About ECML and LACS

Written by: Nedezhda Doichinova, BETA member

On December 10-11, 2009 I attended a Workshop in Graz, Austria, organized by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) within the activities of a four-year Project called “Language Associations and Collaborative Support”.
The ECML was established in 1993 by the Council of Europe and currently runs a four-year programme under the motto “Empowering Language Professionals” including four thematic strands:
A: Linguistic and Social Diversity;
B: Multicultural Society and Intercultural Competence;
C: Professional Development for Language Educators;
D: Innovations and New Technologies.
4500 participants, 22 projects, 190 events – these figures illustrate to some extent the scope of work carried out by the ECML so far. In brief, the ECML programme objectives (2008-2011) focus on:

  • promoting professional competence;
  • professional networking;
  • impact on reform processes;
  • improving the quality of language education in Europe.

These highly ambitious goals are to be achieved through Projects developed in the following thematic areas:

“Language Associations and Collaborative Support” (LACS) is a Project belonging to the fourth thematic area: “Plurilingual Education” and its aims are to add value to the work of the ECML and of the individual language teacher associations through disseminating ECML Projects and publications as well as collaboratively exploring effective dissemination practices.
The purpose is not only to support language professionals across Europe through more effective dissemination of new language pedagogies, but also to influence language policies and curricular models appropriate to 21st century.
In order to do so the Project maps the way in which a wide variety of language associations are organized (nationally, regionally and locally) and how they support their own networks of members.
The Workshop held on December 10-11, 2009 explored all these issues in a practical way by grouping the participants first on geographical, then on language, and lastly on “I haven’t met you yet” basis. After that each group had to do different activities according to the Workshop Programme. Finally we all gathered together in the plenary room and presented the result of our work to all the 30 participants from 28 countries.
It is worth mentioning that it was the first ECML event carried out in three different languages: English, German and French, simultaneous translation provided for the joint activities.
A Bulgarian voice was heard at the event as well as that of BETA – I asked for and was given the chance to present BETA – an additional slot was found for that within the Workshop Programme thanks to Mr Terry Lamb, the Project Coordinator. The BETA Power-Point-based presentation is to be uploaded on the Project’s site and the participants were asked to send similar ones for their associations to the LACS management team for further dissemination. So, on BETA’s behalf I think I can claim we set a good example.
Many were the benefits, both on ECML and personal levels that I can share with you. I hope your professional interest has been aroused so you are welcome to the next BETA annual conference where you can learn much more about the ECML and the LACS Project, and can read hard copy materials brought from the ECML Resource Center in Graz.

The 17th annual convention of TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece – Thessaloniki 2009

Experienced firsthand by Zarina Markova
The ever changing world of schooling … the sky is the limit!!!

I always like to go to conferences. For me they are both useful and enjoyable. Apart from the opportunity to keep up-to-date with the modern ELT world, I love gathering with colleagues, meeting new people, making friends. I find the sense of togetherness created at such events rather inspiring.
I always like going to Greece. It attracts me with its beauty and history but what always makes me return there is the charm of the Greeks, their ability to show how welcome you are and how glad they are to have you as their guest.
What results from the blend of the conference appeal and the fascination with Greece? A memorable experience that is worth sharing.
The 17th annual convention of TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece was held in Thessaloniki on 30th October – 1st November 2009. The event was superbly organized – there were participants from 10 countries, varied and slick presentations and behind it all a highly efficient team, the TESOL Northern Greece board, who made sure that everything ran smoothly.
The theme of the conference ‘The ever changing world of schooling … the sky is the limit!!!’ was chosen so as to focus on the constantly evolving and developing nature of teaching. The event brought together internationally well-known practitioners in ELT: Gary Anderson, Penny Ur, Philip Kerr;  experienced teachers of English as a foreign language: Caterina Skiniotou, David Gibson, Julia Tanner-Bogia, Melania Paduraru, Simona Mazilu and young professionals: Connie Theodoropoulos, Corina Custurea, Milena Tanasijevich. The participants took part in 6 plenary sessions and thirty concurrent talks and workshops on variety of topics:  how to teach grammar without a grammar book; the potential of good stories, films, poems and songs; working towards a critical mind; the 21st-century English Teacher; learner-centredness, etc.
On Sunday afternoon, there was a panel plenary on the SEETA Community. The participants were taken on a tour of the moodle platform. The discussion focused on the value of open forums for teachers to grow and develop, as well as to express their views on their teaching situations. And last but not least – to have a good time!
The social programme included Taverna Evening with plenty of music and dancing (no breaking of plates, though!), a tour of the old part of Thessaloniki and – the most surprising and memorable of all – The Mad Teacher’s Corner! It took place in the book exhibition area during the breaks. Mad teachers revealed their mad talents as follows: they sang songs, danced, mimed, played musical instruments, told jokes and anecdotes, satyrised or simply improvised. All in all, they had fun and helped the rest do so, too.
To sum up, my first time in a TESOL Macedonia – Thrace Convention was an unforgettable experience. The talks I attended were most interesting and gave me food for thought. I had the chance to meet the people I work with on the SEETA platform. I was embraced with warmth, hospitality and professional solidarity. All this will make me return to Thessaloniki again and again. I look forward to the 18th annual conference of TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece.

A joint event of 88 School "D.Popnikolov", HRDC, SLBE and BETA

Dear colleagues,
The board of directors and the foreign language department at the 88 School in Sofia are pleased to welcome you to the seminar: Good teaching practices, which will be held on 17th September 2009 (the place and time will be confirmed at the beginning of September).
The seminar will offer presentations of the eTwinning platform by the National eTwinning coordinator and good teaching practices by different eTwinning and Comenius project coordinators and participants.
The partner institutions are: The Human Resource Development Centre, Sofia Local Board of Education and The Bulgarian English Teachers’ Association.
Looking forward to seeing you,
Tsvetelena Taralova
International Project coordinator
Milena Peneva
Head of 88th school in Sofia

People are strange creatures

Written by: Simona Bali
People are strange creatures. They are more like cats – they get attached to places rather than people. I’m not much different with some places. I just fall head over heels in love the minute I set foot in a new place.
It happened so with Barnstaple, which is absolutely irrational considering that only a couple of days ago I couldn’t even remember its name. And it is surely not because of Butcher’s Row, built in 1855 with its tiny retro butcher, baker and greengrocer shops. Neither is it for the Pannier Market dating back to the same year. Hosting under its vaulted roof a different market each day, trying to seduce you to the paraphernalia of all kinds. And the Clock Tower erected in 1862 in loving memory of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, can’t possibly be a reason for me to be lured to the charms of that town.
Maybe John Gay who once lived here a long time ago, could be the reason for the sudden spell of affection, him being a man of letters like myself. Perhaps it was Sir Francis Chichester, a sailor and aviator and a worthy man or Phil Vickery – the famous rugby player or even Giles Chichester, the European politician.
Did the inhabitants of Beardestaple, as the town used to be called when the Saxons settled here, know that their town would survive for so many years and become a dear place for locals and foreigners alike? Did the locals working here in the Middle Ages and exporting wool, ever consider what the place would look like centuries later? They would certainly have felt proud to know their town would win the Britain in Bloom flower competition several years in a row and that every autumn in September there would be a remarkable event taking place called the Barnstaple Fair.
I can keep adding to the long list of facts I now know about Barnstaple. Take for example the Tarka Trail, once built as a railway line and now turned into a path for walkers and cyclists, or Barnstaple Railway being built in 1854 or the Millennium Mosaic depicting with its tiles, the history of the town. On the other hand there are the two State Secondary Schools and the Barnstaple Rugby Football Club founded in 1877.
Such facts, no matter how important they may be for historians or quiz makers, can’t make someone fall in love with a town. They may only make them respect it. Falling in love takes a sweet moment to remember, like eating a fairing, that funny ginger-snap biscuit. Something that would tease your senses in a pleasantly intruding manner, yet leaving you totally aghast at the simplicity of the whole experience. But isn’t that what we are all looking for – something plain yet spicy to make us feel the taste of unconditional love? And can this love be a love for a town, or a place, or a rock, or a stone, or a sea shell or a grain of sand?
If you still can’t find the answer then take a ferry, a boat or a helicopter and go to Lundy Island. Stand on top of it, open your arms wide, feel the breeze in your hair, listen to the roar of the breaking waves and just stop thinking … The answer will come, like a soft drizzle, gently but incessantly wetting your brain with the insight of perfection …

My SOL Experience

Written by: Antonia Ivanova
If I have to come up with one word to describe my SOL Teacher Training Course experience, that will be sharing. As the SOL slogan reads, we all shared one language. My hospitable hostess shared her typical English home with me. Then I had to share my lovely pink room with a friendly and charming Belarusian girl. We both shared the same most amusing classes of Simon and Geoff. In the afternoons Tim, our guide, would share with us the most amazing sights and views of the English countryside. Later, after dinner we would all get together and share our experiences and emotions over a pint of beer or cider.
For me it was a highly practical course in language development and methodology, including the use of creative drama in teaching. In the ideas we exchanged and the practices we discussed I definitely found inspiration for my future work with my students.

Skimming, scanning and inferring

Written by: Philip Kerr, e-mail: philipjkerr@gmail.com
А teacher trainer and materials writer, whose projects include the coursebook series Inside Out and Straightforward. He lives and works in Brussels.
In a presentation at the 2008 Exeter IATEFL conference, Catherine Walter and Michael Swan suggested that the use of a number of familiar reading tasks in the L2 classroom may be a waste of time. Similar claims have been made by Scott Thornbury among others. The tasks coming under attack include skimming, scanning and guessing the meaning of lexical items from their context, and form the basis of reading lessons in the majority of published coursebooks (e.g. Headway) and are central to the presentation of the teaching of reading skills in the majority of teacher training manuals (e.g. The TKT Course).
The arguments employed by critics of these tasks are powerful and draw on a large body of research (see Reading in a Second Language for an excellent review of this research). Their arguments include the following observations:

  • L2 reading comprehension ability correlates very strongly with lexical knowledge. Classroom time, especially at lower levels, is better spent helping learners with vocabulary acquisition than it is devoted to tasks such as skimming and scanning.
  • Comprehension difficulties in L2 arise, not from problems with skimming and scanning, but from gaps in the learners’ knowledge of or familiarity with linguistic features of the text. Skimming and scanning will not compensate for these gaps.
  • Good L1 readers will use particular strategies (e.g. skimming and scanning) when appropriate. They will transfer these strategic approaches to L2 texts when they have a language threshold which allows them to do so.
  • Good readers do not typically guess the meaning of unknown words from context, because they do not need to. Research does not suggest that practice in inferring meaning from context leads to gains in reading comprehension

Perhaps the most eloquent commentary on skimming and scanning is the complete omission of these terms from the index of Grabe’s Reading in a Second Language. It would seem that our well-established classroom routines for reading lessons are in need of re-evaluation. Until learners reach a level somewhere around B2 with a lexicon of a few thousand word families (enabling them to decode about 80% of ‘everyday’ texts), we should, it seems, be focussing on activities that foster word recognition and on programmes that encourage extensive reading.
However, before we consign skimming, scanning and inferring to the dustbin of discredited ELT techniques, it is a good idea to pause for thought. Firstly, because the recent history of ELT warns us against reaching hasty conclusions. Explicit grammar instruction, translation and dictation are but three of the many classroom activities that have been discarded, only to be brought back into the frame of critical acceptability. Secondly, as Grabe points out, the classroom implications of reading research need to be tested in particular contexts.
There are at least four strong reasons, in my view, why skimming, scanning and inferring may be justified in some ELT contexts. These have little, or possibly nothing, to do with the development of learners’ reading skills. However, I would tentatively suggest that we may be doing the right sorts of things for the wrong reasons.

  1. A central part of a teacher’s job must be to promote her learners’ motivation: the motivation to learn English, in general, and the motivation to read texts in English, in particular. Among the many theories of learner motivation, there is general agreement that motivation contributes to success, and that success can lead to enhanced motivation. Skimming and scanning tasks in most coursebooks are, on the whole, neither particularly time-consuming nor particularly difficult. For a low level student, the sense of achievement that can be derived from successful task completion is something that we cannot afford to ignore. Well-designed skimming, scanning and inferring tasks (i.e. that are neither too easy nor too hard) can and should provide a very positive sense of achievement.
  2. Readers interact with a text to decode and construct meanings. Well-designed skimming, scanning and inferring tasks can help them in this process, and such tasks might be seen as part of a communicative methodology for language acquisition (rather than as tools to develop reading skills).
  3. It is generally accepted that a useful way of teaching language is to break it down at times into discrete items. It is also generally accepted that these items are best presented in context, and that means within a text. Thornbury suggests that we should treat classroom reading texts primarily as vehicles for language presentation. In reality, this is probably what happens most of the time. The skimming and scanning activities are often very short, dealt with quickly, before moving on to the ‘meat’ of the lesson: the language focus. Whilst these tasks may not offer much payback in terms of reading skills, they seem to offer a reasonably economical way of encouraging students to notice the context of the language that they will subsequently study.
  4. Many students in ELT classrooms may have little or no interest in becoming fluent L2 readers. They do, typically, have a desire to perform well in examinations, and it is common for English language examinations to have a reading component. In both international exams (e.g. the Cambridge First Certificate) and local exams (e.g. the Polish school-leaving test, the ‘Matura’), it is common for the reading component to include tasks which will be best performed if candidates adopt strategies of skimming, scanning and inferring. Classroom practice of these strategies can therefore be seen as psychological and strategic training for the exams.

The arguments of Walter, Swan and Thornbury are, I think, of considerable importance. The approach to reading skills in both coursebooks and teacher training courses (especially of the short, intensive variety) is in urgent need of a rethink, but I hope that the reasons I have listed above are sufficient to demonstrate that we should be wary of jumping to hasty conclusions.
References

  • Grabe, W. 2009. Reading in a Second Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Soars, L. and J. Soars. 1986 – 2009. Headway. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Spratt, M., A. Pulverness and M. Williams. 2005. The TKT Course. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Thornbury. S. 2006. The end of reading? http://www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp?catid=59754&docid=144668
  • Walter, C. and M. Swan. 2008. Teaching reading skills: mostly a waste of time? in Beaven, B. (ed.) IATEFL 2008 Exeter Conference Selections. Canterbury: IATEFL

eTwinning and Comenius Projects in ELT

Written by: Tsvetelena Taralova, 88 School, Sofia, Bulgaria
Download: Presentation in MS PowerPoint .PPT format [8,2 MB]
There was the Lost Generation, The Beat generation and we are now the BBC generation. Let’ prove we can cope with the new challenges.
How did my story start?
I had been teaching for 3 years and I applied for a Comenius teacher’s methodology course in London. My application was approved by the Human Resource Development Centre Bulgaria BUT I wasn’t given a visa. I didn’t give up. I wrote to the embassy and I still keep their negative answer to show it to my students. And this was the first lesson of this kind in my life.  They say: “If something doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger”. Next year I could go to Dublin, Ireland to a similar methodology course. It was an enormous motivation to me. I had my first practical lessons in my life.
In the course report form I have to write about the other initiatives my school could participate, so I started reading about international school projects, found potential partners and went to a Comenius Project Preparatory Visit in Poland. I was quite shy at the beginning of the visit, but very soon I realized that the other people like me and trust me. It was a lot of cultural and social experience to me.
“Comenius projects are part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme and seek to develop knowledge and understanding among young people and educational staff of the diversity of European cultures, languages and values. It helps young people acquire the basic life skills and competences necessary for their personal development, for future employment and for active citizenship”(http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-programme/doc84_en.htm)
The main aims of the projects are:

  • To motivate students to use languages and ICT in real-life situations;
  • To promote culture, traditions, history, art and literature of the region and the regions of partner schools;
  • To enhance participants’ social and team work skills.

You can find more about Comenius projects on our National Agency website: www.hrdc.bg
We got the grant for our project “Medieval Roots of Present Europeans” and about 50 students joined the project during the first school year. To create a team spirit we organized a tour round Sofia, participated in the school concert and students did their first activity, designing a profile of a historical figure from the Medieval Аges. Students used their History knowledge and creativity.
Then was the working visit in Portugal and explored Medieval Portuguese sites.We were special guests at the Medieval fair in our partner school in Penela, Portugal. The visit changed many things in our perceptions. Students still describe it as the most memorable event in their lives. We performed our national dances, saw many things about our partners’ cultures and improved many skills. It motivated us a lot. It was the first event of this kind to me, too. I realized what I am supposed to do as a project coordinator. We were a group, we had to be tolerant and everyone participated equally in most of activities.
Parents also noticed the big changes. According to one of them, “Our children left shy and not sure about what they know”. When they came back, they were completely different people, self-confident, motivated and surely creative.
Next year we were more experienced with the activities and with visits. Students used the language, made Medieval coin exhibition and wrote their story of old coins.
Organizing the Comenius visit in Sofia was the most difficult thing I had ever done. Over 40 students and teachers from 5 other countries said they were amazed by our perfect organization and repeated it during all the following working meetings later. Many colleagues got angry because they had to do something which is not paid, but our headmistress helped me a lot and that was a motivation to continue. We learned many of our strong and weak points. I personally started to express my opinion clearly.
A fashion show with a Medieval song was filmed in The National History Museum and we received similar clips form our partners.
A month later a group of 11 Bulgarian students and teachers visited our partner school in Gravina, Italy. During the visit we went to the medieval village of Arbellobelo and the nearest town Bary. Our students stayed with Italian peers and could see how Italians can enjoy themselves, and show a great respect for their teachers.
On the next year students wrote a Bulgarian medieval Story and made a Medieval Cardboard Castle. Now going back, I think I would organize this activity in a different way insisting on making a common product from the very beginning, not putting the different parts together at the end as we did.
In March 2008 we visited Turkey and in May we went to Romania. In Transylvania we saw the Hunyadi Castle, one of the Romanian heroes, who fought against the Ottoman Empire on the Balkans. On 9th May – the Day of Europe we had a competition between countries.
Meanwhile, it was September 2007. We all were shouting “Strike! Strike!” in the afternoons, but in the mornings, while many colleagues were at school wondering what to do, I started exploring the eTwinning site: www.etwinning.net
eTwinning began as an initiative of the European Commission in 2005. It is a non-formal-way to unable teachers to work together without responsibilities of long term relations. Its unique structure lies in the existence of free support offered to the teachers at the National and European Level. The assistance includes keeping an eye on the progress of the projects and organizing Teachers Professional Development Workshops.
eTwinniers are involved in a European-wide community of teacher practitioners who would like to give their students an experience of being in direct contact with other young people in Europe. Pupils can learn about other ideas and exchange opinions on all the topics which interest them. Teachers improve their own pedagogical skills, getting closer to their foreign partners and building a common European Identity.
I started my eTwinning project because I thought I would use it for my second Qualification Degree in teaching. Actually, I am going to use it as innovation in FLT for my First Qualification Degree.
I like the site, because the project participants have a special safe place – the Twin Space. Students can be in touch with the other project participants, write in the forum, look through the common products, upload pictures and files themselves. Each student has their responsibility while they are logged on with their own username and password.
First, I didn’t know a lot of details and decided to do a simple project with students from the 6th class, who wanted to join. The published space of the project we, Our school and our Town is: http://twinspace.etwinning.net/launcher.cfm?lang=en&cid=20829
A student, who is better than me at computers, made a logo and at the end of the school year students presented the project products in front of their parents and more and more students joined. The school received the National and later the European Quality Labels.
My first eTwinning project has had so big influence on me that I decided to do another eTwinning project: The Trees of Friendship, which is about ecology.
The Twinspace of the project is: http://my.twinspace.etwinning.net/trees?l=en
and the Twin blog is: http://friendshiptrees.blogspot.com/
There is no money for eTwinning projects, but best teachers can go to Professional development Workshops. My good work was considered and in March 2009, I received a grant to participate in a PDW in Denmark.
And next year I’ll do another eTwinning project.
At the end I would like to show you some teenagers’ thoughts about motivation:

  • My mind is my last and only frontier.
  • I say try. If we never try, we shall never succeed!
  • Be part of our community of positive people making a difference!

Some Ideas on Classroom Management in YL Classes

Written by: Anita Kwiatkowska
Download: Presentation in MS PowerPoint .PPT format
During my career as an ESL teacher I have come across plenty of teachers who dread teaching children. Because they are naughty. Because they cannot concentrate. Because all they want to do is run around and make a lot of noise.
Having taught kids for a couple of years now I wholeheartedly agree with all the aforementioned complaints. It takes however a few things to bear in mind to make your YL classes work like magic.
Teamwork, games and the sense of competitiveness
Students love competitions and YL are no exception. The only difference is that they love them even more! Hence you should take every opportunity to turn any activity into a contest. Start up by dividing the class into two or more groups. Give each team a name e.g. oranges or apples or red and blue. Very YL tend to forget which group they belong to so use colored chalk to mark their desks. On the blackboard write each group’s name and give them an equal numbers of points for a start. Warn the students they you will erase their points if anyone from the group shouts, walks around, keeps talking, does not raise their hand etc. Tell them that points will be added if group members speak English or complete tasks successfully. Reward the kids for every positive thing they do. Keep in mind that rewards have a much more encouraging and motivating effect than any form of punishment.
Demonstration not explanation
Whatever your experience may imply, always remember that children are not adults. Consequently different techniques have to be used to explain the students what you require. Forget checking instructions and wordy explanations. As an alternative resort to demonstrations or ask a stronger student to explain what s/he understood to the other students.
Rules and routine
Children need order and quickly get used to routines and habitual activities. If you notice that e.g. blowing a whistle gets their attention, keep practising that. Try to start and end a lesson in the same or similar way or have some always repeating elements in it. For instance, a good starting point is dividing a class into groups and a good finishing point might be counting the points and drawing stars for all the group members on the poster.
Be strict about the rules you want the students to follow as well. For example, let them get used to the fact they you will give coloring worksheets only to the students who have already taken out their crayons.
Encouraging the usage of TL
Try to make students use TL from the very first classes. Expose them to the basic phrases and repeat these each time an opportunity comes up. Ignore the students who insist on using their mother tongue and they will sooner or later adjust to your behavior. Reward the ones who use TL by giving their group points, clapping or verbal praise.
Getting the students’ attention
YL classes tend to be noisy by definition so raising your voice or shouting has poor chance of success. Instead try using sound making objects – toy musical instruments (drums, maracas, trumpet), whistles, rattles, bells etc. Not only will you save your throat but you will bring some fun to the classroom as well.
Praise and rewards
Nothing works better for the students than a decent amount of praise. When it comes to kids however feel free to praise them all the time for the smallest things they do or say properly. They might not be able to understand ‘very good’, ‘great’ or ‘excellent’ but they will surely get ‘bravo’, ‘super’ or ‘perfect’. Thumbs up, clapping hands and a huge smile on a teacher’s face will definitely help the kids realize that they did a great job and made you pleased.
Create a way of rewarding your students as well. Draw smiling faces, stars or use stamps or stickers to show your appreciation. Put up posters on the walls with the students names to keep record of their good work.
Never stoop to bribery or material rewards. Sweets or mascots may make young learners do quietly what you order but once you forget the reward or want to quit the procedure a tragedy will follow.
Drama and acting
Do not be afraid to make a clown out of yourself. Teaching YL more than any other type of teaching requires acting skills. Make faces, use body language and your voice. While presenting new vocabulary and drilling it is possible to make kids repeat words even ten times only by changing the tone of your voice. Thus if you want them to repeat the word ‘papaya’ sound angry, quiet, interested, helpless, hopeful, surprised and so on. There is no way that they will not enjoy it.
A little fluffy helper
Sometimes course books offer mascots or puppets thematically connected to the topics covered by the book so do not be afraid to use them with. Otherwise find any old mascot of yours and bring it to the classroom. Give it a name and age and as the lessons proceed create its likes, dislikes, favourite food, color etc. Young learners get attached to mascots very quickly especially if you bring it to every class and let the students touch, hug and talk to it. My students love offering our puppet water and got very concerned when Boo (its name) got ill and had to go to hospital J
Movement
Young Learners have loads of energy that we – adults sometimes lack. It would be unwise not to use such a benefit though. Therefore make them move as much as you can. Think of games that involve running, races, coming to the blackboard. If you use songs or chants create movements to accompany them. Not only will it be a vent for the kids’ energy but it will also enable them to memorize the new vocabulary better.
Fast finishers
Always have an extra activity ready for the fast finishers. If kids have nothing to do they usually start walking around, talking etc which is something we should try to prevent from happening. The extra activity does not have to be a worksheet though. You might tell the student(s) to draw the teacher, the classroom or his favourite animal in his notebook for instance. They might also be asked to help you organize your materials before the lesson is over or clean up the classroom.
Problematic students
Problematic students are the nightmare of every teacher but there are ways to deal with them. First remember to praise any naughty kid for any good thing they do in front of all the other children. If necessary exaggerate! ‘Look everybody! Leyla has her notebook today! Well done! You are a very good student, Leyla! I’m proud of you!’ and so on. After a few weeks they will crave your praise and then feel free to use that. Make little naughty-no-more kids your helpers. Let them distribute the worksheets, play with the puppet etc.
Positive attitude
Smile! Hug! Pat the students’ on the heads! Whatever happens try to be positive and optimistic. Make an angry face when the students are naughty but don’t shout. Children have to know that you are also their friend. Love them and they will love you in return.