DISRUPTIVE ELDERLY STUDENTS

Teaching ESL to adults

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DISRUPTIVE ELDERLY STUDENTS

Unread postby karinin » 20 Nov 2006, 12:35

Can anyone help me?
I've got a very disruptive student who is 60 years old. He continuously speaks his mother tongue in class and refuses to speak English. Also in almost every class, he interrupts and complains about my teaching methodology... too much English, moving too fast etc. It's an A2 level - a pre-intermediate level. It's a mixed ability group so I'm moving slightly slower than what I would go with a normal A2 class - there's no way I can go faster. When he complains, he does so in front of all my other students and it's quite demotivating for me.
Can anyone give me some advice as to how to deal with this student? Should I just ignore him? Should I refuse to speak to him until he treats me with a bit more respect? HELP!!!
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Unread postby cabsy83 » 27 Jan 2007, 00:16

I currently teach spanish to an adult night class. It is my second term doing this and it has been going great until this week, week two of my course, an older german lady joined my class.
It is quite an informal class and we talk about spain and not just language. the lessons worked great last time but this woman was in my class for 5 minutes and told me that the order of the course was ridiculous and she didnt want to learn that. I was lucky almost all ofthe other students lept to my defense.
I ended up having achat to her at the end and explained that its all about gaining confidence and everybody in the room is at the same level and we can all laugh at our mistakes together.
I think a small word with your student might help. Explain that it is affecting everyone else and that if he needs more help just ask.
good luck
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Unread postby keith » 02 Feb 2007, 10:30

I think cabsy83 is right. A quiet word with this student at the end of a class may be the answer. Interruptions from students like this often come from frustration and/or insecurity at not understanding, or falling behind the rest of the class. This may be the case. You may find that he is willing to tell you exactly what the problem is if you speak to him alone.

If it is just that he is struggling to keep up, then a solution could be to offer to spend 10 minutes with him after the class sometimes (discreetly - he may not want the others in the class to see that he needs extra help).

I once taught a TOEIC preparation class, in which two girls had a significantly higher level than everyone else. They started to complain that it was too easy and disrupted the class in any way they could! So I talked to them after one class, we discussed the problem and possible solutions, and as soon as they realised that I was just as concerned about their learning as I was about the other students, they became a lot more reasonable and participated normally in the class.

I hope this helps.

Keith
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