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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > LEARNER-CENTRED CLASSROOM    



I teach secondary school students three periods a week.
Each period lasts about 50 minutes.
Each class consists of 34 students.
Along the year, students attend about 68 lessons (= 3400 minutes).
Each student has the right of an equal share of 100 minutes all the year round.
Students in my country study English for 7 years.
Each student would communicate in English for a total of 700 minutes (= 11.5 hours) in chunks.
N.B- I didn �t take into consideration my right of speech as a teacher because, in such cases, we (TEACHERS) should keep our mouths shut for ever.
If I
were the minister of education, I would send all the students to England for just one week (no charges) and I would guarantee better results.

How do you feel now my dear colleagues? Is it still worth teaching?


4 Jan 2010      

United States

You do what you gotta do and do it the best you can.

Unfortunately, there are people (politicians)  making rules that they have
no experience with and know nothing about. Sad, but true.

No classroom should have that many students. How are you
ever going to give them any individual tips with so many?

I guess most politicians are politicians because they just aren �t good
enough to be anything else - especially teachers!

4 Jan 2010     


So many students in a class ! .....and the corrections of the tests !!!
you must have good nerves ! Do what you can but don �t get sick it isn �t worth !
Do what you can  ! Try to have sometimes movies  or cartons in English so that you can relax a little bit
You have all my support , good luck dear Tahri Ali

5 Jan 2010     


yes, it �s always worth teaching; teaching is a priority despite the hard circumstances. lighting a candle is better than insulting the darkness. I have crowded classrooms: 45 to 50 students in each class, but still I have to look for appraches and methods of teaching large classes.
i �m not satisfied but I believe that things will change. it will take time to start thinking about our schools, but change will take place.

5 Jan 2010     

Olindalima ( F )

Hi, my friend

how I understand your most deep feelings.
Yes, you are right , send them a month or two to an English speaking country and the results will
be much better than after a whole school year.
And now I quote a brilliant and always, always , for ever and ever briliant sentence:

" I guess most politicians are politicians because they just aren �t good
enough to be anything else - especially teachers!

She, who wrote this,. ... her name is Liberty... see what I mean? Liberty!!!

So much land forward to walk by...

You have me right by your side; we, teachers, have a long. long way to walk ahead, count me in your army.

I have been fighting for more than 30 years and... still around around.


All the best, my friend, keep fighting, I am on your side


5 Jan 2010     


I thought those things only happened in here, but surprisingly...and sadly you confirm that this is a problem that many of our countries (and children) share.

Groups of 34 students, I understand what you mean. Sometimes I have worked with groups of 45-50 students (in primary school) and I know sometimes can be difficult, tiring even frustrating; but then, when some of my students try to communicate in English without being asked to, I know that every minute I spend preparing classes and working with them is worth the effort.
In the end, I�m convinced that I do what I do for those children and teenagers. Just to help them to have a better chance to improve their life style.
The way I see things, the harder the government works against education, the better teachers we should be.

5 Jan 2010     

Gia Mel

There are many of us who feel the same as you. I have 40 to 45 students and it is extremelly difficult but I do the best I can, and I �m proud of what I do... I focus on that classes where everything goes right as I �ve planned, where students enjoy and learn at the same time, i try to focus on those classes where I came out of the classroom with a smile on my mouth... There aren �t many, but they exist, I �ve had a few, and then it is when I realise that I could make all my classes to turn out in the same way... Utopic??? Maybe, but I have to think that way... If not, I would be depressed and miserable.
Wacko Don �t be dissappointed... We all have lousy days... It will pass... If not, You can always consider a career move!

5 Jan 2010     

Russian Federation

You are quite right that the time our students have for talking English, using it, communicating in it is very limited. But still there are ways around it. Encourage pair work or group work when students talk at the same time, which gives them more time to practise. Encourage them to read books in English or watch movies in English outside the class, teach them to pay attention to the bits of English they can see in their everyday lives, tune them to that.

Sending them to an English-speaking country is certainly the best way for them to learn English. But in my country not so many students can afford that.

Another point about visiting an English-speaking country is that the stay there can be a good push, a breakthrough for the students, but the stay will be over and in order not to lose what they have acquired there they will still have to practise at their home country, and your help as a teacher will be necessary for them.

One of my students at upper-intermediate level went to England for a month, and certainly was happy about that. During her stay she acquired fluency, which also satyed with her for about half a year after she had come back. Then she didn �t have lessons for a period of time and started feeling that she couldn �t be as fluent as she had been. So although she is not a student in my groups now she asked me for conversational classes once a week.

And I have a feeling also that if she had not been at upper-intermediate level, she would have lost all that she had acquired about her English skills much faster. A wek in England for a beginner would not be enough. They need consistency, practise on a daily basis.

And here your help as a teacher is indispensable. So cheer up, don �t feel miserable, you are doing a great job acting under the given circumstances. Be enthusiastic, that will help your students a lot!

5 Jan 2010     


Thanks a lot my dear colleagues all over the world. I feel touched by this support.
I agree with you "we shall do what we gotta do and do it the best we can."
I �ve been fighting for 18 years and never never thought of �surrender �.
Yet, now and today with this magic power of global instant communication I think it �s really high time we made a change.
Dear Colleagues, let �s think of realistic ways to cope with our miserable conditions within the classroom regardless of what is stated by pig-headed politicians, puppet-like headmasters, authoritarian inspectors, lost parents and Utopian linguists.
No one can share the feeling but us!
Heal The Class
Make it a better place For you and for me
And the entire human race There are teachers dying
If you care enough For the living
                                                    Make a better place For you and for me 
                                                  (Homage to Michael Jackson)                                                                     

5 Jan 2010