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Do you have this problem? If so what do you do? 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 191
Location: South Korea
Post Do you have this problem? If so what do you do?
I was wondering if other teachers have the problem I have, which is drastically differences in attendance from day to day?

One day one student shows up the next 8. It's hard to plan extra activites beyond the books because those that work well with 8 students don't really work so well with one or two and those that are good with a few students don't always work well with larger groups. Not that 8 is large.

In addition you tend to go through the material much quicker if there are less students.

I know I could plan for both just in case, but I'm busy enough with out having to make additional lesson plans that may or may not be needed. As well as the copies. I hate wasting paper and I don't want to leave the class to make copies once we have started.

A summary of my situation. I used to work in Seoul at an academy. The parents paid big bucks so the students were almost always there. Easy to plan and prepare.

Now I work at an elementary school. In the mornings I have classes with a partner. Those are fine as for as attendence goes. However in the afternoon I teach extra classes on my own.

Part of the problem is that I work in a small fishing town and most of the parents are working class with little time to help the kids or encourage them to go to the after school class.

The after school classes are free so it's not an issue of money all they need to do is buy the book.

Any ideas fro dealing with the class as well as your thoughts on insuring teachers and parents to encourage their students to come to class would be appreciated.

Also getting the students more interested. I try to make it fun and I usaully ahve lots of enrgy and am very positive and excited about what we are learning.

Dare to dream. Dance through life!

Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:10 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
Posts: 128
Location: Italy
As I understand it, the attendance problem is with the free classes. I had the exact same problem with free classes I taught a few months ago. It was really annoying - the lessons would have been much better and easier to teach with reasonably regular attendance, but because they were free, the students seemed not to particularly value them, and only showed up if/when it suited them. They also behaved quite badly in the lessons - and this was adult students!

I wish I could suggest a solution, but nothing we tried worked. What I and my teaching partner did, I'm afraid, is decline to teach the class again this academic year.


Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:42 am
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Shanghai
Piggy Back Games
might be able to help

A piggy back game is a game that has nothing initially to do with teaching English, or even teaching at all. However, you slightly change the rules, to add in your topic or target.

Games like Jenga, Uno, stacking chairs, horse races, alligator teeth, barrel of monkeys, poke the pirate, checkers, pictionary, match, or race track games, can all be modified slightly to work for any number of students that show up.

e.g. Jenga is fun with 1 and with 9. use it to review adjectives - before they can take a block from the bottom and put it on top, they must give an adj to a selected noun card. If they are wrong or time out etc, then there is an earthquake (your fist on the bottom side of the table)

If you have a few of these games available in your classroom, then you can do your prep on target only, substitute in the game of choice on the day depending on your numbers, and your golden.

These games sneak in the learning as well. Sometimes kids won't even realize they are studying.

As far as getting more regular attendance - sometimes the best cure is to make sure your students are loving your product. If they have a lot of fun in class, they pressure the parents to get them there on time.

Hope this helps

Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:28 pm

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:55 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Korea
Post attendance
I have also had similar experiences. In my case all i started doing was designing lessons that kept group related activities to an absolute minimum.

Basically.. I would design my lessons as if I were teaching one on one. I would add a few interactive dialogs as well(because I was always sure to have at least 2 or 3 students show up to do the role plays).

The downfall to this method was that even on days where alot of students showed up and we could've had some great group activities, I didn't have any prepared.

So...... I started preparing some group activities that could be easily adapted to any topic or vocabulary set. Then I would pull them out on the rare occasions when I had enough students.

In any case, its a tough situation to plan for. Best of luck.


Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:18 pm
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