УДК   371.2

Kluinina N.V., 

Sumy In-Service Teachers Training Institute

 

 

Manager of Learning  Foreign  Language

 

Manager of learning is the teacher, of course. There are many ways and approaches of managing learning process. It can be successful, if we remember about diversity, support systems, sense of achievement, prevention techniques and participation. Learner achievement is highly correlated with effective manager of learning.

 

Key words: manager of learning, support system, motivated students, presentations, diversity.

  

In effect, every teacher is a language teacher. In history or biology the teachers’ primary job is to teach a way of talking and thinking.  Modern teacher must be aware of many things if he wants to manage the learning process. It is not enough to have only good command of foreign language. Sometimes we observe such a situation when a teacher knows the foreign language excellent, but he/she doesn’t know how to teach the students. That is the problem. Therefore, he/she mustn’t be only the bearer of the foreign language but also manager of learning process. Effective teaching requires that you also be an effective manager. If you are able to get students’ cooperation, maintain their involvement in the instructional tasks, so you are effective manager. Many teachers have trouble with this aspect of teaching. Central to effective management is classroom leadership and the ability to establish a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning. As an effective leader, you must be concerned with your ability to provide a positive social, physical, and intellectual environment. This in turn, requires that you possess the ability to communicative effectively and to motivate students.

Our aim is to highlight the different ways of managing learning the foreign language.

Many scientists, methodologists, teachers of English published their thoughts concerning this question. Malcolm, for example, argues that there three management tasks that need to be achieved. These tasks are the management of content, the management of student participation and the management of face [6]. In a major investigation involving over one hundred different elementary and secondary classrooms, Everson studied the following aspects of classroom management: instructional management, room arrangement, rules and procedures, students concerns, behavior, classroom climate, miscellaneous, and time on task [4]. According to Blum, the following classroom practices are typical of manager of learning: high expectation of students learning, personal interaction between teachers and students are positive, instruction is clear and focused, standards for classroom behavior are high [3].

One of the most important skills that a teacher can bring to the classroom is effective classroom management. Most experienced teachers will agree that a large part of their teaching time is spent maintaining a classroom environment conductive to learning. Classroom management is something that every teacher must be aware of. Knowing problem-solving tools, prevention strategies are very important. One of the major challenges that teachers face today is how to deal with students’ different personalities.

Work responsibility at home, lack of sleep, traditional view of a teacher’s role, and personal motivation towards attendance can all effect the students performance academically and behaviorally.

So, sometimes a teacher knows many things, but nobody seems interested in what he has to say. How can we become more accessible, more exciting? "The science and the art of communicating information is to make it as simple as you can, but not any simpler". (Einstein) The teacher has to care enough to make a special effort for students by presenting his information in a way that is much more memorable and appropriately entertaining. The excellent teacher does not present in only one way. He has many choices that he adapts to the appropriateness of the situation.

The key to effective classroom management lies in the relation that students come from different background and attend school for different reasons. Nevertheless, the teacher must find a way to balance the needs and desires of individual students with the well being of the group as a whole.

It should be remembered that how well a teacher manages the classroom directly influences the behavior of the students.

First of all the room should be as comfortable as possible. Variety in setting arrangement can change the atmosphere of the entire classroom. We should experiment with different arrangements to meet our students’ needs.  A teacher has full responsibility in most cases for the appearance and comfort of the room. Ventilation, temperature, and lighting of the classroom also affects student comfort and ability to concentrate. A room that is stuffy or too hot or cold, or a room that has dim or bright lighting, is often distracting, causing students to focus on their discomfort rather than on their work.  Conducting lessons outdoors may also be used by the teachers as a reward to reinforce good behavior as most students will enjoy the chance to get out.

   Charts, maps, pictures and other displays made from local resources give the room and educational feeling which can be very useful in determining the mood. Having students display their work in a good way of recognizing the students efforts and can add not only to the students’ self esteem but also to the educational atmosphere. As you know, students can access and store a grater quantity of information, and upgrade it more easily, in their visual system than in any of the other senses. It is therefore essential to support words with quality visual information. But if our visual gives all the information, why should anyone listen to us. Therefore, our visuals should embrace the quality, creativity, curiosity and economy. We use visuals to serve us and to illustrate the points we are making. But never let your visuals do your work. A teacher will always be more compelling than any technology. One more advice, never talk while your students is reading or looking at new visuals. Follow this sequence:

1. Tell the audience you will show a visual.

2. Stop talking.

3. Display the visuals, step back, and silently read it yourself as if for the first time.

4. Regain eye contact and continue your presentation.

5. Do not be tempted to read allowed the information exactly as it is on the visuals. You may explain the information in other way.

If you talk while your students are reading, they will not know what to pay attention to and may come confused.

Never use your visuals as presentation notes. The unconscious messages to the students are laziness and disrespect. Instead, have your presentation notes organized as a mindmap on a piece of a card which you can hold in your hand and refer to as necessary.

One more aspect should be mentioned while speaking about managing the learning process. Traditionally, teachers have been very concerned about the learner with low motivation. They are so concerned with making learning interesting that they don’t fully meet the needs of highly motivated learners. Such students may well feel they are wasting their time when teachers pour all their energies on another things. Some ideas for dealing with highly motivated students.

Make language-focused teaching intensive and speedy.

Made learners be aware that the material presented to them they will be able to use in their private lives.

Find tasks challenging and fascinating.

We need to think of tasks appropriate to their level.

Students’ achievements should be rewarded and marked according to their language level or ability.

All students should have access to the different tasks so that they are able to choose a higher level task.

An atmosphere of support, collaboration, respect and learner autonomy should be fostered.

Be ready to have resource materials. It can be riddles, puzzles, projects, etc. to be done by those students who despite the grading, finish faster than the rest.

Get students to do longer, more demanding pieces of work.

Give students plenty of homework to do. If you do this, you might want to tell them whether they do the homework or not.

If you see that your students are eager to learn, you need to find a way to help them achieve maximum results.

Teachers should identify and establish a support system for their chosen management system that extends from the school through the society. This support system should consist of other teachers, the principal and parents.  When possible, the teacher should establish communication channels with the parents. Several methods can be used to keep in touch with parents and begin to create a reserve support system: use newsletters and notes, set up parents’ conferences at regular intervals to discuss students’ progress. Informal meetings are useful ways to get to know the parents and for parents to get to know you. Gaining the respect of the parents and letting them to know that he/she is sincerely interested in the progress of their children may provide the teacher with one of the most important and useful support systems of all.

Teacher should also realize that they act as a role model for many students. You should be the best example possible for the students to follow. Act and speak in ways you want your students to follow. Students are sensitive as to whether the teacher enjoys teaching. Be as positive as possible and be aware of how your attitude affects the students.   

The teacher should be organized and well prepared for all lessons. Lesson plans that are carefully thought allow the teacher to focus on other aspects of classroom management. In many ways, the teacher has a great deal to learn from the actor on the stage. The manners and speech the teacher uses while conducting the lesson are very similar to those used in presenting dramatic productions. The following are some key rules in mind when conducting your lessons:

Speak clearly and face students when speaking to them

Learn to use the blackboard effectively and if you need to write many notes on the board, periodically turn and break from the note-taking to address the students

Plan instructions carefully and break down into stages so as  not to overwhelm

Focus on all the students in the class. Eye contact is very important and should be reserved not only for a few students

Be aware of all the students in the room and learn to scan over the class as you talk

Use gestures and voice control.

In general, dramatic techniques can add excitement to a lesson. A joke, if it is appropriate to the lesson, can encourage and help students enter into the spirit of learning.

Teachers should also be aware of certain gestures that may be culturally offensive or misunderstood. Dress and appearance are also important and teachers should be aware of the local standards expected of teachers.

The main objective of most students is to be accepted, feel wanted, and feel that they are part of the class. Teacher should concentrate on giving all students in the class regular attention. This may be hard to do in the large classes but every effort to communicate with the students should be made. Interaction with students on a personal level is important and can greatly enhance conditions for classroom management and the maintenance of a successful learning environment. Teachers should find ways to help students individually or in pairs. It must be mentioned that praise can be overdone and if students hear the same words of praise constantly, this very important aspect of teaching loses its effectiveness. Practice both verbal and non verbal ways of praise and use different terms to reinforce good behavior of effort.

Time management is very important when it comes to studying. By studying for a short period of time several times a day, you can stay focused and learn material faster than you would by studying for a long period once a day. If you study for may be 3 or more periods of 10-30 minutes a day, you will be more likely to remember information because you are constantly being reminded throughout the day. Another good memorization technique is to quickly review the material you covered in the last study period or material from the previous day, before you begin with new material. And last but not least, stay positive! If you get stuck on a certain subject, move on and come back to it later. You will not remember any information if you were frustrated while you were studying.

