psychotic behaviour

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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:02 pm
Location: Montreal Canada

psychotic behaviour

Post by voctor » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:20 pm

To all Experienced Teachers and otherwise experts......

I have just taken over a class of 15 students, all of whom are Chinese. Some of them have been born in Montreal (Canada), but most of them are from Hong Kong or mainland China. They range in age from 8 to 17.

It is a three hour class. Their English ranges from Beginner III to Intermediate II or III, ie they can speak, express themselves in simple present, past and future. They need some help with articles, third person pl, and probably some more advanced grammar.

The problem is they are NOISY AS HELL! I have never taught kids before. But it's UNBELIEVABLE! Scrunching up paper and whipping it around the classroom. Talking in anything but English, reading comics, complaining. It's like they all have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). I can teach them, but baby-sitting is another story.

Any suggestions>>> I'll take anything at this point.

voctor. :roll:

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Post by dduck » Mon Jul 21, 2003 9:42 pm

Can't help but smile when I read your message :)

In some ways you are very lucky - your class has a lot of energy. All you have to do is to find ways to channel it into something productive.

I've never been faced with a situation such as yours, so I have no real solution, but I would suggest that over the next few weeks you don't consider it a 3 hour class but instead a series of mini-classes. Increase the number of activities you use and shorten the time for each, plus like looking after children use the first exercises to burn up some of their nervous energy. Later when they're less excited you'll be able direct them more easily.

Why not start the class with a sing-song?


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Post by serendipity » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:59 pm

..or with a couple of meditative minutes?

Get everybody to sit at their desks, head on their arms, eyes closed.

Have them synchronize their breathing, and just stay like that, for two minutes or so, then have them lift their heads, look you in the eye, and say "Good morning, Mr. Voctor".

Try to have a calming effect, no matter what you do. Take your time, don't talk unless they're ready to listen. Make sure that the rule "when someone talks, the others listen" is enforced - if necessary then by using a talking stick, which you pass on to those who have the floor. Insist on the complaints being filed in English. Use a piggy-bank where everybody who uses things thoughtlessly or who breaks the rules has to pay a nominal fee, and they'll help you enforce rules among their classmates.

Remember: you can't teach a language to somebody who's not willing to learn - first of all, they'll have to be receptive, and then articles, third person singular and all the rest will follow.

Good luck! It's an awful situation you're in!

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