Suha and many others wrote in with some very popular questions, so I figured you might find the answers useful too,
How to cope with multi-level classes ?
A few options…
- If you have no control, e.g. in a government school, then you have to do co-operative style teaching where the stronger kids teach the younger kids. We do that in Genki English by using lots of group games in the curriculum. If you look at most of the recommend games for each lesson they are designed to do this and it can work quite well e.g. the stopwatch game in “What’s your name?” You’ll see the kids teaching each other during the pauses! I also try to add in extra things to the games so that it’s not just English ability that determines the winner (e.g. chance with dice, physical ability, reasoning etc.) that way all the kids stay motivated to learn as they have a chance to win. Have a try of some of the lessons and see how you go – or if you pop along to one of my workshops you’ll get to experience it yourself! 🙂
- For a more traditional classroom but where you have control, the best way is to split up the classes according to ability.
- Or if you have a modern classroom with technology then simply let the kids study the different lesson’s software on their own machines at their own pace. There’s no problem with this, and it’s usually much more beneficial than artificially trying to keep everyone at one pace.
But if you do run your own school then definitely split the class according to ability, it will make all the difference and is the fairest option to everyone.
Ninja Tip: If you get the chance, pop along to a local Martial Arts class. They often have excellent systems set up where the more advanced students become more advanced by tutoring the newer students. You can get lots of tips and ideas from them.
Ninja Tip 2: It’s always best to split kids according to ability, but for English lessons try not to have an age difference of more than 2 years between the youngest and oldest in a class. (The gap in development is too high) If you need to, start another class. If you don’t have enough kids for another class, tell the parents, they’ll then do your job for you and get you the extra kids to start a new class for them!
What’s the best way to deal with weak students in class ?
Find out why they are “weak” (personally I don’t ever think in terms of “weak” students, we just haven’t found the best way to reach them yet!)
In the majority of cases it is either psychological/confidence (e.g. they haven’t understood the Genki English rules or have been taught that English is “difficult”) or that they simply don’t understand the lesson, either the English or what they are expected to do.
So go back and try and find out where the understanding stops, then rebuild from there.
That should bring everyone up to speed.
Plus of course use “Multiple Intelligences” in every lesson you do i.e. bright pictures for visual learners, audio and music for auditory learners, gestures for kinesthetic learners. The more different ways of introducing the material you have, the more chance of hitting everyone’s way of learning.
How to deal with grammar in a way that doesn’t make it difficult for students and save the time as well ?
Just teach the Genki English curriculum the kids naturally learn the grammar without knowing, then you can very simply teach the terminology when it comes to be time for the tests!
Does that help?