and having considerable success only to find that it completely fails in the next class. There could be many reasons for this, including the students, the time of day, a mismatch between the task and the level or just the fact that the group weren’t ‘in the m ood’ . However, what such experiences clearly suggest is that we need to think carefully about matching activities and topics to the different groups we teach. Whereas, for example, some groups seem happy to work creatively on their own, others need more help and guidance. Where some students respond well to teacher presentation (with the teacher acting as a controller), others are much happier when they investigate language issues on their own. Variety Good teachers vary activities and topics over a period of time. The best activity type will be less motivating the sixth time we ask the students to take part in it than it was when they first came across it. Much of the value of an activity, in other words, resides in its freshness. But even where we use the same activity types for some reason (because the curriculum expects this or because it is a feature of the materials we are using), it is im portant to try to ensure that learner roles are not always the same. If we use a lot of group discussion, for example, we want to be sure that the same student isn’t always given the role of taking notes, rather than actually participating in the discussion themselves. W hen we get students to read texts, we won’t always have them work on comprehension questions in the same way. Sometimes they might compare answers in pairs; sometimes they might interview each other about the text; sometimes they m ight do all the work on their own. Variety works within lessons, too. It is not just children who can become bored by doing the same thing all the time. Thus, although there may be considerable advantages in using language drills for beginner students, we won’t want to keep a drill running for half an hour because it would exhaust both students and teacher. However, we might make a different kind of activity, such as a role-play, last for longer than this. A lot depends on exactly what we are asking students to do.

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Chapter 2

Where we are using a coursebook for a large part of the time, it is advisable to vary the ways in which we use certain repetitive activity types. Just because reading comprehension exercises always look the same in a book, for example, it doesn’t mean we always have to approach them in the same way. We will discuss ways of using and adapting coursebooks in more detail in Chapter 11.

Destinations W hen we take learning activities into the classroom, we need to persuade our students of their usefulness. Good activities should have some kind of destination or learning outcome, and it is the job of the teacher to make this destination apparent. Students need to have an idea of where they are going, and more importantly, to recognise when they have got there. O f course, some activities, such as discussions, don’t have a fixed end. Nevertheless, even in such circumstances, it will be helpful if we can make sure that students leave the class with some tangible result. That is why a summing-up, or feedback session at the end of a discussion, for example, is so valuable.

Teacher knowledge
Apart from the ability to create and foster good teacher-student rapport and the possession of skills necessary for organising successful lessons, teachers need to know a lot about the subject they are teaching (the English language). They will need to know what equipment is available in their school and how to use it. They need to know what materials are available for teachers and students. They should also do their best to keep abreast of new developments in teaching approaches and techniques by consulting a range of print material, online resources, and by attending, where possible, development sessions and teacher seminars.

The language system Language teachers need to know how the language works. This means having a knowledge of the grammar system and understanding the lexical system: how words change their shape depending on their grammatical function, and how they group together into phrases. They need to be aware of pronunciation features such as sounds, stress and intonation. These different features of the language system are explained in Chapter 5. Students have a right to expect that teachers of the English language can explain straightforward gram m ar concepts, including how and when they are used. They expect their teachers to know the difference between the colloquial language that people use in informal conversation and the more formal language required in more formal settings. They also expect teachers to be able to demonstrate and help them to pronounce words correctly and with appropriate intonation. W hen students have doubts about the language, they frequently ask their teachers to explain things. They ask ‘W hat’s the difference between ... and ...?’ or ‘Why can’t we say ...?’ Sometimes the answer is clear and easy to explain. But at other times the issue is one of great complexity and even the most experienced teacher will have difficulty giving an instant answer. In other words, our knowledge of the language system may not be adequate for certain kinds of on-the-spot questions about subtleties. Moreover, sometimes the question is not especially relevant - it is a distraction from what is going on in the lesson.

