Jennifer Wallace - Anhui University of Technology, Anhui Province, China
This week I'm going to finish off the activity in progress which led to individuals coming to the front of the class to speak - but that may be the end of it for this class. Last year I had one group that was so bad at group work - they'd sit totally silent! - I ended up giving it up completely with that class.
However, in contrast, with other classes I do include individuals coming to the front of the class, plus we record it - and then we listen to the recording - and I give feedback from the recording, which the students are saying is really good!
One of the reasons I've asked students to speak at the front of the class is that with this one poor class, with both pairwork and group work they often do'nt do, or do it pathetically poorly. Knowing a number of people will then follow on by speaking to the whole of the class does seem to function as some sort of incentive to use the pair/group work as a rehersal - but I'm far from sure of the value of any of this.
One teacher described his use of [throwing] chalk in maintaining classroom order. I could never do this. Many, many years ago, as a classroom assistant in a state school in the UK, a board rubber in my hand, I turned round quickly and crossly to reprimand a student. The board rubber flew out of my hand and cracked the child across the nose. I was lucky I wasn't accused of deliberately assaulting the child - if it happened now in a UK classroom I probably would be. Thowing ANYTHING at a student ANYWHERE is not acceptable, and I'm not going to do that in China for behaviour that doesn't even start to equal the problems many UK teachers face on a daily basis.
I'm being paid by a UK-based international NGO to contribute to the general up-grading of the teaching standards in this department, as well as teach English. My classes are meant to be models of successful modern methodology!