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Lazy year 11s

Discussion in 'English' started by User2525, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I'm an NQT have have taken over a year 11 class. They are set two of three. And are really very lazy. They are not naughty per se but would just rather sit there than do any work. Mostly the boys, it has to be said, the girls are generally ok. I got quite a bit of work out of them today but it can be like pulling teeth and asking for homework is almost pointless.

    What I find most frustrating, however, is there contribution in lesson, or lack there of. Almost any question I ask is met by 25 blank faces. Can anyone suggest any way to get them talking. We're doing the language side of things for the time being but there's going to get to a point where we have to read OMAM and I'll be damned if I'll be the only one talking. I'd try ANYTHING to get them even slightly animated. I'm even up for spending a lesson playing a game that isn't directly related to the syllabus if it would mean that they become less zombie-like. If anyone has any suggestions I'd LOVE to hear them

    Thanks in advance

    p.s. sorry about the length of this, I do prefer to be briefer usually.
     
  2. Hi

    I'm an NQT have have taken over a year 11 class. They are set two of three. And are really very lazy. They are not naughty per se but would just rather sit there than do any work. Mostly the boys, it has to be said, the girls are generally ok. I got quite a bit of work out of them today but it can be like pulling teeth and asking for homework is almost pointless.

    What I find most frustrating, however, is there contribution in lesson, or lack there of. Almost any question I ask is met by 25 blank faces. Can anyone suggest any way to get them talking. We're doing the language side of things for the time being but there's going to get to a point where we have to read OMAM and I'll be damned if I'll be the only one talking. I'd try ANYTHING to get them even slightly animated. I'm even up for spending a lesson playing a game that isn't directly related to the syllabus if it would mean that they become less zombie-like. If anyone has any suggestions I'd LOVE to hear them

    Thanks in advance

    p.s. sorry about the length of this, I do prefer to be briefer usually.
     
  3. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    You've probably tried these suggestions already, but...
    - offer a reward of some kind for every well-thought out answer. Go with your school's rewards policy if it's sufficiently enticing or maybe just buy yourself some sweets for a few lessons to get them a bit more interested. I tend to have a column of the board reserved for the names of students working well and then issue rewards at the end of the lesson.
    - if they're not naughty, would they work well in very small groups with focused questions? If they answer them on paper following discussion and then have feedback it might encourage them to express an opinion without it being directly to you or the whole class
    - would any drama link in with what you're doing at the moment? again, if they're not naughty it might loosen them up a bit. You could inc a few drama games to loosen things up a little
    - there's always the approach where you just refuse to let them leave for break/lunch etc until you've had x number of sensible contributions
    You might actually find OMAM gets them more involved since they'll (hopefully) get into the story. That would at least lend itself to some drama.
    Good luck!

     
  4. Language stuff can be boring. OMAM might bring them in and get them talking. Plus, you're new, they're a new class and it takes a wee while to get them going even in the best classes.
     
  5. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    A great tip for OMAM - get the Gary Sinisie audiobook (available from amazon on CD - mine was shipped from the USA and took about a week). He does all the accents etc. and the class follow with the texts. At first classes are a bit skeptical but they end up loving it - as will you as you won't have to suffer the quasi-American accents of Steinbeck's phonetic dialogue, or the tortured strains of a reluctant pupil reader!
     
  6. I always read OMAM to kids. They can't handle the speech or the vocabulary and it's so short! I also use clips from the Gary Sinise film because it gives them a really good picture of Lennie and much of the dialogue is word for word from the book. I've never met a class who didn't end up liking it and you could start them off with a discussion about, "Are thre any circumstances in which you would kill your best friend?" which usually gets them going because they can't believe you've asked such a weird question. I'd also suggest some co-operative learning stuff - really tight group roles and timings, short clear tasks where they have to talk to each other and report back, swapping groups and pairs to get them up out of their seats etc.
     
  7. One technique I use is hands up to vote. Who thinks that the possessive of "Jesus" should be "Jesus'", who thinks that it should be "Jesuse's", who's not brave enough to opt for either (try to make the last one a bit of a joke). That forces everyone to participate.


     
  8. you're new so it's the ideal situation for you to find out about them, their experiences of school/english and what they want to do in lessons and with the rest of their lives ... give them the opportunity, in groups, pairs, whole class, to talk about themselves. draw them out, be interested in them.
    ask them lots of questions on the 'pretext' that you really want to provide them with a course that they will love and get the best out of. make them feel special and that they are the most important thing of all. ask them about their experiences of english, what they liked/disliked. ask them what they want to do after they've left school and use that to make them see they've got to work. then use this as an opportunity to tell them why they are doing english, why it's important for their future.
    show them you are prepared to put the effort in by providing them with exactly what they need and they will probably / hopefully respond by putting in some effort too. make them feel good about themselves and english. it sounds like they are bored with it and think you are just going to give them more of the same. show them they are wrong and that you are different.
    if you are different, that is!!
    good luck. it's not easy but that kind of class, once you've got over the initial resentment/apathy, can be the best of all to teach.
     
  9. Thanks for all the advice, I will try it out and see what works.

    M
     

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