Many teachers will find that a particular class might drag. For them, this could sometimes be a once-off thing and generally they get on well with a particular group of people. But everyone, now and then, will come across a group of students who appear bored by everything.
There could be a number of reasons for this. When teaching in a large company, it could be that the people there are only doing it to get out of work. Having a language trainer in is a great excuse for many people to skive off for a bit. Children might be taking classes because their parents are making them: this is usually the case. Therefore, one needs to keep the students interested and engaged at all times. Allowing them to become bored will cause their minds to wander. Not paying attention will mean that they will absorb very little information. Here are several pieces of advice which a teacher can use in order to keep a class’s attention.
Try These Ideas To Keep Your Class Interesting
Putting two people into a situation where they have to act out specific roles can be a very effective method of language learning. A lot of people quite enjoy this, too. There are many benefits. The student isn’t simply sitting there and passively taking notes: they are actively involved in the class and hat is going on. They need to think creatively, and this will stimulate the mind in a specific way. Using the language they already know, the students will be able to come up with new words and phrases. It is important to start the class off, perhaps, on a warmer exercise by giving them a set dialogue. After this, however, one is completely free to allow the students to follow their own dialogue and see where it ends up. See our collection of role play ideas here.
Games are definitely a great way to keep people engaged. Both children and adults enjoy them, but these are especially important for children. Turning class time into play time, and helping them to speak English is definitely a good idea. Teachers of younger learners will discover that the kids will pick up the language a lot quicker. Bingo is often a good idea for teaching beginners, particularly if one is teaching numbers. People can get very competitive, and it is important to make sure that even if arguments arise they must speak in English. This way, the class’s attention will be held.
Allow your students’ creativity to flow. Writing doesn’t have to be a boring exercise. Perhaps give them a topic and, in groups, let your students think up all kinds of situations for particular characters. This way they will be able to come up with their own unique story. Tell them to write out a plan, a draft and then write the story in full. Beforehand, however, have a brainstorming session to which everyone can contribute. Another great idea is to have a brainstorming session about two characters, and write half of the story up on the board with help from the students. Afterwards, pair them off or get them into groups and ask them to finish the rest of the story off. People will be interested in finding out what is going to happen next, and their attention will be fixed on the readers.
This little activity is usually a schoolyard game but it can be a very interesting exercise in terms of language. Students might find it amusing with the kind of words and sentences that one comes up with in the end. In order to play this game, seat the students in a circle if at all possible. Start from one end, and think up a sentence but do not tell the rest of the class. Whisper it to the first student in the line, and have them whisper it to the person next to them. Usually the end result is completely different from the one which they began with!
This is a very simple game which language teachers everywhere use in order to test vocabulary. It will keep the students on edge. Give them a list of vocabulary to memorize within a few minutes. This will give them something to focus on and, once time is up, have everybody stand up. At random, ask students to describe a particular word. If they get it right, they remain standing. If not, then they have to sit down. Other names for this also include “bowling” or “knock out”.
These are of course, only a few ideas. It won’t be difficult for the skilled teacher to come up with more interesting ways of keeping a class’s attention. Classes need to be interesting in order to allow the students to keep thinking. There is no use in them just sitting there, taking notes and learning passively. Language learning is an active and creative process. It needs to be taken advantage of as much as possible.
Allowing your students creative freedom in their learning is essential. Learning off set phrases is useful up until a point. After that, they need to be able to understand why a particular word is said in a particular way, and how they can manipulate it to suit the current situations.
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking one of those sharing buttons below. And if you are interested in more, you should follow our Facebook page where we share more about creative, non-boring ways to teach English.