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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > noise in the classroom!    

noise in the classroom!


noise in the classroom!
sometimes students are noisy in class rooms and the school admin. isnt so happy about it , but it is sometimes healthy for students to be noisy ,just a little bit, in order to learn and interact...do u agree??

3 Jan 2010      


Very nice topic, lamyaa. I think this is what is pedagogically referrred to as constructive noise. I am an ESL teacher and I don �t care what the administration staff think of me as long as I know that I �m doing my job right. Actually, I give pupils � noise  free rein when they are working in GROUPS beacause it necessarily needs to be done so: pupils interact, exchange ideas and translate into and from their mother tongue (which is what I �m not allowed to do). So if you keep on being a REPRESSIVE teacher, your aims may not be adequately achieved. Yet,I still believe that such noise should not transcend the bounderies of the classroom, which may be some sort of disturbance for your neighbouring colleagues. Last but not least, there are some teachers who say they regard such noise as very healthy and fruitful so as to disguise their inability to control the class: I hope you are none of them.Wink 

3 Jan 2010     


Hi Lamya,
Loved ur topic !!! Many a times teachers wondered whether noise in the classroom is Obstacle or opportunity.
Now, I �d like to share with you and our collegues here part of an article I read about this issue. You can read the whole article here:

Every schoolteacher is familiar with the phenomenon of "noise in the classroom". The general conception is that noise is something the teacher should be afraid of, something to be avoided, something that hinders the realization of educational purposes. My suggestion is that noise should be perceived simply as an objective reality we have to consider in our work.

These actions of the teacher are predicated on the assumption that noise in the classroom is something that must be stopped, rather than something that might be used for the benefit of the teaching-learning process. Some methodologists regard any signs of noise in the classroom as a sign of teacher error. However Fritz Perls, a well-known psychotherapist, believed that a mistake may lead to the creation of something new and different; that it possesses creative potential. Many researchers into the creative process, among them psychologist V. M. Allakhverdov, think that making erroneous decisions is often a necessary step towards establishing the truth. We shall try to consider noise as part and parcel of the lesson.
Hugs and kisses,

3 Jan 2010     

class centre

interesting topic! I use noise for
1. relaxation for children ( games, cheering up their teams etc.)
2. group work ( but i warn them not to yell  not to give clues to their rivals...)
3. whole class discussion ( I control the conversation, but give them freedom to interrupt and ague with their mates)
Having this possibility to be noisy and free in their self-expression, my sts  are diligent and serious when working independently at their books and written exercises ( see my avatar).
So, noise can be a useful tool in combination with  good organization of the lesson.
Good luck!

3 Jan 2010     


Not every noise is chaos, I agree. I guess you could call my classroom noisy as well. Depending on the activity - some activities are louder than others, some are practically soundless... As long as it �s noise as part of the working process, I don �t consider it noise. I consider it a nice buzz. If it gets too loud and uncontrolled, with nobody actually doing anything, that �s chaos, loss of control and not a learning environment. When I was a student, I loved teachers who let us interact, played quiet music in the background, provided a nice working buzz, so I guess that �s what I try to do in my lessons. When I visit teachers whose classrooms are oh-so-quiet, I always wonder if it �s lack of interest, boredom or fear of punishment. But I guess a lot also depends on your style of teaching and the kind of person you are - I �ve known some teachers who could do wonders with just their eyes and a whisper... There are also groups of sts who perform as a quiet group, and there are louder groups - some sort of group chemistry takes place which you take into account when you prepare activities for them. The main thing is to know what you �re doing and who you �re working with - then you can also control the volume level to your desired standard.

3 Jan 2010     


i have benfited a lot by reading your replies... actually i was thinking about writing an article for the school magazine about this topic , i guess i should include your points of view in it :)) 

3 Jan 2010