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Creating An English Classroom

 

WRITTEN BYRaegina Taylor     ADDED:  May 09, 2008 

What is it?
An English room is a place designated for English classes with the ALT and English activities such as club. They can be set up at any level of schooling from elementary through to high school and aim at creating an environment where English is the main focus of the students surroundings. Having an English room can help with student motivation, teaching methods and also allows the studying of English to be an experience instead of a subject.

How To Get an English Room
The easiest way is to ask your JTE.  There may be a room that is not used during your class time, which can be transformed into the English room. Even if there is not one room available, it may be possible to have a room made available. Subjects were shifted out of the English room at my school during all Team Taught and solo taught lessons. My teachers also wanted to use the room in their regular class periods to fully maximize the presence of having the room. It takes time to secure a room, as it also needs to be approved by the other teachers who use it and your vice-principal.
  • Advantages:
  • Students are surround by English thus making the learning a holistic experience.
    • Students are more motivated as they can see some applications of English around them.
  • Disadvantages:
    • It takes time, effort and patience to make the room and keep it updated and fresh.
    • Students may want to hang out in it at lunchtime, which the ALT may have to supervise, which is a real negative...I think not!

 

What To Do in the English Room

  1. Posters:
    • Having a visual reference for students is a great thing to include in your English room. Some ideas (thanks to those in the forum who contributed)
    • Alphabet chart
    • Romaji chart
    • Days of the week
    • Months of the year
    • Description of pronouns
    • Counties where English is spoken
    • Classroom English
    • Numbers and places (eg 1st 2nd)
  2. Culture Board:
    • You could include a culture board in the room displaying current events, countries etc. The positive of having the board in the room is that students can browse it before and after class, as well as having room to have souvenirs and such that students can touch, but with the presence of a teacher.  Read ' article for a more detailed description.
    • 'Bulletin Boards
  3. Books, Dictionaries and English Materials:
    • Putting English materials in the classroom makes the room seem more of a real life example of the culture surrounding the subject, rather than focusing on the grammar and ‘subjective ness’ of studying English. Having dictionaries in the room means that students are encouraged to broaden their vocabulary at their own will. Don’t be surprised if you have some interesting work being produced once you introduce the use of dictionaries into your classes as a choice of the student.
  4. Display Student Work:
    An important aspect of the room is to have a space that students can call their own. In this place, display student work, have extra worksheets and a place where the students can interact with the ALT through a Graffiti Wall where writing anything in English is ok, or a mailbox.

 

My Experience
I have had the English room at my junior high school for about a month now. Students are responding well to it, and I am noticing an improvement in motivation. In addition, I am finding that teachers are using the room increasingly. I have recently included a ‘graffiti wall’ using a whiteboard and although the board is not packed out with comments, it has made me consider having a section where students can decorate as a permanent piece (using paper).

The atmosphere in the room is one of fostering learning and experience. I think that as students become accustomed to having classes there and as the content of the room is refined, the greater the response and results will be.


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This page was last modified on Monday, March 23, 2015 02:39:56 PM