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  Home > TEFL Clinic > Teaching Knowledge > Glossary

Classroom Management

Active role, passive role: When students think about their own learning and what their own needs are and try to help themselves learn more, they are taking an active role. A passive role is the opposite of an active role.

Classroom management: The strategies used by a teacher to organise the classroom and the learners, such as seating arrangements, different types of activities, teacher roles, interaction patterns.

Closed pairs: When students do pairwork with the person sitting next to them and no one else listens. See open pairs.

Co-operation noun, co-operate verb, co-operative adj.: Working together and helping each other. In some group work activities students will co-operate to find the answer or solve a problem.

Discipline noun + verb: The way a teacher keeps control of students in the classroom.

Dominate verb, dominant adj.: To have a very strong influence over what happens. If a particular student is dominant in class, then other students get less chance to participate actively. If a teacher dominates, the lesson is teacher-centered.

Energy levels: The feeling in a classroom. If students are interested and working hard, then the energy levels are high; if students are bored or tired then the energy levels are low.

Get students’ attention: To make students listen to the teacher, possibly after they have been doing group or pairwork.

Grade (language): To use language that is the correct level for the students and is not too difficult. See graded reader.

Group dynamics: The relationship between members of the class.

Interaction patterns: The ways in which students work together in class, such as open class, pairwork, group work and individual work.

Involvement: Taking part in an activity, being involved in it.

Learning contract: An agreement between the teacher and the students about their roles and responsibilities (i.e. what the teacher will do and what the students will do to help the students to learn).

Mingle noun + verb: A mingle is an activity which involves students walking round the classroom talking to other students.

Mixed ability, mixed level: The different levels of language or ability of students studying in the same class.

Monitor: To watch over students in order to make sure that they are doing what they have been asked to do, and help them if they are having problems.

Nominate: To choose and name one student to speak or do a particular task.

One-to-one: A teaching situation which involves only one teacher and one student.

Open class: When the teacher leads the class in an activity and each student is paying attention to what is happening. When students respond, they do so in front of everyone in the class.

Open pairs: In open pairs, one pair does a pairwork activity in front of the class. This technique is useful for showing how to do an activity and/or for focusing on accuracy. See closed pairs.

Passive role: see active role.

Rapport, build rapport: The relationship between the teacher and students. Teachers try to build or create a good rapport or relationship with their students.

Routine: Something which is done regularly such as a teacher setting writing homework every Friday. Teachers try to develop some routine habits in the classroom, e.g. always asking students to record new words with their meaning and an example sentence.

Seating arrangement: The way the students sit in the classroom, e.g. in rows, in a circle around the teacher, in groups around different tables.

Seating plan: A plan of where the students should sit in the classroom.

Teacher role: The way a teacher chooses to manage the classroom, e.g. a teacher can choose to take a controlling role, giving directions or instructions at the front of the class or to take a less controlling role, monitoring students as they work.

Teaching space: The areas in the classroom that can be used for teaching, e.g. the board, the walls, the desks, the open floor.

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