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discipline in the adult ESL classroom

 
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catht



Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 10:04 pm    Post subject: discipline in the adult ESL classroom Reply with quote

I'm a volunteer teacher leading a small group of adult ESL students in a free weekly walk-in class.

One man is quite disruptive. He's the most advanced student in the class and I believe he fancies himself to be a bit of a teacher, himself. Meaning that I am often looking at the back of his head as he shows off his knowledge. When I ask him to be quiet and let others (including me!) talk, he'll comply for about half a minute and then be back at it.

Next class I am contemplating making him sit in a new seat so I can position myself between him and the other students (we all sit around a large table). This way, if he does feel compelled to talk nonstop and interrupt the others, he'll have to get around me to do it.

My problem is that this is a group of mainly men, all twice my age. I'm not an experienced teacher and certainly don't have experience disciplining grown adult men, most of whom come from cultures where I'm probably not supposed to. Are there any tricks to this?

~~Cathleen
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SueSkinner



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He may be an eager beaver or a show-off. He may well be exceptionally well informed and anxious to show it - or just naturally be wordy - you don't say weather he knows about what you're talking about (perhaps instead of a different deak - a different room?) Just slow him down with difficult questions and let the rest of the room talk him down. Or - thank him and sit him down while talking about what you're going to do next?
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sita



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 261
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:17 am    Post subject: annoying behaviour Reply with quote

I think Sue's advice is good.
However, if he still continues to disrupt your class I would speak to him alone and tell him firmly and politely that you are the teacher and he should let you get on with your job.

Siān Cool
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catht



Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies Sue and Sita.

It looks like this problem might be "solved" for me. Long story, but he will no longer be in the class.

On the one hand, it will be nice to not have to deal with him. On the other hand, I don't have the opportunity to try to fix the problem myself.

Oh well - I have enough problems with this class so overall it's a good thing! Smile

~~Cathleen
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Glenski



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cathleen,

In the future, you have to take charge and not worry about your lack of experience. Don't even worry about the cultural or age differences. If you are teaching ESL, you are in your native country, and students should respect that, regardless of where they are from. Make this clear from the start.

I've had my share of motormouths/knowitalls here in Japan. (I call their type "class killers".) Sometimes they are older than me; sometimes not. The best way to handle situations like that, in my opinion, is to be firm and cut right into their one-sided conversation. Be professional, be polite, but be the boss.

"Excuse me, Jose, but I think it's time we move on..."
"Pardon me, Takashi, but Raoul looks like he wants to say something..."
"Well, Mr. Kim, that's very nice of you to help out, but since I'm getting paid to do the teaching, let's see if everyone understood what you said..."

If those types of lines don't get a talkative student to shut up, then you will have to pull him aside and discuss it with him. I've had that experience, and it failed to work with one guy, who dominated the class's time with irrelevant chatter about himself, despite direct questions on other topics from his classmates. I (and a couple of other teachers) simply cut him off, telling him he was rude not to answer, or that he was rude to go off-topic. Then, we directed the same question or topic to him directly, and if he was unwilling to comply, we just pressed on to the next topic or activity as if nothing had happened. Classmates know when the teacher is irritated, and they will remain on your side if you don't shout or get angry. Shouting down is another thing, as long as you are professional.

Glad to hear that guy is gone. Best of luck in the future.
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