I've recently started teaching again T.E.F.L after a break of ten years. I use a communicative approach and try to get students speaking as much as possible.
At the moment I'm teaching an A1 group which is a mixture of absolute and false beginners. The students' ages range from 20 to 60 years old. We're using the "Speakout" book which is published by the BBC. I've been methodical and stressed things like the third person of the present simple and made sure we practised the grammar points through speaking activities.
A student from another group joined mine recently and told my students that her old group is on Unit 5 (we're on Unit 3). I knew this before, as all the teachers regulary meet and we compile the exams for all the groups at the end of the (100 hours) course.
My students are now worried that we're not moving fast enough, eventhough I assured them that there will be nothing in the exam that they haven't seen in class. What annoys me is that the new student asks questions about very basic stuff and is well below the average level of my class. A composition she submitted was also full of mistakes, so much for being two units ahead.
At the end of today's class there was a discussion about this in the students' first language. Some of them are ridiculously unrealistic. One girl who misses a lot of classes but wants "to get a B1 (PET) as soon as possible" told me "Rory, I think we should speed things up." Not in a nasty way, but I was stunned taking this from someone who hardly ever comes and has never submitted any work. There was some good input from another student who suggested more speaking in class, but to be honest, I ask everyone questions everyday and don't know how to do any more. I would be open to your suggestions, though.
I want to keep improving as a teacher and maybe I could be a little faster, I don't know, but as I told them in their first language today, the fundamentals need to be well-understood.
Sorry for the long post, but what how do you think I should proceed?