30

Teachers

In such situations, teachers need to be able to say things like ‘That’s a very interesting question. I think the answer is X, but I will check to make sure and I will bring you a more complete answer tom orrow ’ or ‘That’s a very interesting question. I don’t want to answer it now because we are doing something else. But you can find the answer yourself if you go to this book. We’ll discuss it tom orrow’ Students will realise that these answers are perfectly . appropriate when the teacher does indeed return for the next lesson with the information that they have promised. This will demonstrate the teacher’s knowledge of the language and reference materials. But if, on the other hand, we forget to find the information and never m ention the question again, students will gradually start to think we just don’t know enough about the language to find what we are looking for - or that we just don’t care.

Materials and resources When students ask the kind of complicated questions m entioned above, good teachers know where to find the answers. We need, in other words, to know about books and websites where such technical information is available. However, this is quite a challenge in today’s world, where the sheer num ber of coursebook titles released every year can sometimes seem overwhelming, and where there are quite a significant num ber of grammar books and monolingual learners’ dictionaries (MLDs) to choose from - to say nothing of the multitude of useful websites on the Internet. No one expects teachers to be all-knowing in this respect: what colleagues and students can expect, however, is that teachers know where to find at least one good reference grammar at the appropriate level, or a good MLD, or can direct them to a library or a website where they can find these things. If teachers are using a coursebook, students expect them, of course, to know how the materials work. Their confidence will be greatly enhanced if they can see that the teacher has looked at the material they are using before the lesson, and has worked out a way of dealing with it. Classroom equipment Over the last few decades the growth in different types of classroom equipment has been incredible. Once upon a time we only had pens, board and chalk to work with. But then along came the tape recorder, the language laboratory, video machines, the overhead projector, computers, data projectors and interactive whiteboards (these are all described in Appendix A on page 252). Some teachers are more comfortable with these various pieces of educational technology than others. This will always be the case. There is no reason why everyone should be equally proficient at everything. However, students will expect that teachers should know how to use the equipm ent that they have elected to use. Learning how to use various types of equipment is a major part of m odern teacher training. However, we should do everything in our power to avoid being overzealous about the equipm ent itself. It is only worth using if it can do things that other equipment or routines cannot. The essentials of good teaching - i.e. rapport, professionalism, using good activities - will always be more im portant than the actual means of delivery. W hat has changed recently, though, is that students can do things they were unable to do before thanks to technical innovation. Thus m odern podcasts (downloadable listening which can be played on individual MP3 players) give students many more listening opportunities than ever before. They can also write their own blogs (Internet diaries) and put them on

31

Chapter 2

the web. They can burn CDs with examples of their work and the materials used in class to take home when a course has finished. They can search for a wide range of language and information resources in a way that would have been impossible a few years ago. As teachers, we need to do everything we can to keep abreast of technological change in educational resources. But we should never let technology drive our decisions about teaching and learning. We should, instead, decide what our learners want to achieve and only then see what kind of techniques and technology will help them to do this.

Keeping up-to-date Teachers need to know how to use a variety of activities in the classroom, of course, but they also need to be constantly finding out about new ways of doing things. A good way of learning about new activities and techniques is to read the various teachers’ magazines and journals that are available (see Appendix B on page 259). There is now a wealth of information about teaching on the Internet, too. Magazines, books and websites often contain good descriptions of new activities and how to use them. We can also learn a lot from attending seminars and teachers’ conferences, and listening to other teachers describing new activities and the successes they have had with them. Two things need to be said about the various ‘knowledges’ we have been describing. In the first place, it is difficult for newly qualified teachers to keep everything in their heads at the same time as they struggle with the demands of a new job. Nevertheless, as they learn their craft, we would expect them to be hungry for as much knowledge in these areas as possible since this will make them better teachers. Secondly, this kind of knowledge is not static, hence the need to keep up-to-date. Things change almost daily. New books, classroom equipm ent and computer software are being produced all the time, just as teachers keep coming up with wonderful new ways of doing old things (such as grammar presentation or discussion activities). Staying in touch with these developments can seem daunting, of course, because of the pace of change, but it is worth remembering how deadly it would be if things always stayed the same.

