Managing Discipline

Managing discipline with Young Learners.

It’s not easy to manage a classroom full of children in your own language, never mind in another language where communication and expressing what you want starts to become a problem. A lot of what is covered in the main unit of classroom management is directly transferable to young learners. Saying that, a theory called the 7 R’s has been established for teaching young learners:

Relationships – you must create a positive relationship between you and the learner and also between the learner and English as a subject. Let them have fun activities and hear an abundance of positive words so they feel they are in a happy, supportive environment.

Rules – make sure to establish the rules. Make the rules limited in number, but make sure they are absolutely black and white and all the children understand them.

Routines – make your lessons a set of routines. Through repetition we can explain to our students what is expected and what we want from them.

Rights and Responsibilities – These are new concepts to really young learners, but to help them develop an understanding we teach by modelling our own behaviour and actions to those which we would like our students to present.

Respect – In some classrooms around the world, physical punishment is used as a tool to gain respect. Most TEFL teachers apply western standards to maintaining discipline in the classroom. TEFL teachers should model their behaviour and treat their students respectfully. Usually most students respond by treating the teacher in the same way.

Rewards – Using a reward system can be very effective when teaching children. Remember when we were children we often had shiny stars or smiley faces. Other ideas include points, stickers, marbles and even candies or sweets on special occasions.