Children from 6 to 10 can cause a wide variety of problems in classes if the teacher is inexperienced or a beginner with this group of pupils. The purpose of this article is to provide some advice for teachers on how to deal with this group of learners.
Previously to the teaching
- Be aware of who your pupils are.
It is very useful to learn a bit about them and know whether they are complete beginners in the English language or they learnt a little. If they are bilinguals, then they will have the function of your helpers in class. Your main purpose in class will be to maintain the initial motivation children have when they are learning a foreign language. Then, by nourishing their curiosity and interest you will develop a wish to learn the language, pupils will learn very fast even if your aim is the slowly learning.
Children normally speak in theirmother tongue to you because they do not associate you as being English, but do not worry, just be patient and do not translate anything into their language. Pupils need to assimilate the language before feeling ready and self-confident to produce it.
Be patient, teachers always have to repeat things so many times. In this case, children will adapt their way of receiving instructions and they will obey you, just try to be natural.
There are some practical instructions that will help you in teaching your class. For example:
-Ensure how many children there are in your class.
-Ask about the rules in the classroom. For instance, whether you can move furniture around the room or not.
-Learn about your school’s protocol in terms of timetables or other important issues.
-The permission to create an English corner in the classroom to place children’s works on the walls.
-The material you are allowed to use, such as photocopies, colours, computer, CD player…
How to achieve a successful teaching?
Here you are 10 essential tips:
- Plan what you are going to display step by step for children to be organized in the class, and to have clear who is giving concrete instructions.
- The beginning of the academic course has to be consistent in your actions and behaviour: pupils need to feel this consistence and self-confidence from the teacher, and they will answer properly to the daily routines they may have.
- Try to learn students’ names as soon as possible to achieve a proximity to them.
- Move from your seat and walk around the class: children will notice a perception of control.
- The instructions have to be clear: for starting and stopping activities, or when you want children to be quiet. As soon as you get silence in the classroom, you will be able to explain the activity clearly.
- Under no circumstances undervalue pupils’ aptitudes. They may feel worse if you do this, but try to stimulate their confidence and congratulate their progresses in the English language.
- Children have to take “some English” away of the classroom: if they finish the class having learnt how to say something about themselves in the English language, they will feel motivated and you will create a sense of achievement in them.
- Avoid activities which have extra activation such as a noisy game, it is difficult to calm them afterwards. In addition, try to evade activities of cutting and pasting because you will create a sensation of a disorganized class.
- Make positive reinforcement about pupils’ effort and work.
- Have other activities organized just in case you need to cover some extra class time.