Teaching ESL

Setting the mood.
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Author:  andiusaugustus [ Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Setting the mood.

I don't think too many people would argue with the theory that the best way to have an interesting, active and beneficial class is to take the time to plan out your lesson properly and teach with enthusiasm.

My question is related to teaching in a class where the students have a serious lack of motivation.

Sometimes when I walk into the classroom to begin my lesson, it is very obvious that the students are not in the mood to participate. Maybe they've had a hard day of classes and tests, maybe their teachers have punished them or maybe they're just in a bad mood. Whatever the case, I think it is my responsibility to try to bring them around and motivate them to learn.

Does anyone have any advice about how to "set the mood" at the begining of class?

Author:  patrick [ Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Of course their are exceptions, but for me these types of classes are the first classes of the day or the class right after lunch. These classes and others like them with low energy, need a motivation jolt!

Think about when we were back in school. We hated a class for 3 reasons: the teacher, the activity was boring, or you didn't understand what was going on.

I use easy warmup activities to build their confidence, keeping in mind the activities MUST be interesting.

Author:  jonmarks [ Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Would being frank about your frustration help? Maybe they don't realise that their torpor is a problem for you. I can remember as a kid being half asleep in lessons and basically just waiting for it to be over. I didn't occur to me that I was making life difficult for the teacher.

Author:  enjoyinglifeinseoul [ Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

My students know that if we have a good class then we will English games for the last half.

Once in a while I surprise them and we play a game to start class and this usually gets them excited. Maybe this could work for your unmotivated classes.

Once that a few of my classes love is when I slowly reveal a vocabulary item we have studied prviously. As I slowly reval the card the first student to raise their hand and guess the card or use the word in a sentence gets a point. The one with the most points wins and gets a stamp.

We do this a lot and they never seem to get tired of it.

Other energy games like slap are also to get the juices flowing a little bit.

Noramlly we only do this for 5-10 mins. then we begin the rest of the lesson.

Author:  Emstacks [ Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

enjoyinglifeinseoul wrote:
Other energy games like slap are also to get the juices flowing a little bit.


Author:  mesmark [ Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Slap: (a.k.a. karuta) vocabulary building/listening exercise

Students get into small groups of 6 or less if possible and make a circle. You'll need at least one set of cards for each group.

Lay out the cards in the middle of the groups. The teacher will then call out a card and the students will race to slap the card. The first person to slap the card gets the card and the game continues.

Teachers can call out just a vocabulary word, "a book" or they can incorporate the word into a sentence, "I went to the store and bought a book."

I generally try to trick them by saying something that isn't there and seeing who slaps a card anyway. People slapping a card by mistake must skip one round.

from this page www.mes-english.com/games/moregamestoplay.php

Author:  MojaMoja [ Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Try getting them out of their chairs. Or even a change of location. Once in a while, I will do a large TPR activity in the school gym or hall.

Even in the classroom, if they have need to be out of their seats, then sometimes that make a class more energetic, or at least more competitive.

Good competition has also helped that situation.

Or maybe the choice between extra homework, or play right.

Even still I sometimes still have the same trouble. If anyone has a fail safe idea let me know too!

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