Implementing new classroom routines

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IMPLEMENTING NEW CLASSROOM ROUTINES


“Because we are mind/body creatures, we cannot separate learning from our emotions”.

Tompkins Cortland Community College.


As teachers, we have a special responsibility on the society development that is reflected on our daily job in the schools. We are in charge of addressing students´ knowledge to a well-organized plan for their present andfuture lives, considering all the time the importance of their needs, interests and expectations as the basis for carrying out a suitable language learning-teaching process in the classroom.

When we keep in mind the students’ individual characteristics named above as part of a group for encouraging them to learn, we are taking the way of the educational analysis and reflection forreinforcing their learning process through the necessary changes in terms of the innovation of knowledge and effective activities for contributing to a better interaction between language theory and practice. Based on a deep educational analysis and reflection about the learning-teaching process, we can take into account some categories in order to identify what aspects need to be changed for improving ourclassroom routines, some of the categories that can help us in a well-structured way are: promoting an emotionally and physically safe learning environment, making our lessons 100% learner-centered and promoting self-directedness and life-long learning habits in our students.

In relation to the first category, ‘promoting an emotionally and physically safe learning environment’, we need tobear in mind that how teachers and students feel in the class is as important for developing an effective lesson as the knowledge we are sharing and in this way, I think the idea of Stephen Krashen’s Affective Filter Hypothesis is crucial and valuable because according to the Language Impact Web Page (n. g.) (n. d.), “Motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety all affect language acquisition, ineffect raising or lowering the "stickiness" or "penetration" of any comprehensible input that is received”. This idea about Krashen’s theory is clear and shows us how important this category is for improving the language learning process, highlighting that a safe emotional learning environment needs to promote motivation and self-confidence in order to get a positive response from students duringthe lessons. Moreover, implementing a safe physical learning environment implies the organization of behavior guidelines and procedures that help us carry out a planned and controlled class and the creation of classroom traditions like greetings, asking for permission, respectful opinions, among others that let us prevent misbehavior.

Talking about the second category, ‘making our lessons100% learner-centered’, as teachers, we have to recognize all the time that the class plans need to be focused on the students as learners, considering the particular context we are immersed (teacher-students) and its social and cultural features in order to promote an Active Learning. Making our lessons 100% learner-centered needs an atmosphere where we can accommodate different learning styles andmotivate students to accept responsibility for learning, acting as monitors in the development of the activities in the classroom, letting students play an active role in their learning process through specific support methodologies like Collaborative Learning, considering students’ personal views and knowledge for working with others in small groups or pairs. In my opinion, if we organizelessons 100% learner-centered, we will promote a Self-Directed Learning in the classroom that will enrich students’ language acquisition process.

Besides, there are some classroom routines that we can implement for developing this category and according to Rogers (2002), they can be “Ask, don’t tell, focus on students’ experiences and interests, communication over accuracy, learning by doing,...
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