Teachers in Action

Posted by Deni Hamarismul | 15.56 | | 1 comments »

Classroom Management
Teaching Large Classes Classroom Management

Large classes are a reality in many countries and they pose particular challenges.
 What are the challenges of teaching a large class?
 How can group work be used to help learning in large class?
 How can group work help in a large class when resources are lacking?
 How can good discipline be developed in a large class?
 What are the advantages of a large class?
Classroom Management
What are the challenges of teaching a large class?
• It's difficult to keep good discipline going in a large class.
• Students of different ages and different abilities, wanting to learn different things at different speeds and in different ways have to be provided for.
• Each student can’t be given individual attention they need.
• Books or teaching and learning aids may be lacking.

Classroom Management
How can group work be used to help learning in a large class?
In a large class, student pairs and groups can help each other and learn from each other. They won't get bored listening to teacher talk. Some tested strategies are:
Classroom Management
Organize groups to suit students’ abilities
Teachers of large classes could try:
– mixed-ability groups: The more able learners in the group can help the others to master the work so that the teacher need not teach some parts..
– same-ability groups: The teacher can leave the groups of faster learners to get on with the work on their own. S/he can give extra help to individual learners in the slower groups.
– using group leaders/monitors: Some teachers appoint faster, more able learners as group leaders or monitors who can help slower learners.

Classroom Management
• Monitor the groups yourself
The teacher needs to move around the classroom to see what progress learners are making and what problems are coming up. S/he can give advice, encouragement and extra individual help where it is needed.

Classroom Management
How can group work help in a large class when resources are lacking?
Group work can help teachers manage with few textbooks, or even only one text book.
• If teachers do not have enough books for each student, form groups so that each group has one book.
• If teachers have only one book: - let each group have some time to work with the book. The other groups can do activities that fit in with the theme of the passage in the book.
Classroom Management
For example, if the topic is 'family life‘, groups who have not yet read can work on pre-reading tasks around 'family life'. They can write down words they know on that topic, or talk about their families. The groups who have finished reading can talk about what they have read, or write down a summary. After about ten minutes give the book to another group, so that by the end of the lesson all the groups will have done some work with the book.
Classroom Management
With or without group work, if only one book is available, the teachers could:
• write the important bits of text on the blackboard before the lesson.
• make the text into a dictation, so everyone has a copy of the text written down.

Classroom Management
How can good discipline be developed in a large class?
Establish a code of behavior that is created by teacher and learners together. It should state clear basic rules of conduct that learners understand, such as:
• They have to work quietly;
• They may talk, but not loudly;
• Students who have finished the lesson tasks can read a book to keep them busy.

Classroom Management
Use the environment outside the classroom. It offers a new, different space when students get noisy or bored, and helps to reduce overcrowding.
• Teachers can work with some groups inside the classroom while the other groups are working outside (use different tasks or the same task)
• Teachers need to set up outdoor activities clearly and carefully and monitor them.

Classroom Management
Appoint responsible group leaders who can help maintain discipline. They can also give out and take in work for the groups, and explain what groups must do.

Classroom Management
What are the advantages of a large class
• When there are many students in a class, they can share many different ideas and interesting life experiences. This stimulates students and enlivens those parts of your lesson where students can discuss and learn from each other.
• During project work, students can learn to share responsibility and help each other. This also brings variety and speeds up the work.

Classroom Management
Teaching EFL learners requires a knowledge of the developmental differences of their students and of the appropriate management skills. These personal observations and experiences would provide ideas for classroom management and teaching strategies:
• Inside and outside the EFL learners classroom
• New Dimension
• Classroom management and discipline
• Using the board
• Routines and activities
• Work

Classroom Management
Inside and outside the EFL learners classroom
EFL learners market continues to grow amidst a decade of changing attitudes towards this sector of teaching. The teacher is viewed as a highly-skilled professional who has the knowledge, skills, flexibility and sensitivities of both of the students and of the language, and one who is able to balance and combine the two successfully. Most problems encountered by teachers are due to a lack of understanding of the developmental differences among the students and of the appropriate classroom management skills to deal with these.
Classroom Management
Differences include conceptual and cognitive variations, variations in attention spans and motor skills such as drawing and cutting, as well as social and emotional differences. An understanding of these differences can help develop the flexibility that EFL teachers require.

Classroom Management
New dimension
Classroom management skills need to take on a new dimension to control and cater to the needs of students. Since it is not possible for possible to observe all classes at the school, they should take charge of their own self-development. These personal observations will provide a starting point for further reflection and discussion in their schools.
Classroom Management
Classroom management and discipline
• In class, only books and pencil cases should be on tables. Avoid clutter – the younger the learner, the more organized the classroom..
• Use two areas of the classroom. For presentation of new language, practice activities using individual students, storytelling and opening and closing of lesson, the teacher will be near the board and half-faces the students. For the rest of the class, the teacher should move around the class a lot.
Classroom Management
Using the board
• Present new language at the board. Use lots of flashcards. Involve all students - ask individuals to perform small tasks: pointing to something, choosing a picture or sticking it on the board.
• Explain and demonstrate tasks you want students to do at the board. If using a worksheet, stick it on the board and demonstrate.

Classroom Management
Routines and activities
• Establish routines: Everyone starts the lesson feeling confident and attentive.
• Surprise activities can help to settle a class if students become too excited.
• When changing activity, try raising your voice to attract attention. This becomes a signal that students recognize.
Classroom Management
• Be aware of what sort of work which students is good at. The teachers should observe the skills of matching, comparing and classifying. These are skills students will develop and adapt.
• When students are doing work, let them finish as much as possible. Fast finishers can be given another task.

Classroom Management
The fundamental qualities of classroom management.

Three attitudinal qualities of a teacher or a facilitator that assist students in the learning process are empathy (seeing things from the students' view point), authenticity (being yourself) and acceptance (of students' ideas and opinions).


  1. ProfSeeman // 25 Januari 2009 01.07  

    You make some good points above.
    However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
    The book and Training Video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems

    If you can get this book and video: [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

    If your library does not have them, you can get them at:

    that are also used at this online course:

    See: Reviews at:

    If you cannot get the book or video, email me anyway, and I will try to help.

    Best regards,


    Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus,
    City Univ. of New York

    Prof. Seeman

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