Art or science?
Is teaching language an art, then, or is it a science? As this chapter has shown, there are good grounds for focusing 011 its almost-scientific attributes. Understanding the language system and finding the best ways to explain it is some kind of a scientific endeavour, especially when we continue to research its changes and evolution. In the same way, some of the technical skills that are required of teachers (procedures for how to do things, a constant attention to innovation in educational technology and materials design) need to be almost scientific in their rigour. Yet teaching is an art, too. It works when the relationship that is created between teacher and students, and between the students in a group, is at its best. If we have managed to establish a good rapport with a group, almost anything is possible. We have discussed some of the key requirements in creating such a rapport, yet behind everything we have said lurks the possibility of magic - or a lack of it. Because the way some teachers are able to establish fantastic rapport, or get students really interested in a new activity may be observable, but trying to work out exactly how it was done or why it happened may be more difficult. In the same way, the instant decision-making we have been discussing can happen on supposedly

32

Teachers

scientific grounds, but its success, and the creativity that can be unleashed, is often the result of the teacher’s feelings or judgm ent at that very moment. For as we have said, good teachers listen and watch, and use both professional and personal skills to respond to what they see and hear. Good teachers have a knack of responding by doing things ‘right’ and , that is most definitely an art.

Conclusions | In this chapter we have:
■ discussed the personality that teachers show to the students. We have said this has to be in some way different (and more ‘teacher-like’) from our normal selves. ■ talked about the need for teachers to be both adaptable and able to perform different roles at different lesson stages. ■ seen the necessity of creating good teacher-student rapport as a result of listening to students, respecting them and being totally even-handed in our treatment of individuals and groups. ■ mentioned the need for preparation, record keeping and reliability. ■ said that among the skills teachers need to acquire are the ability to manage classes, match tasks to different groups and circumstances, provide variety in lessons and offer students clear learning outcomes. ■ discussed the knowledge that teachers need to acquire, including knowledge of the language system, available materials, resources and classroom equipment, and knowledge about the latest developments in the field. ■ said that teaching is both a science and an art.

33

Managing the classroom
■ Classroom management ■ The teacher in the classroom ■ Using the voice ■ Talking to students ■ Giving instructions ■ Student talk and teacher talk ■ Using the Li ■ Creating lesson stages ■ Different seating arrangements ■ Different student groupings

Classroom management
If we want to manage classrooms effectively, we have to be able to handle a range of variables. These include how the classroom space is organised, whether the students are working on their own or in groups and how we organise classroom time. We also need to consider how we appear to the students, and how we use our most valuable asset - our voice. The way we talk to students - and who talks most in the lesson - is another key factor in classroom management. We also need to think about what role, if any, there may be for the use of the students’ mother tongue in lessons. Successful classroom management also involves being able to deal with difficult situations - an issue we will discuss on pages 180-182.

The teacher in the classroom
O ur physical presence can play a large part in our management of the classroom environment. And it’s not just appearance either (though that was clearly an issue for the secondary student in Chapter 2 - page 24). The way we move and stand, and the degree to which we are physically demonstrative can have a clear effect on the management of the class. Most importantly, the way we are able to respond to what happens in class, the degree to which we are aware of what is going on, often marks the difference between successful teaching and less satisfactory lessons. All teachers, like all people, have their own physical characteristics and habits, and they will take these into the classroom with them. But there are a num ber of issues to consider which are not just matters of personality or style and which have a direct bearing on the students’ perception of us.

Proximity Teachers need to consider how close they should be to the students they are working with. Some students are uncomfortable if their teacher stands or sits close to them. For some,
34

M anaging the classroom

on the other hand, distance is a sign of coldness. Teachers should be conscious of how close they are to their students, should take this into account when assessing their students’ reactions and should, if necessary, modify their behaviour.

