Language Teachers: What to Know When Teaching Groups

Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of teaching a large group? Don’t sweat it. Our teaching experts understand the unique challenges that arise with group work, and are armed with great tips and tricks that will help your group class run as smoothly as possible. This article will provide you with creative ideas and advice that will make teaching groups not only manageable, but also rewarding and fun.

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The pros and cons of group work

Learning in a group can be a great way for students to improve language skills: students learn how to work together in a new language, get extra speaking practice with a variety of different people, and can correct each other’s errors. Further, useful skill-building projects, such as acting out dialogues or staging a debate, work best with groups.

Still, certain issues plague teachers of large groups. What should you do if your students are at different skill levels? How do you facilitate conversation in a group where students are shy or quiet? How can you prevent students from slipping back into their native language when talking to each other? Read on here to see how our teaching veteran deals with these common problems.

Lesson planning and classroom management

As a teacher, it’s a daunting prospect to be outnumbered by your students. But with confidence, flexibility, and a clear plan, classroom management doesn’t have to be a cause for concern. In fact, our teachers have developed a list of their all-time favorite games, exercises, and activities specifically for large groups that are guaranteed to get students engaged and cooperative. Consult our lists of group-based listening, reading, and writing activities that will make lesson planning a breeze.

What can you do when managing the classroom gets tough? Our teachers are full of simple, proven ideas that can get your class back on track when you feel like you’re losing control. With the clear, logical wisdom on this list, you’ll be back in charge in no time — which will benefit both your stress levels and your students’ learning experience.

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Infusing fun into group classes

Though it comes with its challenges, teaching groups can be an enjoyable experience for both teachers and students alike. From parties to potlucks to poetry readings, working with a group opens up endless possibilities for fun-filled classroom ideas that help your students progress with their language skills. See some of our specific favourite ideas here — the more, the merrier!

Language is all about communication — and what could be a better way to learn communication skills than to interact with a variety of people? For this reason, teaching groups opens up a multitude of exciting lesson possibilities for teachers and learning opportunities for students. Though it may seem initially intimidating, our sage advice will surely help both you and your students extract the most from group classes. And whether you’re teaching group classes or working one-on-one with students, check out the rest of our teacher’s handbook — with over 100 free articles, it’s bound to enrich your next class.