Classroom Management: A Case Study
Professor Fan Yi
15.0 Introduction With the aid of other approaches, communicative approaches have been widely employed in the English language teaching in Singapore schools. Communicative approaches are established on such an psycholinguistic assumption that effective language teaching and efficient language learning only occur in a positive class climate, which involves three essentials ---easy atmosphere, motivating environment and active participation (Widdowson, 1978; Littlewood, 1984). An easy class atmosphere makes pupils feel emotionally easy with learning tasks and the teacher. A tense atmosphere makes pupils nervous and thus hinders them from participating in communicative activities. Setting up a motivating environment requires the teacher to supply pupils with comprehensible, relevant and interesting input and large varieties of class activities, such as role-play, pair work, group work and class discussion so that the pupils are entirely involved and immersed in the given learning activities (Krashen,1981). Communicative approaches attach great
importance to pupils’ active participation in classroom activities, with a firm belief that without pupils’ active participation teaching work will certainly fail, no matter how well it has been planned. In fact, both easy class atmosphere and motivating environment serve this purpose. Unlike traditional teaching approaches, which claim that effective instructions are achieved in good class order and discipline (Fantana, 1985), communicative approaches try to involve pupils into learning activities so that they produce less discipline problems. The teacher encourages pupils to speak up, play their parts, raise questions, even argue with their peers or the teacher, so long as
面向 21 世纪外语教学论
their topic sticks to the lesson. For communicative approaches, good class order and control are not the precondition of effective instruction, but the result of effective classroom management. Thus an English language class may look less disciplined than classes of other subjects. However, if a teacher of the English language resorts frequently to strict discipline, he may achieve a good order and control over the class, but at the same time he may as well destroy the easy atmosphere and the motivating environment which effective English learning vitally needs. In this case, he gets his instrument at the price of losing his aim. As a matter of fact, the contradiction between class discipline and class participation sets a higher demand for the teacher’s classroom management. Having abandoned external forces, such as threat of punishment and severe criticism in public, the teacher is supposed to build up a positive class climate out of pupils’ self-consciousness and participation. This chapter makes a case study of a double-period lesson of reading comprehension that the writer personally observed in Tiong Bahru Secondary School, Singapore, during his teaching practice. By recording some typical management problems in an English language class and by evaluating the strategies dealing with them, the chapter is intended to give supportive evidence to the thesis that the effective classroom management for an English language class is to create a positive class climate for learning.
15.1 Scenario 15.2.1 Background information Teacher: Miss Jeja, a qualified and experienced teacher. Class: a secondary 4 class, express, of 24 students. School: a government school of relatively low academic level, located in an HDB estate. Lesson: a double-period lesson of reading comprehension from 10.40—11.50 a.m., immediately after recess. Topic: “Eating in Singapore”, an essay of approximately 950 words.
第 15 章 Classroom Management: A Case Study
15.2.2 A profile of the classroom management When the bell rang, the teacher came into the classroom only to find a...