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There will be problems that the educator will need to address to avoid exacerbating them further or creating them in the first place.
It is imperative that we build a safe, comfortable environment and a foundation of trust so that each student is encouraged to learn. This starts by building a rapport from the first class. Some ways we will accomplish this is by getting to know the students by playing a game that allows the students to tell us a little about themselves such as the Keep Talking game or the pass the ball game. It is also important that we learn why they have chosen to learn English in the first place and what skill level they possess in the subject so we may better assess what areas need work and what motivates them the most. This can be established with a needs analysis or questionnaire.
A common problem we may face is getting students motivated to learn in the morning right off the bat. It may be helpful to warm them up with activities that work in congruence with the study phase. Although, if implemented correctly, the Engage phase will have this effect.
When faced with a larger group of students, it can be quite challenging to make sure that each student is getting an equal amount of attention. Using choral repetition and/or worksheets will ensure that every student is getting a chance at practicing the targeted goal of the lesson. We must also be extra careful to speak clearly and write legibly as these conscious actions will also ensure comprehension with the students. Appointing group leaders will help to take some of the stress of classroom management off of the teacher and also speed up the time between activities and, used properly, a diverse classroom dynamic can create humorous and even more involved classes. Lastly, maximizing pair or group work will also increase student involvement.
All listening materials must always be thoroughly checked, as the quality and volume of the material will play a direct part in the student's ability to fully glean the benefits of the lesson. Some students shall finish faster than others and shall become bored if left unstimulated and, so, by always bringing excess materials that pertain to the lesson, such word searches/puzzles. An alternative is to give the more advanced students harder worksheets, but always be prepared. The rule of thumb for deciding when to continue on with lesson, however, is to wait till the majority of the class has finished the exercise. Something you can do to ensure that all students get the full benefit of the exercise is to go back over the material with the entire class.
One of the more difficult and prevalent challenges in the classroom, as touched on above, is the gap between students' skill levels in the class. Ignoring this challenge, or, the "do nothing" method, is negligible and shouldn't be considered, in my opinion, as this ideology shows a lack of consideration for the students you have chosen to teach. However, if we balance a few different methods of tackling this issue, the results have a higher potential of being positive.
One idea is separating the more advanced students from those that are struggling and give them different materials that suit their skill level. While this may be effective some of the time, it will increase the gap in skill levels exponentially. Hence, I feel that balancing this method with the alternative of pairing the stronger students with the weaker ones to allow the chance for them to learn and grow together, while keeping an eye on each group to ensure that the learning isn't one-sided, and a tertiary method, which suggests that we give the stronger students more difficult materials that challenge them but still focuses on the same area of the English language as the weaker students' materials do. This should balance each students' need to be challenged and prevent the feeling of being a burden upon their peers, or vice versa. This shall require more work on the teacher's part, but, i feel, shall be worth it as we shall be more likely to help each student achieve their desired goal for learning the English language.
As one might expect, students may feel reluctant to try and use English, especially if they feel that their peers are more competent at it. However, if we use plenty of controlled practice, we can alleviate this feeling. Pairing the student up, as suggested above, can also give them the feeling of a less stressful environment when practicing with their peers and they may glean more through this method. Role-playing is another method which some feel more comfortable performing as they are acting as a separate persona from their own. The teacher may try having the students use a tape recorder to practice the desired English they wish to use outside of the classroom and then correct any errors. This allows them to speak in a less inhibited manner and, as long as the errors are handled with tact, itigates some of the fear of failure.
The last challenge most commonly faced by educators, is the use of the students' native language. A few ways to mitigate its' use, is to ensure that the activities that you use are at the appropriate skill level for the class and that each explanation is as clear as possible to alleviate any need the student may feel to use their native tongue. Always encourage them to use English, even when grammatically flawed, and constantly remind the students to use English, while making sure that all speaking activities are done in English. Do not respond to questions in their native tongue as this discourages them from trying to express themselves in English.
There will be more challenges that one may face. However, as long as the educator is ready and willing to work with the pupil, there is no challenge too great to keep the student's or teacher's goals from being attainable.