There were a number of engaging and insightful posts from January and February, when we asked you to think about 'inclusion'. Many of the posts looked at some of the challenges you face day-to-day in your classrooms with learners who have specific learning difference without any focused training or support. There were several posts looking at the importance of encouraging inclusivity in our classrooms, with excellent advice and tips on how to be an inclusive teacher. There was a post with reflections of a lesson focusing on the refugee crisis in Europe and a post about the benefits of using debates to raise awareness of differences. Finally, there was a very useful post about using presentations to help with mixed-ability classes.
Reading all of these posts of the past two months, it is clear that many of us are working in challenging conditions, often without sufficient support or training. The stories, advice and reflections that you have shared clearly show that inclusion is not just something to think about as an extra element, but is an integral part of what we do in our classrooms every single day.
Topics for March and April 2018
Often, students reach an intermediate or upper-intermediate level and get stuck - sometimes called the B2 plateau. Many motivational factors are involved, but how can we help our students break through the glass ceiling and reach the next level? What are your experiences with intermediate and upper-intermediate students and what strategies do you suggest for encouraging them to keep going?
Should we help students with personal problems that seem to affecting them in class or is our job simply to teach English? If we offer additional care and support, how should we approach it? Do you have experience of a situation like this? How did you deal with the issue?
How culturally or socially & economocially diverse are the learners in your classes? Do you do anything in your classes which address the differences between the students in your classrooms?
What strategies or techniques do you have for establishing and maintaining classroom discipline? How do you deal with disruptive students, bullies, shyer students, etc.?