The First Five Things to do to Manage a Classroom

For teachers who return to teaching in the schools, I know that the most difficult thing to do is to master classroom management. But, you know, classroom management is not to be strict but it is simply to be organized. If you want to have a classroom run smoothly, you should set up a structured learning environment where certain behaviors are praised and others are discouraged.

I think the following five procedures will help you teach in a quiet classroom with students attentive and observant to you.

  1. Create a friendly but respectful relationship with your students.

This kind of relationship is very important to create learning opportunities. Start at the door with a smile, greet your students and shake hands with some of them. Use your students’ names and actively praise them. Know them and their needs and use this knowledge to adjust your teaching methods. If you have a good relationship with your students, you will be able to push them harder and further to learn because they will trust you.

  1. Train your students on how to understand and learn in the classroom.

You should have a learning philosophy that guides your teaching methods in the classroom; tell it to your students. Tell them that you don’t expect them to be at the same level in learning but add that you have some steps if they follow they will learn. Write these steps on the board in the first period or spread over a printed copy of them. Don’t forget at the end of each period to summarize what students should learn to give each student the opportunity to practice self-evaluation.

  1. Prepare your mind and materials well.

Managing the classroom includes managing the time minimizing lost time in activities like handing out papers, taking attendance and announcements. You should protect your time and increase the time spent on learning. You will not be able to do so unless you are well mentally prepared. You should know how to transition students from one activity to another without wasting time in order not to give them any time for side talks.

  1. Anticipate your students’ behavioral problems.

Anticipation is not enough, but you should put in your mind the solutions. Don’t go ahead directly to punishment but build activities or ask questions that can lead students to return to the lesson and attention.

  1. Establish behavioral standards from the first day.

These standards should hit the main points regarding showing respect, communicating correctly and coming prepared to learn. Explain the standards of performance, as well as the limits of behavior.

Practicing classroom management should begin at the start of school and throughout the year.  It needs to be flexible, tolerant and smiling to manage your students. These are my priorities for managing classrooms, what are yours?

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Eight Back-to-School Tips for ELT Supervisors

The supervisor should concern for creating a successful relationship with the teachers from the first day of the school year. This will make teachers enthusiastic, respectful and admirable of their work and their supervisor. Considering that, the supervisor should:

  1. Explain what he can offer to the teachers clarifying that his goal is to collaborate with them to develop their and the students’ four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  2. Ask to observe a class declaring that his goal is not to watch how the teacher teaches but in order to learn along with the teacher.
  3. Give suggestions and ideas that can be put into use and be ready to collaborate with the teachers to implement them.
  4. Provide teachers with basic teaching resources that can be used and adapted for the students creatively.
  5. Role model some teaching practices getting the class engaged and motivated.
  6. Guide teachers to write focused and meaningful objectives to lessons.
  7. Help teachers to reflect on their teaching by providing them with the time to contemplate on the day’s lesson.
  8. Convey encouragement and support along with professional respect and personal interest.

In closing, supervisors should be eager and excited of teaching and learning and share these positive feelings with their teachers. Being active listener and giving the feeling of partnership are responsible to give teachers a head start along the school year.

Hard but not impossible

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Learning a new language is not easy. It is hard for adults and busy people to learn a new language that sounds differently from their mother tongue and that they don’t use outside the classroom.

It is really hard, but not impossible. Recent studies suggest that you can get better at a foreign language simply by listening to it, without speaking it yourself.

In other words, if you listen regularly to podcasts in the language you’re trying to learn, you will learn it at the end.

One hour listening practice a day following with some simple tasks is a good start to improve your listening comprehension and increase your ability to distinguish sounds.

Also, it is recommended to watch TV shows or short video clips and read material written in the language you are learning.

The goal is to be surrounded by the target language at all times and immerse yourself in it. Still, you should be both passive and active when you learn a foreign language, that is to listen and speak, read and write. In other words you should receive and produce something in the language you are learning EVERY DAY.

 

Best MOOCs for EFL teachers

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There are so many MOOCs for EFL teachers. I selected the following courses as I think they’re the best ones for EFL teachers to get the basic professional development. If EFL teachers take these courses, they will acquire the theoretical background of language teaching approaches and they will develop their teaching practices in the classroom as well.

* Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching

https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/english-language-teaching

1. Lessons and Teaching.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching

2. Learning and Learners

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching-learning

3. The Classroom and the World.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching-classroom

* Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-language

* Teach English Now! Second Language Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation

https://www.coursera.org/learn/tesol-speaking

* Teach English Now! Second Language Reading, Writing, and Grammar

https://www.coursera.org/learn/tesol-writing

* Teach English Now! Lesson Design and Assessment

https://www.coursera.org/learn/lesson-design

* Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language

https://alison.com/courses/Teaching-English-as-a-Second-Language

Invitation to a Free Online Session

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I am inviting you to join my 3rd  Online SESSION.

Creating a Good Language Test.

On 22 / 12 / 2016, at 4.00 PM, Egypt Standard Time ( GMT + 2 ) .

It’s a 40-minute FREE Session Online !!!

I’m going to tackle the following points during it:

* Reasons for Testing During English Language Course.

* What Should be Tested in the Language Test?

* Characteristics of a Good Language Test.

* The Cycle of Creating a Good Language Test.

* General Tips for Creating Good Test Items.

* Tips for Constructing MCQs.

* Tips for Constructing True/False items.

* Tips for Constructing Matching items.

* Tips for Constructing Completion items.

* Tips for Constructing Short-Answer Questions.

 Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android on: https://zoom.us/j/614196310

A checklist for a good language test

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If you have already prepared a language test, don’t print it unless you check the following points. Then, you may go ahead to print it or improve it before printing. You should ensure that your test:

  • Follows the specifications assigned for preparing the language tests.
  • Measures the achievement of the desired objectives.
  • Tests what it ought to test and measures what it is supposed to measure.
  • Covers all items that have been taught or studied and includes items from different areas of the syllabus.
  • Tests vocabulary as well as grammar.
  • Includes everyday and communicative language.
  • Is neither too difficult nor too easy but progressive in difficulty.
  • Is appropriate in length for the allocated time.
  • Tells students what to do exactly and in a clear way.
  • Is easy to be conducted and scored without wasting too much time or effort.
  • Produces the same results if it is given twice to same students under the same conditions.

The Cycle of Creating a Good Language Test

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  1. The decision of providing and making the test:

It is usually made by the head teacher, administration, or the supervisor to select a teacher to construct the test. Or the teacher himself decides to make and provide the test as a formative kind of assessment of students’ learning.

  1. Considering the specifications:

It is related to have and get a look at the specifications of the test that should be followed to produce the test in its final version.

  1. Collecting information for the test:

In this stage the test provider collects information about the students (the test takers), their levels, abilities, points of weakness and points of strength as well and about the content on which the test is based, its objectives and outcomes, the items that have been taught and the teacher focused on and the items that have not been taught or have less focus in teaching.

  1. Assembling the materials for the test:

Here the test provider should write sample questions for the test following the specifications. As many questions as possible should be written down on a separate paper in this stage.

  1. Making the test:

According to the information collected in stage 3, the test provider should select from the questions written in stage 4 those questions which are suitable and use them to construct the test according to stage 2. Marks should be provided besides each question in the test as well.

  1. Marking and grading the test:

After conducting the test, it should be marked and graded. Marking means providing accurate marks for each students while grading means putting the marks into a meaningful category so that the test results can be understood.

  1. Reporting and communicating the test results:

In the final stage, test takers and others who concern should be provided with the test results and any other information needed for an appropriate interpretation.