Malcolm argues that there are three management tasks that need to be achieved in relation to classroom discourse. These tasks are the management of content, the management of student participation and the management of face. In relation to the management of content, Malcolm suggests that there are four areas of fundamental concern. First, the content must be relevant to the classroom purposes. Second, there must be a basic level of shared knowledge. Third, teachers and students must share the same linguistic interpretation. Finally, they must share the same pragmatic interpretation. In managing participation, students must be able to see, hear, speak and be heard. In the management of face, Malcolm suggests that there are four “rights” that might be tested in the classroom and that can lead to the loss of face. These rights are: the right to contribute, the right not to contribute, the right to acceptance of the form of one’s contribution, the right to acceptance of the content of one’s contribution. Classrooms should be places where the self esteem of teachers and pupils alike is respected and fostered [6].

One of the most consistent findings from research in content classrooms is that learner achievement is highly correlated with effective classroom management.  In major investigations involving one hundred different elementary and secondary classrooms, Everton studied the following aspects of classroom management: instructional management, room arrangements, rules and procedures, students concerns, behavior and misbehavior, classroom climate miscellaneous, and time on task [4].

Research in content classroom has shown that students have clear expectations of how teachers should behave, and behavior problems are likely to arise if these expectations are not met. In general, students expect teachers to provide leadership, to manage the classroom effectively and to provide instruction. Even in the best managed classroom discipline problems arise and the teacher needs strategies to deal with these. General strategies:

Don’t go to class unprepared. Students automatically identify teachers who are not sure what to do in class.

Don’t be inconsistent. If the teacher allows students to come to class late without taking action one week students cannot be reproach for doing the same thing the week after.

Don’t issue threats. Teachers who threaten students with terrible punishments and then do not carry them out are doing both the class and themselves a disservice.

Don’t raise your voice. One of the greatest mistakes of many teachers is to try and establish control by raising their voices and shouting.

Don’t give boring classes. Perhaps the single greatest cause of indiscipline is boredom.

Don’t be unfair. Teachers cannot allow themselves to be unfair, either to the class as a whole or to individuals.

Don’t have a negative attitude to learning. A teacher who does not really care and who is insensitive to the students’ reactions to what is happening in the classroom will lose the respect of the students – the first step to problems of disruptive behavior [5].

Summary. Managing of learning foreign languages is described above in the most general terms, and specific implementation strategies must be developed according to personal style, cultural norms and situations. There is no one formula as to many things in teaching, which can be applied across the board to produce an effective management style. Forced to work in a traditional classroom setting, a variety of creative techniques and individual attention could make both teachers and students forget where they are. Teacher attitude, approach to discipline and attention to individual needs may make the students feel at home with you in the classroom. The sooner you decide on your management style and let the students know what it is and will be, the sooner you can get on with the real task at hand: helping the students to expend their abilities, knowledge and potential. Working with students means we are responsible not only for the subject we are teaching, but their education and development in general. Without good classroom manager we have no chance of teaching foreign language successfully.

 

References

1. Artusi, A. 2002. English Teaching Professional, issue 25. p. 46.

2. Bress, P. 2003. English Teaching Professional, issue 26. p. 30.

3. Blum, R. 1984. Effective Schooling Practices: A Research Synthesis. Portland, Oregon: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

4. Everston, C. 1985. Training Teachers in Classroom Management: An experimental study in secondary classrooms. Journal of Educational Research. P.51-58.

5. Harmer, J. 1991. The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman. P. 250

6. Malcolm, I. 1991.  Strategy and counterstrategy in classroom discourse management. Guidelines, P. 1-17.

 

Клюніна Н.В. Менеджер навчання іноземної мови

У статті розрите питання  різних підходів до управління навчальним процесом у навчанні іноземної мови; як вагомі чинники у цьому процесі визначено групу підтримки, мотивацію, допоміжні матеріали, усвідомлення досягнутого. Доведено, що досягнення учнів залежать від ефективності управління навчанням.

 

Ключові слова: менеджер навчання, група підтримки, мотивація, презентація, різноманітність.

 

Клюнина Н. В. Менеджер обучения  иностранного языка

В статье раскрыт вопрос разных подходов к управлению учебным процессом  в изучении иностранного языка; как значительные факторы в этом процессе определены группа поддержки, мотивация, вспомогательные средства, сознание достигнутого. Доказано, что достижения учащихся зависят от эффективности управления обучением.

 

Ключевые слова: менеджер обучения, группа поддержки, мотивация, презентация, разнообразие.