Appropriacy Deciding how close to the students you should be when you work with them is a matter of appropriacy. So is the general way in which teachers sit or stand in classrooms. Many teachers create an extremely friendly atmosphere by crouching down when they work with students in pairs. In this way, they are at the same level as their seated students. However, some students find this informality worrying. Some teachers are even happy to sit on the floor, and in certain situations this may be appropriate. But in others it may well lead to a situation where students are put off concentrating. All the positions teachers take - sitting on the edge of tables, standing behind a lectern, standing on a raised dais, etc - make strong statements about the kind of person the teacher is. It is important, therefore, to consider what kind of effect such physical behaviour has so that we can behave in a way which is appropriate to the students we are teaching and the relationship we wish to create with them. If we want to manage a class effectively, such a relationship is crucial. Movement Some teachers tend to spend most of their class time in one place - at the front of the class, for example, or to the side, or in the middle. Others spend a great deal of time walking from side to side, or striding up and down the aisles between the chairs. Although this, again, is to some extent a m atter of personal preference, it is worth remembering that motionless teachers can bore students, while teachers who are constantly in m otion can turn their students into tennis spectators, their heads moving from side to side until they become exhausted. Most successful teachers move around the classroom to some extent. That way they can retain their students’ interest (if they are leading an activity) or work more closely with smaller groups (when they go to help a pair or group). How m uch we move around in the classroom will depend on our personal style, where we feel most comfortable for the management of the class and whether or not we want to work with smaller groups. Awareness In order to manage a class successfully, the teacher has to be aware of what students are doing and, where possible, how they are feeling. This means watching and listening just as carefully as teaching. This will be difficult if we keep too much distance or if we are perceived by the students to be cold and aloof because then we will find it difficult to establish the kind of rapport we m entioned in Chapter 2. Awareness means assessing what students have said and responding appropriately. According to the writer Michael Lewis, a colleague of his, Peter Wilberg, put this perfectly when he said that ‘the teacher’s prim ary responsibility is response-ability’! This means being able to perceive the success or failure of what is taking place in the classroom, and being flexible enough (see page 157) to respond to what is going on. We need to be as conscious as possible of what is going on in the students’ heads.

35

Chapter 3

It is almost impossible to help students to learn a language in a classroom setting w ith­ out making contact with them in this way. The exact nature of this contact will vary from teacher to teacher and from class to class. Finally, it is not just awareness of the students that is im portant. We also need to be self-aware, in order to try to gauge the success (or otherwise) of our behaviour and to gain an understanding of how our students see us. The teacher’s physical approach and personality in the class is one aspect of class management to consider. Another is one of the teacher’s chief tools: the voice.

Using the voice
Perhaps our most im portant instrum ent as teachers is our voice. How we speak and what our voice sounds like have a crucial impact on classes. W hen considering the use of the voice in the management of teaching, there are three issues to think about.

A udibility Clearly, teachers need to be audible. They must be sure that the students at the back of the class can hear them just as well as those at the front. But audibility cannot be divorced from voice quality: a rasping shout is always unpleasant. Teachers do not have to shout to be audible. Good voice projection is more im portant than volume (though the two are, of course, connected). Speaking too softly or unpleas­ antly loudly are both irritating and unhelpful for students. Variety It is im portant for teachers to vary the quality of their voices - and the volume they speak at - according to the type of lesson and the type of activity. The kind of voice we use to give instructions or introduce a new activity will be different from the voice which is most appropriate for conversation or an informal exchange of views or information. In one particular situation, teachers often use very loud voices, and that is when they want students to be quiet or stop doing something (see the next section). But it is worth pointing out that speaking quietly is often just as effective a way of getting the students’ attention since, when they realise that you are talking, they will want to stop and listen in case you are saying something im portant or interesting. However, for teachers who almost never raise their voices, the occasional shouted interjection may have an extremely dramatic effect, and this can sometimes be beneficial. Conservation lust like opera singers, teachers have to take great care of their voices. It is im portant that they breathe correctly so that they don’t strain their larynxes. Breathing properly means being relaxed (in the shoulders, for example, and not slumped backwards or forwards), and using the lower abdomen to help expand the rib cage, thus filling the lungs with air. It is im portant too that teachers vary their voices throughout the day, avoiding shouting wherever possible, so that they can conserve their vocal energy. Conserving the voice is one of the things teachers will want to take into account when planning a day’s or a week’s work.

