Teach English in Chunhuilu Jiedao - Chongqing

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Seating arrangements in the classroomSeating arrangement may be one of the most crucial decisions for a teacher to make. The type of arrangement used for a class will influence the students? learning and behavior. While a proper arrangement can facilitate the learning process, a poor choice can equally hinder a lesson as well. Some arrangements can cause too much distraction and rowdiness amongst the students, and others may cripple participation. When planning the classroom seating arrangement, the style of the lesson, activities, ability, and size of class are some things that should be considered. There are several ways to arrange a class- the more common ones being rows, clusters, and circles. Vertical rows are most likely the typical classroom arrangement for teaching. In this arrangement the teacher?s desk is placed at the very front, and the rows of desks are facing the teacher. This setting usually helps control behavior. Usually, it minimizes talking and classroom disruptions. With vertical rows it is easier for the teacher to focus on a particular student at a time when teaching. Each student will be able to make eye contact with the teacher. Sometimes, rows may be made in pairs, so two students sit next to each other. This may be useful for pair work tasks. A downside to this seating arrangement is it does not encourage cooperative learning. Teachers may find it difficult to assign group work. Furthermore, this setting may cause students who sit at the back to feel isolated from the class. This can further cause distraction and those students may not give their full attention. Small clusters are good for group projects and activities. It encourages student interaction. Some students may find it intimidating to practice English as a whole class because of possible embarrassment. But these students? might find it easier to participate in smaller groups. Furthermore, this arrangement is especially beneficial because the stronger students may help the weaker ones. Therefore, it is a good idea to mix the students with different levels into each group. However, a disadvantage to this arrangement is that students may be easily distracted as they are facing each other and away from the teacher. The use of a circle is great for discussions or whole class participation tasks. This setting encourages everyone to get involved. The arrangement focuses on student-directed learning rather than the teacher. It helps for each student to make eye contact with each other. This allows for fewer distractions, as the students will likely be more attentive. Some drawbacks for this arrangement are it may be difficult to set up with certain desks, such as rectangular school desks. Also, time may be wasted when moving the desks into a circle, and back to its original setting after the activity. Another seating arrangement, which is used rarely than often, is a U-shaped setting. This allows for group discussion, but still teacher-oriented as the students are facing the front of class. This arrangement may be difficult to utilize since it may be useful for specific tasks only. It also may be hard to form, depending on the classroom size and number of students. As we can see, different factors will change the choice of different seating arrangements. Certain arrangements can and will effect the students? discipline and learning. Because particular arrangements may or not be appropriate, it is good to know which seating arrangement is best for specific activities planned for your lesson. It is also helpful to pre-plan specific seats for specific students so it not only refrains from wasting time picking their seats, but it will give less chance of complaints. Ultimately, a single seating arrangement is not better than the other, just that the teacher should make the best choice possible for better results.