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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 4th, 2006, 08:55 am
ana
 
Join Date: Sep 25th, 2006
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Default Re: Oversized classes!

I have evening classes - 10th graders - and their age range goes from 21 to 39 all in the same class, with different proficiency levels.
I'm having a few difficulties in managing my classes because besides their different levels they also have different interests and expectations. I'm sure you will have some good ideas to share with me...
Thanks!
Have a great day!
ana
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 5th, 2006, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Oversized classes!

Quote:
Quote Ana Loureiro
I have evening classes - 10th graders - and their age range goes from 21 to 39 all in the same class, with different proficiency levels.
Do you mean classes with 21-39 students in each class? If not, those are the oldest 10th graders i have ever heard of.

Are there behavior issues that you need help with or just the fact that they have different interests and levels?
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 5th, 2006, 07:44 am
ana
 
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Greetings!
Portugal has an extremely high number of school drop-outs, and people with low or even none school qualificatins. So as to invert this our ministry decided to open evening courses which are almost like the day courses.
As I referred they are 10th graders. Students enroll and have the chance to conclude their secondary education by attending a 3 year course (10th until 12th grade). These kind courses started only last year and I didn't have any problem then because my students had a similar age range. But this year, the students who enrolled in the 10th grade belong to all kind of age and this is why is becomes tricky... Different age, different expectation, different proficiency etc.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 6th, 2006, 03:37 am
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Oh dear Ana,

Sounds like a tough group.
I find having mixed levels is more of a problem than mixed ages.
I'd suggest you spend a lesson or two determining each student's ability and then try to make classes within classes. In this way you can alter the activity to better suit each mini group.
For example, if you're presenting the past simple make sure you use easier verbs with the weaker groups, give them question prompts such as Where \ go \ last weekend?, give them picture prompts etc. With the stronger groups you can make them add a follow up question, ask them to include a list of less common irregular verbs, report back in the third person etc etc,

As for mixed ages, eventually they'll find some common ground: their home town, food, cinema, Portugal, today's weather, the teacher etc. it's not easy but I hope these ideas will help.
Good luck
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 6th, 2006, 06:52 am
SimplyESL
 
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

I agree with clivehawkins about having "classes within classes".... I would notrule out having those groups interact, as they need the chance to learn from each other.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 6th, 2006, 03:00 pm
ana
 
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Greetings everybody!
Thank you for your kind replies.
Actually I tried to assess their knowledge with simple wh-questions and simple vocabulary exercises (explaining words and their meaning, synonyms and antonyms, etc) but with 18 students in the classroom it's a bit difficult.
Besides I have students (4) who work night shift and miss classes every other week, and that makes it even more difficult because I sense there's no continuity.
So my major problem is how to manage classes (our first unit is about "Identity") what kind of materials to prepare and how to deal with so different people.
Have a great weekend!Enjoy!
ana
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 7th, 2006, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Hi Ana,

That job sounds very interesting and definitely a tough one at that! I hope that they won't act like they are in 10th grade. i guess that they took the course to try and do something better or move onto a better education? There is one of those schools across from our apartment but they don't have a native English teacher. It's more to do with the other basic subjects.

One thing is for sure - it will be a very interesting teaching experience!
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Unread Oct 7th, 2006, 09:37 pm
SimplyESL
 
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Do you provide lesson notes for the students when they miss a class? I have helped slower students improve by giving them extra homework. The problem is getting them to complete it!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 8th, 2006, 06:23 am
ana
 
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Greetings!
I provide them all material that I use, sometimes even with notes explaining contents but I never set any 'formal' homework, it would be a bit cruel once I have students who have families and work all day long, so what I do is ask them to listen to music and preferably to sing along and to watch film or serials (good thing, foreign TV programmes have always subtitles and are not doubled) and to repeat words / expressions.
Have a great Sunday!
ana
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 9th, 2006, 05:12 am
ana
 
Join Date: Sep 25th, 2006
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Default Re: Managing large classrooms

Good morning to you all!
I just had my 1Oth Graders and I was revising the verb tenses and my students had some trouble in understanding and, later on, using the Present Perfect tense. In Portuguese we don't have a adequate equivalent. Any good teaching suggestions?
Thank you.
Have a great week.
ana
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