36

M anaging the classroom

Talking to students
The way that teachers talk to students - the m anner in which they interact with them - is one of the crucial teacher skills, but it does not demand technical expertise. It does, however, require teachers to empathise with the people they are talking to by establishing a good rapport with them. One group of people who seem to find it fairly natural to adapt their language to their audience are parents when they talk to their young children. Studies show that they use more exaggerated tones of voice and speak with less complex grammatical structures than they would if they were talking to adults. Their vocabulary is generally more restricted, they make more frequent attempts to establish eye contact and they use other forms of physical contact. They generally do these things unconsciously. Though the teacher-student relationship is not the same as that between a parent and child, this subconscious ability to rough-tune the language is a skill that teachers and parents have in common. Rough-tuning is the simplification of language which both parents and teachers make in order to increase the chances of their being understood. Neither group sets out to get the level of language exactly correct for their audience. They rely, instead, on a general perception of what is being understood and what is not. Because they are constantly aware of the effect that their words are having, they are able to adjust their language use - in terms of grammatical complexity, vocabulary use and voice tone - when their listener shows signs of incomprehension. In order to rough-tune their language, teachers need to be aware of three things. Firstly, they should consider the kind of language that students are likely to understand. Secondly, they need to think about what they wish to say to the students and how best to do it. And thirdly, they need to consider the m anner in which they will speak (in terms of intonation, tone of voice, etc). But these considerations need not be detailed. To be successful at roughtuning, all we have to do is speak at a level which is more or less appropriate. Experienced teachers rough-tune the way they speak to students as a m atter of course. Newer teachers need to pay attention to their students’ comprehension and use it as the yardstick by which to measure their own speaking style in the classroom. Apart from adapting their language, teachers also use physical movements and gestures (these are often quite exaggerated), such as shrugging the shoulders for ‘who cares?’ or scratching the head to show puzzlement. Many teachers also use gestures to demonstrate things like the past tense (pointing back over their shoulders). They use facial expressions to show emotions such as happiness and sadness, and mime to demonstrate actions such as opening a book or filling a glass and drinking. Gesture, expression and mime should become a natural adjunct to the language we use, especially with students at lower levels.

Giving instructions
This issue of how to talk to students becomes crucial when we give them instructions. The best activity in the world is a waste of time if the students don’t understand what it is they are supposed to do. There are two general rules for giving instructions: they m ust be kept as simple as possible, and they m ust be logical. Before giving instructions, therefore, teachers must ask themselves the following questions: W hat is the im portant information I am trying to convey? W hat must the students know if they are to complete this activity successfully?

37

Chapter 3

W hat information do they need first? Which should come next? When teachers give instructions, it is im portant for them to check that the students have understood what they are being asked to do. This can be achieved either by asking a student to explain the activity after the teacher has given the instruction or by getting someone to show the other people in the class how the exercise works. Where students all share the same m other tongue (which the teacher also understands), a member of the class can be asked to translate the instructions into their m other tongue as a check that they have understood them.

Student talk and teacher talk
There is a continuing debate about the am ount of time teachers should spend talking in class. Classes are sometimes criticised because there is too much TTT (Teacher Talking Time) and not enough STT (Student Talking Time). Overuse of TTT is inappropriate because the more a teacher talks, the less chance there is for the students to practise their own speaking - and it is the students who need the practice, not the teacher. If a teacher talks and talks, the students will have less time for other things, too, such as reading and writing. For these reasons, a good teacher maximises STT and minimises TTT. Good TTT may have beneficial qualities, however. If teachers know how to talk to students, if they know how to rough-tune their language to the students’ level as discussed above, then the students get a chance to hear language which is certainly above their own productive level, but which they can more or less understand. Such comprehensible input - where students receive rough-tuned input in a relaxed and unthreatening way - is an im portant feature in language acquisition. Perhaps, therefore, we should not talk simply about the difference between STT and TTT, but also consider TTQ (Teacher Talking Quality). In other words, teachers who just go on and on, using language which is not especially useful or appropriate, are not offering students the right kind of talking, whereas teachers who engage students with their stories and interaction, using appropriate comprehensible input will be helping them to understand and acquire the language. The best lessons, therefore, are ones where STT is maximised, but where at appropriate m oments during the lesson the teacher is not afraid to summarise what is happening, tell a story or enter into discussion, etc. Good teachers use their comm on sense and experience to get the balance right.

