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Student issue in North American ESL programs

 
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1317
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Student issue in North American ESL programs Reply with quote

Oh, boy. I finally got "one of those" students who makes each class a pain. This student constantly tries to talk over other students, won't pay attention to material but tries to jump ahead, comes to class early and waits for me at the coffee stand, and tries to bring her family to each class (very interdependent Pakistanti family). She came late to the program and next week is the final week.

Suggestions on helping her learn better classroom skills for the next poor soul of a teacher? I have headed her off at each instance of improper behaviour but to no avail. FYI this is a newcomer program with no actual rules of student conduct. It's just a tiny nonprofit.


Last edited by santi84 on Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11519
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've had this student (long ago). It's not just a culture clash; she's a demanding prima donna in her own home/culture as well.
They just tolerate her better.

I think one thing to do is to have a chat with her (sigh, I know). Pointing out that the class and the teacher have to be fair and equal with everyone. She can't bring her family because all the students can't. She can't talk all the time because all the students can't. You can't give her extra time outside of class because you can't do that for all of them. If she's a parent, you can take that angle.

It might work for a little while, but you say the end of the course is approaching, so maybe worth a try.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11437
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It likely has nothing to do with culture. She apparently wants attention (even though it's the wrong kind). I suspect she's very insecure in her language abilities and is compensating by trying to come across as uber-confident, especially since she joined late.

I find that giving attention-seekers a task (e.g., collecting papers, cleaning the board, setting up the projector, etc.) works very well. In fact, all the students can be given different classroom tasks for duration of the course.

In your situation, it's clear she wants to please you, which works in your favor. Instead of constantly diverting her behavior, have a personal talk with her about her disruptions as well as her progress in the class, and what both you and she can do to make the class run smoothly for her and the other students for the remainder of the program. Be sure to point out her positives, such as being on time to class and being enthusiastic about learning English.

Additionally, there shouldn't be any reason why you can't have basic rules for your classroom. Depending on the ages and levels of the learners, for your next group of students, consider facilitating a group activity in which they make the class rules. Rules are more effective and enforceable when they come from the students.

Let us know how it goes.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1317
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad choice of title, I changed it. I mean to say classroom culture - she is a former child bride who has never been beyond elementary in her home country let alone here. I think she may not even understand her behavior is considered inappropriate.

My lesson next week is about "being Canadian" (normally, I don't teach explicit culture but that is just the curriculum) so thanks, I will try and make a class discussion about cultural expectations in the class and reinforce rules/expectations.

Man it is a pain! Next class is Tuesday.
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