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  • The worst ELT interview questions… and how to answer them March 12, 2012
    Some friends of Naturegirl123 were talking about interview questions that they got. Here are some difficult ones to answer and suggested answers. What religion are you?/ Are you X religion? This could be a legit question if you’re applying to a religious school. If you have the same religion as the school, simply say […]
  • Invoice factoring as a way of financing your language school March 12, 2012
    You’re looking into alternative ways to keep the finances in order in your burgeoning language school. Why not consider invoice factoring? Please don’t think of invoice factoring as a loan because it’s actually something quite different to that: it is more correctly defined as the acquisition of a financial asset. What does that mean? […]
  • Language Classes… Heat Up Careers! March 9, 2012
    Whether you love the snow or can’t wait until the warmer days of spring, this is a time of year when we all start to get a little stir-crazy, suggests Charlotte Evans. Winter was fun back in December but now the cold temperatures and extra layers of clothing are starting to feel a bit […]
  • Learning and Communicative Strategies March 6, 2012
    Introduction Communicative strategies are systematic techniques employed by a speaker to express his meaning when faced with some difficulty and the difficulty here refers to the speaker’s inadequate command of the language used in the interaction (Faerch & Kasper, 1983:16). On the other hand, the term learning strategies has been defined as “the higher- […]
  • Optimizing Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) March 6, 2012
    Technology transforms virtually all human pursuits, notes Michael G. Hines. In the field of education, the use of audiovisual aids, computers, and telecommunication devices has radically altered classroom dynamics. For ESL and TFL practitioners, the possibilities being opened up by technology are highly promising, with the currently accepted practices alread […]
  • Selling textbooks after you’ve finished using them? Here’s some advice February 28, 2012
    These days, being a student is in many ways more demanding than ever. In other ways, though, those attending university have never had it better. The advent of the internet has brought a wealth of information to the modern learner’s fingertips. The advent of sites like Wikipedia has made conducting research and building up […]
  • Want to employ the best teachers? Test them! February 22, 2012
    Are you looking for new teachers? Make sure you do into the process with a clear strategy for how you ensure you end up with the best candidate. Employee assessment tests are extremely important in enabling you as a recruiter of teachers to be able to make measured and well-informed decisions about the type […]
  • Online learning: Do you have the right personality? February 13, 2012
    Research has shown that online learning is better suited to people who are verbally oriented, rather than those who have visual or kinesthetic skills. For this reason, notes Jonathan Ginsburg, whether or not a student is successful in an e-learning course can depend considerably on their personality and their learning type. Before taking an […]
  • Alternative careers: Operations management February 13, 2012
    Tired of the hoi polloi of everyday life as a language teacher? Why not train to become an operations manager instead? An mba in healthcare management is an absolutely indispensable industry qualification which enables those who take it to hone their decision making abilities. The importance of a healthcare mba In today’s bloodthirsty world, […]
  • Can we use dreams to teach English? January 11, 2012
    Dogme ELT is rooted in the experiences of the learner and what they bring with them to the classroom. Our unconscious mind regularly sends us communication in the form of dreams: it is an advantage to understand the meaning of these messages. As our subconscious sends us only constructive information about our existence, it […]

Maintaining Discipline

June on the TEFL Times has been set aside for a series of articles from Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa, the creator and writer for TEFL Tips.

Often something’s that both newbies and old hands struggle with is maintaining discipline in the classroom. Rowdy students can distrupt the lessons and making teaching difficult for even experienced teachers. But if you keep a couple of tips in mind, you can make classes better for both you and the students.

● Be consistent. You have to be consistent in what you say and do both throughout the lesson and throughout the course. DOn’t change rewards or punishments.

● Positive Reinforcement. By punishing only the bad tings that happen, you’re only fighting half the battle. Rather than concentrating on the bad behaviour, look at the model students and praise them for their behaviour. And when you see a difficult student doing something well, be sure to praise them as well for their hard work.

● Start strict. Most teachers agree that it’s easier to get more lenient throughout the course than become more strict. So lay down the rules on the first day and stick to them.

● Play games at the end. Tell students that if they behave well, you’ll play a game at the end. It doesn’t have to be a long elaborate one, short games work as well. Anything from Simon Says, Hangman, Seven Up, or 20 Questions can work. Your students might be able to teach you some common games they play in their culture as well.

● Provide things to do. Not all students work at the same pace. And often students get out of hand because they have nothing to do. Keep a couple of extra exercises, worksheets, books, or games for them to do when they finish. If they’re busy, they’re less likely to make trouble.

● Don’t shout. First off, there’s probably no way that you can shout and be heard when many students are talking. Second, you’re not really fixing anything, you’re just adding to the noise. Try clapping your hands, or ringing a bell to get their attention.

● Follow through. If you say that you’ll play a game, do so. Likewise if you say that a student will be punished, you’ll have to follow through on that. And don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

About the author

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa is the creator and writer for TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List. She enjoys answering people’s questions about TEFLing and Peru.

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