Using the Li
All learners of English, whatever their situation, come to the classroom with at least one other language, their m other tongue (often called their LI). We need to ask ourselves, therefore, whether it is appropriate for them to use the LI in class when their main object is, after all to learn an L2 (in our case English). The first thing to remember is that, especially at beginner levels, students are going to translate what is happening into their LI whether teachers want them to or not. It is a natural process of learning a foreign language. On the other hand, an English-language classroom should have English in it, and as far as possible, there should be an English

38

M anaging the classroom

environment in the room, where English is heard and used as much of the time as possible. For that reason, it is advisable for teachers to use English as often as possible, and not to spend a long time talking in the students’ LI. However, where teacher and students share the same LI it would be foolish to deny its existence and potential value. Once we have given instructions for an activity, for example, we can ask students to repeat the instructions back to us in the LI - and this will tell us whether they have understood what they have to do. W hen we have complicated instructions to explain, we may want to do this in the LI, and where students need individual help or encouragement, the use of the LI may have very beneficial effects. Since students translate in their heads anyway, it makes sense to use this translation process in an active way. For example, we can ask students to translate words, phrases or sentences into their LI, and then, perhaps, back into English without looking at the original. This helps them to think carefully about meaning and construction. Teachers may translate particular words, especially those for concepts and abstractions, when other ways of explaining their meaning are ineffective. At a more advanced level, we can have students read a text, say, in their LI, but get them to ask and answer questions about it, or summarise it, in English. When teaching pronunciation, it is often useful if students can find an equivalent sound in the LI for the English one they are trying to produce. We may want to explain to them how English has two different sounds where the LI does not make such a distinction (e.g. lb I and /v/ for Spanish speakers, /l/ and /r/ for Japanese speakers). Some teachers like to use films in the LI with English subtitles; judging whether the subtitles offer an adequate version of the original can offer considerable insight for higherlevel students. Alternatively, with switch-on/off subtitles, students can be asked to write their own English subtitles for a scene before watching how the filmmakers have done it. However, using the translation process in the ways described above does not mean a return to a traditional Grammar-translation method (see page 48), but rather that, from time to time, using the students’ LI may help them to see connections and differences between the LI and the L2, and that, occasionally, the teacher’s use of the LI may help them to understand things that they are finding difficult to grasp. However, in many classrooms around the world there are students with a variety of different Lis and, as a result, the use of LI becomes more problematic. In such situations, it is still useful to get students to think of similarities and differences between their LI and the L2, but they will have to explain these differences in English. Making use of the students’ LI (where possible) does not mean we should abandon the comm itm ent (mentioned above) to creating an English environment. Although we have seen that the LI can be used as an enabling tool, English should predominate in an English lesson, especially where the teacher is concerned since, as we have seen, he or she is the best provider of comprehensible input that the students have got. Not only that, but English is the language they are learning, not their LI. However, despite our best efforts, some students find it difficult to use English in the classroom, and we will discuss that issue on pages 178-179.

