Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    70
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Huge classes and failure?

    Hi all,

    I would be interested to hear your opinions on the realistic chances of success in teaching primary school classes of around 50 students?

    Not mentioning the country where this is an average, but I would appreciate views from Dip Ed teachers etc if possible, with their views on this.

    I teach where this is the average and it is certainly as if the government thinks they will be the first country on the planet to successfully educate the population to be fluent in English language with a class size like this!

    I know from doing this long enough the huge array of problems it causes, but have found little written about the link between failure and class size on the internet.

    There is an open day next week where EFL teachers can express their views on the subject of language teaching to local government education people so I would appreciate some stuff from you guys on this, unless you feel it's more down to me and that 50 in a class is fine!

    Regards



    Mak

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    I taught elementary school, all grades, for three consecutive years for the board of education in Japan. My class sizes ranged from 40 minimum to 45 maximum. I saw each grade once a week for 50 minutes. Class size wasn't a problem (there were Teaching Assistants), time allocated to teaching English was the major problem.

    If you're interested in finding out more about class size and its effects on learning, you might want to check out the B.Ed forums.

    Try here, Home of Reduce Class Size Now. There are academic papers here, Teaching & Learning

    This is what I googled, class size and learning - Google Search.

    All the best

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,543
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Would size have been a problem without the teaching assistants?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    70
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    I taught elementary school, all grades, for three consecutive years for the board of education in Japan. My class sizes ranged from 40 minimum to 45 maximum. I saw each grade once a week for 50 minutes. Class size wasn't a problem (there were Teaching Assistants), time allocated to teaching English was the major problem.

    If you're interested in finding out more about class size and its effects on learning, you might want to check out the B.Ed forums.

    Try here, Home of Reduce Class Size Now. There are academic papers here, Teaching & Learning

    This is what I googled, class size and learning - Google Search.

    All the best
    Thanks for the information Cas I'll have a look at it! Interesting what you say in regard your class sizes not being a problem. Would you answer for me then, why every international school appears to want a class size around 20 or less and teachers I speak to, constantly complain that it is no good when this starts to rise?

    Do you think that a class of 20 learn around the same as that of 50 going on the same hours of study per week?

    On a practical note, I have one class of 28 and one of 50. The activities we can cover are nearly 2-1 time wise which shows in their ability IMO after a year with each. The kids who are a year lower (28 class) are higher in ability than the other. Of course this could be because of a number of factors and I feel it does make a lot of difference in many ways but I was looking for some research to back it up!

    Mak.
    Last edited by makaveli; 04-Jul-2007 at 05:47.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Would size have been a problem without the teaching assistants?
    Is that a rhetorical question?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by makaveli View Post
    Interesting what you say in regard your class sizes not being a problem.
    Class size is and will always be a problem. EFL doesn't corner the market on that one. It's a real problem and one that every school deals with; they can't/won't turn students away; they do what they can, budget and staff permitting. That's a present day issue all over the world, not just in the world of EFL. Now, what adds insult to injury is when the system views English as nothing more than a hobby--ahem, 50 minutes per week per grade per student. From that perspective, the bigger problem isn't class size, it's the unchallenged assumption that somebody is actually going to benefit from those 3 hours and 20 minutes of English per month.

    In other words, your argument would be stronger, and the solutions a little easier to come by, if you looked at the problem from different perspective.

    All the best, and good luck on the research.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,543
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by makaveli View Post

    Do you think that a class of 20 learn around the same as that of 50 going on the same hours of study per week?
    Never having taught such a large class, the mathematics would suggest that this is less likely, and some activities would be virtually impossible. However, if the class of 50 were all of a similar standard and the smaller class were mixed ability, it might not be the case.

  8. #8
    angelic_endeavour is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    My last job was the pits, 36 seventh graders and about half had discipline problems. Normally the group would be divided. The director of the school wanted miracles, I gave her one 18 students scored so high on their exams in ESL that they qualified for an exception and did not have to take any finals in English. What did I get for this? I got the boot.

    How did I get them to turn around like that? Caring, soft talking, no name calling and a lot of humor in the classroom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    70
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    No disrespect but 36 is a mile away from 50 I've done both and just about everything in between.

    I have since had the forementioned open day and managed to get some sound advice in regard classroom management which I am now going to implement. However, the consensus from the 4 vastly experienced primary teachers I spoke to, was that it is near impossible to have that number reaching a competent level regardless of the numbers of weekly hours by the end of primary.

    Mak

  10. #10
    bianca is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,044
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Huge classes and failure?

    Quote Originally Posted by makaveli View Post
    No offence but 36 is a mile away from 50 I've done both and just about everything in between.

    I have since had the forementioned open day and managed to get some sound advice in regard classroom management which I am now going to implement. However, the consensus from the 4 vastly experienced primary teachers I spoke to, was that it is near impossible to have that number reaching a competent level regardless of the numbers of weekly hours by the end of primary.

    Mak

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk