I’m not talking about their language ability, but their behavior.
Is their behavior bad? If you have young kids, chances are good that it is. And let’s come right out and talk about this word “bad.”
What is bad behavior…and does it even exist?
While I’m sure there are some expert teachers with lots of degrees and maybe even decades of teaching experience, I’m not one. I did teach in China for 5 years in a variety of settings, however, and I saw my share of bad behavior.
What is Bad ESL Behavior?
- Talking with friends;
- Talking or playing on the phone;
- Being out of your desk;
- Throwing things;
- Speaking in the native language;
- Taunting or teasing classmates;
- Making noises.
That list is by no means exhaustive, and you’ll notice that I don’t include not paying attention or working on other school work. I’d rather have a student do those things than be disruptive, which is really what a lot of bad ESL behavior is – being disruptive.
I find this comes about because the student is not interested. Most of the time they’re not interested because the lesson is boring or because they don’t have the skill level to understand it. So they act out, become disruptive, and your life sucks.
What can you do? For a long time I yelled at these bad students, but really, that doesn’t work much. Instead, try these 10 easy ideas.
10 Ideas Instead of Shouting
- Make the student stand up
- Send the student to the teacher’s office
- Have them write lines
- Seat the student with the boys/girls
- Separate problem students
- Put the student in another class
- Give extra homework…and follow through
- Have them sit or stand by the board
- Write their name on the board, and don’t say why
- Call them out and have them explain something from the lesson
Those are all little tricks you can try. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Just try another. Yelling doesn’t do much, and you don’t need to lose your voice.
Try some of these ESL behavior tips next time you’re having problems. And with fall classes coming up soon, I have a feeling you’ll have many problems. Good luck, and stay positive.