Having rules is the backbone of classroom management. These five rules are designed to keep things under control while not making students feel as though they are “on lockdown”.
- Listen and try to understand.
- Use up to 2 words of English if you want to suggest an answer you don’t know the [target language] for.
- Stop me immediately if you don’t understand. There are sure to be other students who also don’t understand, and it is my job to speak [target language] in a way you can understand. Stopping me helps me do my job. [Establish a “stop signal” with students, and preferably have everyone join in whenever they notice one student “stopping”.]
- Keep my Grandma happy. My Grandma doesn’t like to hear bad language or talk about things that upset her. That pretty much covers all the “bad” topics out there. I don’t know what your Grandma would allow, but for this class, it’s my Grandma who has to be happy.
- Everything we say is amazing and astounding and fascinating, so if you want to just spontaneously say “Ooh!” or “Aah!” or [appropriate target language rejoinder], that would certainly be a good thing.
Simply stopping and pointing to the rule being violated is the most effective way of enforcing these rules (that’s why there’s a poster or sign on the wall). Everyone is clear about what the rules require, so simply pointing out the violation should be enough to “correct” the behavior. This way, there is minimal interruption to class activities, and there is no possibility of an argument back and forth between teacher and student.
Download a simple poster of these rules as a visible reminder: