The modern English classroom

Move tables, move chairs, make circles, line up chairs, turn chairs back to back, stand on chairs, pile up chairs, create a Trojan shield out of chairs…..

The list goes on for the logistics of an EFL  classroom but how about if none of these were possible, what would you do then, eh, Mr/Mrs/Ms chair moverabouter?

For those of us out of the EFL language school industry we may be teaching English in these:

The continually growing Engineering and Business school sector in France boasts countless schools/unis which look very bare bones. In fact, the classrooms are often just rows of desks and chairs with a projector and lots of plug sockets. Why? Well, most students have laptops, teachers too so everything is done on PPT. However, my own students admit that “we spend a lot of time on Facebook” and “the teacher just sits at the front and we don’t need to do anything”.

Now, what then can the EFLer do in such a desk/chair bolted-down situation then? Well, not move anything is the answer except the students. But is all this needed? Can’t we provide interesting activities and engage students without moving furniture? And if we can’t then are we just relying on logistical considerations to make our classes work?

I’m not a fan of using laptops in class but they can be great and used well if students are empowered and trusted to use them correctly, not to mention having a ‘show on tell’ at the end.

One other regular comment I hear is “I don’t learn much in class, it’s easier and better to do E-learning”. Now, that could mean no more classrooms at all.

So, whats’ your classroom like?


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