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Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:00 am
I teach large English adult conversation classes. Because of the size, I've created groups of 4-6 students: beginners, intermediates and advanced together in their individual groups. Since these are conversation classes, there is a lot of talking and a lot of laughter and this is fantastic.
In one of my groups I have a very nice, friendly but boisterous student. She speaks and laughs loudly and her actions are very disruptive for the neighbouring groupsâ€”she is very much appreciated in her own group. After complaints from others, I have asked her to tone it down and she tries very hard (you can tell the boisterousness is involuntary on her part).
Any suggestions out there on how to handle this tactfully? We all love her and would not like to lose her because she makes an invaluable contribution to the class, but it makes it hard for those in neighbouring groups to hear themselves talk.
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:25 am
Is there any chance of moving her group a little further away from the others?
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:01 pm
Moving her group further away is a possibility; the room is big enough.
I do worry (maybe too much) that they may feel targeted. But on the other hand, each group is completely independent except for some things we do as a class (e.g., a game for the entire class, or reviewing some grammatical point such as difficulties encountered by French-speaking students (say versus tell, phrasal verbs, etc.).
I had already considered this and if no other option presents itself, I'll probably go with this one.
Thanks for reminding me of it.
Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:18 pm
If you have a large room, you can move everyone a bit too.
Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:03 am
I had a student like this a few years back. You definitely don't want to discourage the student. In fact, it would be nice if more students were as enthusiastic about learning English!
I would try to keep the atmosphere as positive as possible. Mix up the groups each class, so everyone gets to know her. If everyone in the class has a chance to be in her group, then they might not be as upset when she is making noise in other groups.
Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:49 pm
I wonder if she has an internal hearing problem. I have the opposite and my voice is so low that people can't hear it. For talking to a class I feel that I am yelling so my internal hearing is not on. I wonder if she doesn't hear her internal voice and so her external voice is really loud.
Not that you can probably bring this up with her. It is probably not in a teacher's realm of things to comment on but you could tape the group and play it back without comment on her voice and she might recognize that she stands out. You could make up a reason to tape the group - how much time each person talks, picking out certain sentence structures most often used and so on. Video might even be better because it will capture her body language as well.
Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:03 pm
yep, I think the enthusiasm is great and moving the groups further away is a plan. I also think that mixing up the groups from time to time, even though they are of different levels will help in that everyone will get to know this student better. Generally i find classes work better when everyone feels part of the team.