Creating lesson stages
Since, as we said in Chapter 2, teachers needs to provide variety, then clearly we have to include different stages in our lessons.
39

Chapter 3

When we arrive in the classroom, we need to start the lesson off in such a way that the students’ interest is aroused so that they become engaged. Where possible and appropriate, we will tell the students what they will be doing or, in a different kind of lesson, discuss with them what they can achieve as a result of what they are going to do. We do not always need to explain exactly what we are going to do, however, particu­ larly if we want to maintain an element of surprise. But even in such cases, a clear start to the lesson is necessary, just as a good play starts with the rise of a curtain, or a visit to the doctor starts when he or she asks you, ‘Now then, what seems to be the problem?’ or ‘How can I help you?’ . W hen an activity has finished and/or another one is about to start, it helps if teachers make this clear through the way they behave and the things they say. It helps students if they are made clearly aware of the end of something and the beginning of what is coming next. Frequently, teachers need to re-focus the students’ attention, or point it in some new direction. In order for such changes of direction to be effective, the teacher first needs to get the students’ attention. This can sometimes be difficult, especially when teachers try to draw a speaking activity to a conclusion, or when students are working in groups. Some teach­ ers clap their hands to get the students’ attention. Some speak loudly, saying things like, ‘Thank you ... now can I have your attention, please?’ or ‘OK ... thanks ... let’s all face the front, shall we?’ Sometimes when teachers speak loudly, the students just speak louder in . order not to be bothered by the interruption. To counter this, some teachers speak quietly in order to force the students to listen to them. Another m ethod is for the teacher to raise his or her hand. When individual students see this, they raise their hands briefly in reply to indicate that they are now going to be quiet and wait for the next stage. W hen we have brought an activity or a lesson to a finish, it helps if we provide some kind of closure: a summ ary of what has happened, perhaps, or a prediction of what will take place in the next lesson. Sometimes, teachers find themselves in the middle of some­ thing when the bell goes. This is unfortunate because it leaves unfinished business behind and a sense of incompleteness. It is much better to round the lesson off successfully. Ideally, too, we will be able to give the students some idea of what they will be doing next, and create enthusiasm for it so that they come to their next lesson with a positive attitude. The stages of a lesson will be a particular concern when planning lessons (see Chapter 12).

Different seating arrangements
In many classrooms around the world students sit in orderly rows. Sometimes, their chairs have little wooden palettes on one of the arms to provide a surface to write on. Sometimes, the students will have desks in front of them. At the front of such classrooms, often on a raised platform (so that all the students can see them), stands the teacher. In contrast, there are other institutions where you can find students sitting in a large circle around the walls of the classroom. Or you may see small groups of them working in different parts of the room. Sometimes, they are arranged in a horseshoe shape around the teacher. Sometimes, in a class of adults, it is not immediately obvious who the teacher is.

40

M anaging the classroom

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...MARKETING MANAGEMENT (MKT 750) GROUP ASSIGNMENT: CASE STUDY ON JANMAR COTING INC PREPARED BY: SHAHRADZI BIN RAMLI 2013424636 GROUP: BM700 1CF SUBMITTED TO: SUBMITTED DATE: 7TH OCTOBER 2013 1.0 Case Summary This case is about an organization doing business on paint coatings market served by company in the southwestern United States. The organization has some challenges on how to deploy marketing efforts among the various architectural paint coatings markets served in the southwestern United States. 1. Janmar Coating, Inc. Janmar Coating, Inc. is a privately held organization produces and markets architectural paint under Janmar brand name. In addition to producing a full line of architectural coatings, the company sells paint sundries (brushes, rollers, thinner, etc.) under the Janmar name, even though these item are not manufactured by the company. 2. Architectural painting Industry sources estimated U.S sales of architectural paint coatings and sundries (brushes, rollers, paint removers and thinners, etc) to be 12 billion plus in 2004. Architectural coating are considered to be mature market with long term sales growth projected in the range of 1 to 2 percent per year. Demand for architectural coatings and sundries and sundries reflects the level of house redecorating, maintenance, and repair, as well as sales existing homes, and to a lesser extent new home, commercial, and industrial construction. 2.0 Identify Problem 1. ......

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...109 Interview Questions & Sample Excellent Responses: PART 2 of 2 By Gary L. Melling This Whitepaper includes 50 of the most typical interview questions that you may either ask or face in job interviews; Part 1 of this series contain the previous 59 questions. Developed by eLancer, questions are in no particular order, so take your time and go through the entire list. Whether you are about to graduate from University, a seasoned professional or an HR Practitioner looking for questions to use, there is something here for everyone. 60. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done. Sample excellent response: Although I had already punched out, I stayed behind to help a colleague solve a problem. A customer was very angry as he had waited very long for his coffee. My colleague was new, she was quite slow. I came out and explained things to the customer. Although he was very angry at first, I just listened to him and told him that we try to bring our best out to each customer who walks in to our store. After a one-hour discussion, he left with a happy face and was satisfied. 61. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). Sample excellent response: During my time in the theater, I had one director with whom I absolutely did not work well. However, because of my track record, she would assign me...

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...Course Particulars Faculty: Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies Course Name: Seminar in Public Management Course Code: ADS656 Course Status: Core Program: Bachelor of Administrative Science (Hons) Credit Hours: 3 Contact Hours: 3 Lecturer: Hj Saudi Bin Hj Narani Contact: 0198825985, 082-678481 Email : saudina@sarawak.uitm.edu.my, sjnarani58@gmail.com ------------------------------------------------- Semester: 29 February -19 June, 2016. ------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------- Course Description ------------------------------------------------- The course provides students of administrative science the opportunity to synthesize the various theories and dynamics of public management. The course offers students an understanding of various public management issues arising out of the conventional theoretical approaches to public management as well as the new public management perspective. Issues are identified from the nature of the field and its core functions and solutions are explored from various dimension. The changing faces of public management due to internal and external influences are also critically examined with specific highlight to Malaysian experience. ------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------- Course Outcomes ------------------------------------------------- Upon completion of the course,......

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...Aspiring to Achieve I firmly believe that if one plans on achieving his aspirations, setting goals is a very important step. Having goals not only gives you a clear focus on things, it also helps you to organize your plans by allowing you to give yourself time limits and boundaries. That is why I try to set goals for myself routinely, whether it is just for one day, or for the rest of my life. One goal that I work hard at daily is to try to do well in high school. I try to involve myself in any activity that I can, both academically and socially, so that I can graduate with honors. The reason why I do this is because I plan on going to college, and I would like to be able to get accepted into any school that I apply to. Going to college alone would be a major achievement for my family and I, because I will be the first person in my family to attend college. Immediately after I graduate, I want to start my career as police investigator/detective. By age 25, after gaining some experience as a policewoman, I would like to make a career switch to become an FBI agent. This is because being an FBI agent has been a dream of mine since I was a child, and to be good at what I do, I need some familiarity in that line of work, among other things. After becoming settled into my second career, I would like to begin a family. By this time, I plan on already being married to my current boyfriend, and preparing to have another child. I will also be......

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...The Unheard Voices of Child Offenders: Time for Reform for the Youth Justice System in Malaysia? Nadzriah Ahmad 1.0 INTRODUCTION Malaysia acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as the CRC) on the 17th February 1995 in order to uphold the legal rights of the children in Malaysia.[1] Subsequently, upon ratification, Malaysia is under an obligation to implement the provisions in the CRC in order to protect the legal rights of the children (Committee on the CRC, General Comment 10, 2007). [2] In particular, with regards to the children in conflict with the law, CRC obliges State Parties to undertake in giving protection to children in conflict with the law at every stage of the juvenile justice system, in line with the requirements of Articles 37 and 40 of the CRC in order to uphold the principle of the best interest of the child (Committee on the CRC, General Comment 10, 2007). [3] While the former obligates States Parties to uphold the leading principles for the use of deprivation of liberty, the procedural rights, treatment and conditions afforded to children in conflict with the law when deprived of liberty, the latter safeguards the legal rights of the children in conflict with the law by ensuring that they receive treatment and guarantees of fair trial which could afford protection on them (Committee on the CRC, General Comment 10, 2007).[4] This article seeks to analyze pertinent issues surrounding the juvenile justice system in...

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