If you are looking for some quick ways that can help you get your students’ attention, check out the following suggestions.
- Use a signal for Zero noise. E.g. if I clap once, I want you all to keep silent and pay attention.
- Keep silent for some moments until students pay full attention.
- Check your students’ comprehension frequently by asking simple questions.
- Go around the class to monitor the entire classroom.
- Come closer to two students chatting and surprise them.
- Use various voice tones whispering and then raising your voice.
- Use visual or audio aids and set a clear purpose for watching or listening.
Once you get your students’ attention, you can do the following activities to keep this attention and encourage language practice.
1. Tell a Little About Yourself
Write four facts about yourself on the board. Three of them are true, and one is false. Ask students some questions to see what they thought about each statement. That gives you the chance to tell a little about yourself. Then, on a sheet of paper, students write three interesting facts about themselves that are true and one that is false. Ask them one by one to read the facts, and ask other students what they think about each statement. That gives a chance for students to know more information about each other.
2. Guess the Item with Only 10 Questions
Choose an item in the room, and students have to guess what it is. They can ask only ten questions that you can answer with “Yes” or “No”. The student who finally can guess the item will be the next to choose another item.
3. Guess the Person
Ask one student to imagine that he/she is a certain person and give this student a sheet of paper to write four or five statements about that person starting with “I”, the last line in each statement is a question: who am I? Have students guess who the person is.
4. Who Did That
Write some activities on the board, e.g. learned how to swim, read some books, watched some English movies, bought a pet, etc. Then ask students who did each activity. Have students repeat the sentence and ask some questions to collect more information about each activity, e.g. what movies did you watch? Where did you learn to swim? ….. Etc. This is a great way to learn special things about your students and encourage them to use the past simple tense focusing on the irregular past form.
5. Do Physical Actions
Ask one student or the whole class to stand up and do what you tell them: raise your hands, put your hand on your head, touch your eyes, raise your shoulders ….etc. This activity can also be done in pairs and it is useful to review the new vocabulary with fun.
Finally, if you want to get your students’ attention and keep them attentive, it is essential to show enthusiasm for what you are teaching. The more lively and animated you are in class, the more the students will be attentive and want to join you and learn.
Student mastery of learning can occur only when teachers become aware of how to get their students involved and engaged (become active) in the learning process.
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