ITTT Review Unit 5: Managing Classes

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ITTT Online Course Review Unit 5: Managing Classes

Unit 5 takes a closer look at the different aspects of classroom management inside the ESL classroom. Topics in unit 5 of the ITTT online TEFL course include the different ways you can arrange your classroom, using your voice and gestures to convey meaning and building rapport with your students. Also covered is the tricky subject of classroom discipline and how to keep a well-ordered and motivated class of English students.

What will you learn on Unit 5 of the ITTT online TEFL Course?

Classroom management is very important to you as an English teacher. In general, you’ll pick up better ways of managing and keeping good control of your class throughout your TEFL career. In unit 5 of the ITTT course, you’ll learn the basic concepts of what to look out for in the ESL classroom. You’ll also discover things to consider in your classroom which will help you to avoid bigger problems later.

What is good classroom management in ELT?

This is the skills of organising your students and managing your classroom space. Where you stand, how you move around and how you interact with your students all make a big difference in how your students behave and interact with each other and you. Having a relaxed manner, being caring, but maintaining good discipline will increase student enjoyment of your lessons and how much language they learn. Keeping good classroom management will also be important for your own happiness on the job. The basics of how to keep good classroom management is the topic of unit 5 on the ITTT online TEFL course.

How can eye contact help the TEFL teacher?

Good eye contact with your students will help develop rapport and trust between teacher and students. If you use eye contact well in your ESL classes, then it can help you with the following:

  • Check participation - who is listening and who isn’t

  • You can hold the attention of students

  • Help to indicate who is to speak next

  • Helps the teacher to know that students are understanding the class

  • Shows students that they are involved in the lesson

  • Signals to students when they are to start, stop or when you want to move on

Eye contact can be avoided for non-teacher centred stages of the lesson.

How can using gestures and using your voice improve the management of your classes?

As unit 5 of the ITTT course progresses, we move on to voice and gestures. Using gestures and using your voice can make your TEFL classes so much better and more organised. With clear gestures, you can convey clearer meaning to students. You can also add visual interest, which helps your students to stay switched on. It also reduces the need for verbal explanation, so your students can focus on the language in hand.

Using your voice as an English teacher

This online TEFL course now helps you to think about how to improve classes by using your voice and the language you use. You can use different types of voice depending on the ages of students you are teaching, from kindergarten all the way to teaching adults. Projecting your voice is important so you can be heard, an important thing if you are teaching large classes! I’ve taught large classes in China with over 70 students in the classroom!

You will also need to think about the language you use and will need to simplify your language accordingly to suit the level of your students. Keep the language you use simple.

Getting to know student names

Little things like remembering student names will help the smooth running of your classes. If you have a chatty student at the back, by calling their name, you can immediately grab their attention from where you’re standing. Without it, you’ll be required to walk all the way to the back to ask them to pay attention, and then you’ve lost the front of the class. It will also help you with close rapport and make the student know you’re interested in them.

Arranging seating and changing the group

This part of the ITTT unit is super important. There are many ways that you can arrange seating to switch the dynamic or to run with activities you’ve planned. You might want to have a pair-work activity or to put students into three’s. Perhaps your lesson plan requires two large groups, etc, and the unit helps you understand what is possible and what to consider.

Dealing with problem behaviour

Other parts of this unit help you to think about teacher instructions and how to address problem behaviour, something which you will encounter during your teaching career, especially with children and teens. Stopping problem behaviour quickly will stop it snowballing over the class and the length of the course.

It will be important for you to establish a good rapport and to build trust. Once you’ve gotten this, your lessons will run smoothly and your students will cherish the time they spend with you in class and learning English. You can learn more about classroom discipline and management with young children here.

Stuart Allen