I’ve been having some problems in my A2 class lately because a very chatty student has returned from being away for a while. I spoke to my ADOS about it and she gave me some useful ideas.
First it’s important to recognize why they are speaking Spanish. It usually boils down to these three things:
1)They have finished the task and are waiting for slower students to finish.
2)They need to explain something in Spanish because they don’t have the skills to do it in English (they are A2.)
3)They have too many tasks to do: brainstorm ideas and produce something written.
1) This does seem to be a problem with my A2 class as the abilities of the students in the class differ quite a lot. Three students in particular usually finish before everyone else and then start talking to teach other in English.
– One way of avoiding this is to spread out the stronger students in the class. Move the students so that the strong ones are spread out around the class. This means that they can’t chat to each other in English and that they can help the weaker students.
-Another suggestion is to set 7 out of 14 exercises to do. For example if the students are doing an exercise with questions a-n, tell students to do the first 7. When the faster students complete the exercise tell them to continue until the others have finished.
-If a student has finished first and you have checked that their answers are correct you could get them to board their answers and the others can check they have the same.
– Students who finish first could practice and test each other on vocabulary from the board, (the emerging language that the teacher puts up throughout the lesson.) They could make vocabulary cards or sentences using the words.
2) As these students are A2 I think it’s understandable that sometimes they need to explain something in Spanish to really get their head round a grammar point or to double check that they have understood correctly. However, this can also be checked using concept checking questions and giving examples.
3) If students are brain storming ideas and Spanish crops up I must make sure that they produce a final product which is in English. Maybe when they are brainstorming in groups they may need help with words which is when monitoring comes in important. Also I must give students sentences stems to help them form and discuss their ideas.
At the end of the day these students are adults who are paying to come to an English class, hopefully they will make the most of the opportunities I give the to speak in English.
Wish I could do the Spanish hand with them like I do my kids…