What's an ideal atmosphere for learning?
Before we come to the ideal atmosphere, it is very critical to know your students profile in terms of whether it is a batch of youngsters, adults or a mixed batch. Drawing from my experience of 8 years in training students for Communicative English, youngsters are open minded and ready to acknowledge the fact that they have a long way to go in terms of speaking the English Language fluently. An adult class will require a more mature and informal atmosphere in terms of understanding where they stand as of now and what is the gap to be bridged in terms of getting them to get comfortable with Survival or Business English. A mixed class with a combination of youngsters and adults would require you to act as a facilitator and try to identify adults who can mentor students. This is a win win situation purely because you are trusting them to guide people and hence they will take utmost care to raise their levels. Depending on the strength of the class you can introduce mentoring and decide how many participants should be put under one mentor.
In certain cases you need to play a dual role of a mentor and a facilitator. Last but not the least it is very crucial to gain the trust of all participants. I make it a point to tell all my participants on the first day itself that we are all learners. No one can master the English Language. It is an ocean by itself and the best we can do is to better ourselves with each passing day.
We need to be students of the English Language throughout our life.
All the best