Pupils, teacher and school
This unit and the next will help you establish and maintain a productive and orderly learning environment, i.e. a classroom that is safe, orderly and focussed on learning. Such an environment will enable your pupils to feel safe and to learn as much as possible.
Throughout the world, the majority of English language learning takes place outside the classroom. Learners are exposed to English in the course of their everyday life: they interact with other English speakers, listen to the radio and TV, read newspapers, write letters, socialize, etc., in a word, they do things with English.
However, formal classroom learning may suit better some kinds of learners. These prefer that the responsibility of learning be taken away from them.
In the classroom, frequency, pace and order of exposure to English is determined by a syllabus and/or a coursebook, and the teacher determines the learning activities. The control by the teacher of the organization of the classroom provides support to the learners lacking in motivation or confidence. Nevertheless, the same control may be a source of frustration to other learners, who know both what and how they want to learn.
As an English teacher, you must bear in mind that you are responsible for the learning of all pupils within the classroom. You must also train them in good strategies to enable them to continue learning outside the classroom. You must develop in them pupils habits of independence and autonomy, preparing them to organise their own learning and to exploit other sources of language outside the classroom.
Several activities and tasks occur at the same time. When you teach a classroom, you need to maintain order, attract and keep your pupils' attention, and keep them involved in a learning activity (individual, whole class, small groups, pairs).
You may also have to deal with discipline problems. The events occur rapidly. Things happen quickly and you need to make many of the decisions right now. This need to make quick decisions can be almost overwhelming, particularly for beginning teachers.Events often take unexpected turns. You must always plan your classroom activity, and try to anticipate as much as you can of what will happen. And yet it is impossible to plan for all of your pupils' responses. Pupils and classroom activity are often unpredictable, but experienced teachers get used to expecting the unexpected.
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