op10) How to Overcome Large Class Size

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op10) How to Overcome Large Class Size

Post  Young on Sat Jun 07 2008, 03:25

One of the problems in Korean English education is class size. Generally, there are about 35 students in one class having one teacher. Compared to the class size ten years ago, present class size is much smaller. However, it is not impossible to implement effective English language instruction in Korean schools. How can we come to a conclusion that it is impossible without any trial. I think there must be appropriate, feasible ways to overcome difficulties due to large class size: conducting the class in an active way, letting group work, and motivating personal studying online.



First of all, we need a new way which is different from current one to conduct the class. English teachers can lead the class actively. Usually, teachers stand in front of the class giving a kind of lecture. In this context, students in the back of the class can’t concentrate on the class properly. Also, it is hard for the teacher to interact with all students. If teachers go around the class or stand in the center of the class when they teach, more students can pay attention to the teacher and this class can be active one. In addition, when teachers need to write something on the board to explain, it is better to use O.H.P. or handouts that teachers already prepared rather than waste time writing on the board.



Next, group work is great method to complement the disadvantage of large class size. By doing group work, students can have a chance to use English doing activities with their group members. One of English teachers working for a middle school that I met in KOTESOL(Korea Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) meeting applies group work to her classes. She lets the students speak English in groups doing some activities such as survey. While students do group work, the teacher goes arounf the class helping students speak English. Her experience shows that group work helps conduct large English classes more effectively making the classes student-centered.



Lastly, extra personal studying online helps students improve their English and increase the quality of the class. Therefore, teachers can motivate students have personal studying time out of the class. The teacher can make online café or forum for their students and provide useful contents and information to study English covering all English skills. The teacher can assign students homework which should be done online. Then, based on what students studied at home, the teacher conducts the class in more practical way such as discussion and presentation.



All in all, even though large class size makes English classes less effective to conduct, it is necessary to try new approaches to deviate from the ordinary, conventional way of teaching. By drawing the class in an active way, applying group work, and motivating personal studying online, we can try to get over large class size. New government is planning to change current Korean public English system, and large class size is considered as one of the things to be dealt with. In my opinion, efficient methods should be practiced first because not many public English teachers have tried to approach differently. Trial for development will lead the positive results, which go to the successful English education.
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Re: op10) How to Overcome Large Class Size

Post  Sera Jung on Sat Jun 07 2008, 12:02

Though smaller size class is more effective to teach English, when we consider costs and facilities for it, teachers can not help but try to find a new way to overcome its limitations. The ways you mentioned such as group activies, online-studying, using many materials will help teachers to interact with students better . Also when we think that all those activites should be prepared and organized by teachers , I again realize how the role of teacher is important for student's effective learning.
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Re: op10) How to Overcome Large Class Size

Post  Jung namsook on Sun Jun 08 2008, 07:44

I've thought of your suggestion of being more transparent when we write agree/disagree essay. You must be right to go strait to our opinion and persuade with more details and examples. I also try to adopt more direct way as you advised me. I'm always astonished at your punctual describing things around you.
Have a great weekend!
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