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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Classroom Management    

Classroom Management


Classroom Management
This is in reply to a recent post regarding badly behaved students (I cant find it now). I have just uploaded a training document I made for teachers in japan on this very topic. It includes a lot of ideas and practical stuff to use in the classroom:




16 Dec 2008      

United States

Hi Campbell--
I just had a look at your printable.  It looks like a concise and informative contribution.
Still, let me throw this out there...
Iīd like to pose a question to the board about Classroom Management in the adult-learner setting.  How do you handle disruptive adults, adults that donīt do their homework assignments, and adults with chronic tardiness?  How do you motivate adult students that are in a slump?  etc., etc.
Iīm looking forward to some responses.

16 Dec 2008     


Hi brookee,
I often teach adults and I think teaching them is sometimes more difficult than teaching kids.
1.  I donīt usually have behaviour problems with them, but  I have seen that lots of adult learners have time management problems (family, work, etc) that is why they tend not to do their homework. Therefore I try to give them as little homework and as much practice in the lesson as possible.
2. Adults are too shy to speak and if they want to, their language skills and vocabulary are often restricted therefore I teach them mini dialogues in which they can change vocab. They are very efficient to practise grammar or real life-like situations. Anyway, they are afraid of grammar because they think it is  useless and do not understand why it is so important for the teacher. I try to make grammar  as simple as possible and always emphasize its communicative aspects: Grammar for Communication by David Newby is an excellent resource for finding great ideas.
3. It may seem strange but adults also like playing board games, listening to songs, working with role play cards, learning through funny powerpoint presentations, online exercises, etc.
4. One more thing: I have noticed that in a group of adult learners the number of drop-outs is always very high. If you are  lucky, the percentage of students who actually do complete the course will only be around 40 %. But it is not the teacherīs fault!! If they cannot see what a great opportunity they miss, it is THEIR loss.

CU, Judit

16 Dec 2008     

Mariethe House

Will you please give me the link.if i type the address, I just get the general page for esl printables.
Thank you Marie thé

16 Dec 2008     


Hi again Brookee
Teaching adults is definitely a challenge. So many other demands of themand they simply dont learn as quickly as children. I agree with Jujuka. we have to lower our expectations. Re homework, I give optional homework. Some do it, some dont, but noone ever comes to class feeling embarassed or skips class because they didnt do it. Also I sometimes give 2 options; a shorter, easier version and a more involved version, then some feel they can do it.
Re motivation, one thing I find really important is to SHOW them their progress! They get so hung up on what they dont know and cant do that it is super important to remind them of what they do know and can do. I take a video of my students speaking in beginners and then again later to show them their progress. I keep their writing to show them later their progress. I also keep vocabulary lists of new words for each group of students and they see how many new words they have learned. I know that they should take responsibility and keep the lists but I find that they dont, so I do it. I use this list to prepare vocabulary recycling exercises so they DO learn the list. I usually email an updated version every week. I find these kind of progress report type activities essential in motivating adults. I`m looking forward to seeing other ideas!

16 Dec 2008     

alien boy

Interesting discussion re adults. I agree that time management is often the greatest hurdle. However, statistically, adults actually learn an L2 more efficiently than children! Iīve been doing research into second language acquisition over the last couple of years and one of the most common myths about language learning is that children learn languages more easily than adults! When I get my other computer over here from Australia Iīm happy to back up that assertion with a few study names & authors!


16 Dec 2008     


I have to agree with Alien boy, toddlers appear to learn languages faster because they spend more time doing it.  Compare a 4 year oldīs vocabulary to an Adult who has moved to a new country 4 years ago.  The Toddler has the accent but limited vocabulary, the adults donīt have the acent but have a greater vocabulary.  An Adult has more options when it comes to explaining, a toddler learns by association and repetition.  Having said that, why is it that my 19 month old daughter understands the concept of "get" but my forty year old students canīt.  

I teach in a company and yes about 30 / 35 % cancelations has been the norm over 18 months.  With them I find that I have to be part counciler, and talk about their problems (it seems to work much better with men than women, maybe because men donīt in general talk about their problems, so they get an oportunity with me).  

I have had only one situation with adult diciplinary problems, and thanks goodness I donīt teach her anymore, it made my classes really unpleasant, but on the bright side those are the ones that generally drop out the quickest.  She actually brought a magazine (not in English) to class and started reading it during the class once.  But these situations are rare becuase the Adult is usually paying for the course, or at least their company is.  The situation with the magazine resolved itself because the other students seemed as shocked as me and she stopped almost immeadiately.  The same student caused me a lot of problems, being cheeky, disruptive, speaking spanish etc...  Re motivation, This was a class of 6 students, the others were OK and she confessed that she didnīt like English and was just there because her boss had sent her.  I was never able to show her the opportunity she had.

Re homework, I give it sometimes but donīt make a fuss if itīs not done.  You must be careful with tests and homework, Adults can sometimes skip class because theyīre embarrassed about the test result or homework.  The most successful homework Iīve given is a simple internet question, they must bring me the answer for the next class for example: "What is Virgin Galactic?" / "What is Special about the Piri Reis map?" / "What is the Zero Factor?"  

16 Dec 2008