Site Search:
 

Banner

Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Should I set boundaries?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
celinehoran



Joined: 05 Jan 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: Should I set boundaries? Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Can you help me? I have a very aggressive student in my class.

I usually don't teach classes, I specialise in teaching one-one-one, but
last autumn one of my old students recommended me to her friend
whose class wanted a new teacher, as they were fed-up with the one
they had and wanted to change.

So in comes me, totally unaware that one of the adult students has a
temper and feels she knows more English than me, an English native
speaker.

Last term she did calm down, I think mainly because the other members
of this small group had a word with her. But this term she's back to her
old tricks.

I'll set the scene, I explained to the class that we would be spending
90% of the time talking; building confidence in speaking and 10% on
writing/grammar crunching etc.

And seen as the English coming out of their mouths is far from
perfect, but their grammar knowledge is quite high, I felt this style of
learning, this term, would go down great.

Was a ever wrong!

I started by introducing the rules of block sentences building. I've
never taught this method before, so was a bit nervous and anticipated
that it may not be initially understood by the students. So suggested
we do a dry run so they could get the feel of how to build sentences.

I started by asking a stronger student to go through it with me.
After explaining how the second sentence is built from the first, I
asked her to give me a reply (as best she could). But she and the
class become very aggitated saying; "We want to reply however
we want to!" Feeling that the reply sentence I was looking for,
was too stilled. Suddenly a big debate erupts. I go over the
rules again - slowly. Trying my level best to keep it together.

I was totally shocked and had to speak very firmly and loudly
to get the women to calm down and listen to me.

We eventually completed the eight sentence blocks. But what
should have taken only 45 minutes took one hour,
forty five minutes!

My second class is next Tuesday (25th August). Do you think
before the lesson commences, I discuss how the students
should repond if they don't quite understand something?

ou'll be surprised to hear that at the end of the class, one member came
up to me and reminded me that her friend would be coming along next
week and how much she enjoyed the class! Go figure?


Well, I'm glad someone is enjoying the class because I'm certainly not!

But on one hand, I feel it's necessary to set boundaries, but on the other
hand, how will that look in front of a potential new student joining the
group?


I'm so surprised that I feel so pushed to have to set boundaries. These
women are hardly kids. They all have big kids or grand kids of their own.

Shouldn't they know better?

I look forward to hearing your replies.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3010
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Celine. It would perhaps be easier to give advice if the details were clearer - what exactly are these 'rules of block sentences building', and what kind of examples were you expecting them to use and/or produce? That is, did this student have a linguistic or sociolinguistic reason to object to the activity? I hate to say it, but the implications are there in the fact that you say you had never taught with the method before, and the replies on offer considered stilted or too constricting or whatever.

I guess that even if the language on offer is kosher, students may want greater variety of freedom of activities, flow and general interaction and class structure, and if it's a private class (which from the sounds of it is), you shouldn't have too much trouble only half-preparing a larger variety of possible activities and conversational seeds, meeting them just halfway, and letting them run (or not) with what takes their fancy most on any particular day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
celinehoran



Joined: 05 Jan 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, thanks for the feedback.

Your comments have given me
a few ideas.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
seamouse



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Apopka, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What environment are you teaching in? non-profit, general purposes, IEP, EAP, etc?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
celinehoran



Joined: 05 Jan 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a private tutor.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad
SIT

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group