Teach English in Shuikou Zhen - Jiangmen Shi

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In this unit we have looked at common problems that may arise in the classroom, and have been particularly concerned with teaching first lessons; classes of different levels; issues with large classes; student's use of their own native language in class; reluctant students and listening task problems. With first lessons, it's important to establish a good rapport between teacher and students and among the student group, this can be achieved through warmer games and activities and by finding out about the students: needs, interests, motivating factors, language level, etc. With a mixed level-class, the teacher may need to juggle different activities, use pair/group work strategies, provide different materials for the different levels and combine weaker/stronger students for activities. Care is needed to ensure that strong students don't dominate the class, weak students don't feel overwhelmed and that stronger students don't become bored. For large classes, group work and choral drilling are useful techniques. Care must be taken to ensure everyone in the class can hear the teacher/tape/CD player. Use of native language should be discouraged unless absolutely necessary, however, the teacher must ensure that activities are set at the right level with clear, simple instructions. Teachers must encourage the use of English and if necessary only ever respond to a query when it is given in English. Pair work and role play can support reluctant students and with controlled practice, give them the confidence to speak more openly in class. Listening tasks can create difficulties, but these are important and shouldn't be ignored, repeating the tape/audio is useful but additional activities such as puzzles/word searches may need to be provided for stronger students who only need to hear the audio once whereas the rest of the class need two or three attempts. If listening tasks are a particular issue, reading the dialogue more slowly than the tape while students follow the transcript can be helpful, particularly for lower level/beginner groups.