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Creating an English Only Classroom

Persuading students to speak English can sometimes be difficult.  One of the best solutions is to have a clear rule, "English only in English class". 

Here are some ideas to help you create an English Only classroom.

·         Use lots of listening material to surround students with the sound of English
·         Put English-language posters on the walls
·         Have short, clearly-defined sections of the lesson when English is the only language spoken.  Gradually make these
      sections of the class longer.

·         Discuss classroom guidelines with students – or even better – help them to write their own rules.
·         Make sure that students understand the purpose of each activity, lesson & course & help them to understand why
      using English is important at each stage.  Try & get them to tell you, rather than you telling them.

·         Respond positively to every attempt at using English.
·         Don’t get angry when students use their first language, but do keep operating only in English yourself.
·         Only ‘hear’ English.
·         Ensure that students are well-prepared for speaking activities.  Avoid asking them to speak unless you’re sure that
      they’ve know the English they will need.

·         Spend time teaching classroom English.
·         Establish English-only classroom routines.  E.g., students greet you in English & then each other, or they start each
      lesson telling each other what they did yesterday.

·         Give each student 100 points at the beginning of the semester.  Deduct points when they speak their L1
·         Divide the class into teams & deduct points from the team for first language use. 
·         Make it clear that you’re happy when they say anything at all in English.  Communication is your priority, not
      accuracy. 

·         Do lots of pair & small group activities so that they can practice English without looking stupid in front of the class.
·         Make a student in each group responsible for making the group speak only English. 
·         If students use L1, stop the activity & find out why they aren’t speaking English.  They may need more help, be
      confused about what to do, etc.

·         Be prepared for English use to grow slowly & don’t expect your students to be able to go the whole class in English
      at the beginning of the semester. 

 
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