1. Do you have bystanders in your class?
I couldn’t stop nodding when she mentioned this. Why do students choose to become bystanders? Is it because the classroom activities are limited to 2 or very few players only? Is it because they figure they wouldn’t loose anything NOT to participate? She suggests to have some daily routine, especially classroom English that can help foster students’ attention and oral productions in the class. One of the tips is to encourage kids to repeat and prolong whatever command you said. For example:
ex. T: Listen
S: I will listen
T: Stand up
S: I will stand up
It helps to distinguish my/your in the teacher-students conversations, too.
T: Push back your chair.
S: I will push back my chair.
I tried this tip right away in my 5th graders. It works great. You got kids attention and it decrease the chances of monologue in my classroom.
2. Be a teacher first then be an English teacher
As a subject teacher, I really don’t know that much about the kids once they leave the English classroom. We don’t know if this particular little don’t-do-homework cutie is actually an efficient helper in her class. We don’t know why this silence-is-gold believer tops in every other subjects but English. We don’t know if this talkative Jimmy couldn’t finish his listening homework simply because he doesn’t have any access to a CD player. We need to be reminded again, do not judge the kids solely from what we see in our class.
Christina is a great teacher and although there are always gaps between what we have learned from what we can do, a pleasant presentation is always refreshing.