Jump to content
BANGKOK 22 April 2019 11:25
Sign in to follow this  
steveb

Is It Possible To Teach 50 Students To Speak?

Recommended Posts

I have been teaching in Thailand for many years and have always had 50 or more students in a class. Now I changed from University to secondary school and I have almost given up on the idea that it is remotely possible to teach 50 students speaking. So, I end up teaching them writing and this not only helps to keep them in their seats but it makes my school administrators happy to see them all in their seats. I know many people have many ways like playing games have group activities but at the end of the day, will their English improve? Maybe a little. So, is their anyone out there who has come up with some solution or is it impossible as we pretend to get 50 students speaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol Well.... teacher.... On behalf of all Thai students .... I think it is quite impossible to teach them all to speak english properly but I am quite sure that they will manage to catch up with everyday used english instead.

Maybe it is broken english but somehow it is helpful for them to be exposed to the native speaker like you.

I am a Thai student who happens to be in an international programme but I was in Thai schools before. Thai kids are used to learning grammers and all the writing process but not the speaking part because most of them have something like " farang phobia" lol and afraid to speak up ...even in university... all classes are more like lecture class .... no need for much participation in discussing things over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been teaching in Thailand for many years and have always had 50 or more students in a class. Now I changed from University to secondary school and I have almost given up on the idea that it is remotely possible to teach 50 students speaking. So, I end up teaching them writing and this not only helps to keep them in their seats but it makes my school administrators happy to see them all in their seats. I know many people have many ways like playing games have group activities but at the end of the day, will their English improve? Maybe a little. So, is their anyone out there who has come up with some solution or is it impossible as we pretend to get 50 students speaking.

Speaking/Conversation classes with so many students present 2 main issues, in my experience.

1. Student talking time. In a class of 50, with a 50 minute period, means a max of 1 minute per individual student

2. Classroom management issues. It can easily become like a zoo.

One strategy is to rearrange seating into small groups of 5-6, taking care to balance the 'clueless' with the more clued-in, so at least some have some decent oral skills in each group to hopefully provide support to the others who might be slower or more shy. Shy students tend to do better in small groups rather than being the center of attention in a large class. Plan activities, like roleplaying, for each group, allowing mostly freer practice kinds of activitities, with you walking around monitoring and helping, as needed. This will allow much more individual student speaking practice, and will help you to manage your classroom better..

Make your material interesting and useful, obviously. Students will always respond when given the right motivation and support, in my experience.

The more you plan, the better your class will go.. :o

Good luck :D

Edited by Ajarn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do Thais find it so funny with

"What time your name?"

"My name is 2 o' clock."

I hear this joke over and over again, and everybody folds over double with laughter as soon as somebody brings it up.. Where does it come from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That one is so funny because the person wants to ask ....

"What time is it?" but he gets mixed up with "What is your name?"

So, it comes out... like .. "what time is your name"

So, the one who replies just.... simply answers the question with a good sense of humour ....... and plays along with the first guy ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With 50 kids it is impossible to get them all to speak. You will only be able to actually teach 10 minutes a lesson if you are lucky. the rest is down to crowd control....

unless you just decide to ignore the noise outside your zone of control that exists about 5 feet around you at any one point and then move around the class giving everyone a chance to at least hear you.

With 50 kids in a class you usually dont have a hope of changing the layout as they are crammed into every nook and cranny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That one is so funny because the person wants to ask ....

"What time is it?" but he gets mixed up with  "What is your name?"

So, it comes out... like .. "what time is your name"

So, the one who replies just.... simply answers the question with a good sense of humour ....... and plays along with the first guy ...

To those farang who fail to see why such a joke is so funny (and repeatedly so), you might consider what an American foreign exchange student told me: the oldest matayom boys in Thailand have a sense of humor roughly equal to a fifth grader back home. Especially about blowing smelly gas out their rear ends, or talking about feces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Group work.. project based curriculum.. this is one option.. Depends what your goals are .. and how receptive the reality of your goals.. and the students' interest and your educational organization..

Done. Si Sue Puede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Especially about blowing smelly gas out their rear ends, or talking about feces.

so you talk shit in class?

I thought this forum was so censored that you couldn't print the four-letter word for Hades. I'm an old fart, though. I just don't double over in laughter every time that somebody lets loose with a fart-bomb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been teaching in Thailand for many years and have always had 50 or more students in a class. Now I changed from University to secondary school and I have almost given up on the idea that it is remotely possible to teach 50 students speaking. So, I end up teaching them writing and this not only helps to keep them in their seats but it makes my school administrators happy to see them all in their seats. I know many people have many ways like playing games have group activities but at the end of the day, will their English improve? Maybe a little. So, is their anyone out there who has come up with some solution or is it impossible as we pretend to get 50 students speaking.

You could turn modern education theory upside down (having 50 in a class has de facto done this already) and teach them by rote.

Give them six sentences (on Paper) to repeat after you - if you have to break this down you should have time with groups of 10 pupils. Concentrate on correct pronunciation.

Tell them, they must learn these six sentences, word perfect, for next week.

Next week they must say these 6 sentences from memory, word perfect, as many times as necessary until you are satisfied all can - without paper or any visual aid. Again, concentrate on correct pronunciation.

Introduce this week’s 6 sentences, and repeat for at least 20 weeks.

The pedagogic challenge is finding groups of six sentences that progressively increase the vocabulary, based on a clear logic that enables (but does not necessarily guarantee - they will probably still need their dictionaries) understanding.

I learnt two languages in this way in 6 months. It was particularly hard for me, as I came from a relatively progressive academic background and therefore craved the explanations of grammar. But in the end it worked.

However Thai pupils, often coming from a less flexible system, could possibly adapt to this method without too many problems.

Whatever you do, best of luck. I am afraid you will need it.

Edited by Thomas_Merton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
what languages did you learn?

Danish - which strictly followed the system I outlined. Coupled with living in Denmark (although we did speak English at home) means I am now completely bi-lingual and with a perfect accent.

Hebrew - which did have a slight variation: from the moment you walked into the classroom, all other languages (the pupils had 26 different mother's tongues) were banned (plus motivation was guaranteed – all being new immigrants). This system did have many other sophistications, only possible in smaller classes.

The theory and practise of teaching Hebrew as practised in the Israeli Ulpans is well worth looking into. No other country has greater experience in teaching their language to pupils as a foreign language

Personally these systems, were very painful for me. I did not take very easily to being as a small child. Because this is what these systems are based upon: the language is learnt in the same way we learn our mother’s tongue - something new, pronunciation, repetition, correction; not necessarily understanding straight away, but then the meaning gradually becoming clear; almost no grammar.

I can manage in most of the European languages, which I have learnt in a more traditional manner. However I always speak them with an English accent. My Danish is as perfect as a Danes; the 1000 words I can remember of the Hebrew (we are talking over 30 years ago), I am told, do not sound all that bad.

Edited by Thomas_Merton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...