Teaching a foreign language is not always easy, especially when dealing with teenagers because at that age most of them barely obey their parents and the last thing they want to do is following orders. As a consequence, many teachers experience discipline problems in the classroom and they do not always know what to do toovercome them. Therefore, this paper sets out to examine possible ways to manage discipline problems in order to help language teachers face them when they appear in class.
To start, many teachers believe that when students misbehave they can control their behavior just by threatening them; in other words, they think that with telling students that they are going to fail the course, haveless points or that they are not going to have break they can change students behavior; although this might be helpful for some teachers, Harmer (1991) states that with threatening students, the teachers just obtains more misbehavior and students’ lack of motivation.
In addition, it is very vital to respond in a positive rather than in a negative way toward students’ lack of discipline;although sometimes it is difficult, because according to Harmer (1991) it is better allowing students to do things rather than limiting them. Furthermore, he claims that once a teacher detects that students are misbehaving, it is advisable to change the activity or cancel it and reseat the noisiest students, by doing this the inappropriate behavior will finish and students will notice that groupactivities and topics will be changed or ended if they do not behave properly.
On the other hand, Gower and Walter (1995) claim that sometimes it is helpful to threaten students; nonetheless, it is more important to set the rules of the class and follow them since the very beginning because if students notice that the teacher is weak when following the rules he established, the disciplineproblems arise. Besides, it is also helpful creating a code of conduct which according to Harmer (1991) deals with having both the teacher and the students decide and agree with the behavior each of them will perform during class time.
Moreover, when discipline problems arise, it is important to act immediately in order to solve them, because if a teacher observes that some students are failingto cooperate in class and are making disturbances while their other classmates are working, and he does not do anything, it would be more difficult for him to cope with discipline and behavior later. Indeed, Scrivener (1994) claims that when dealing with discipline, a teacher must not forget to be fair; in other words, a teacher has to pay attention on the way he addresses to students and on theway he treats them; so that , he does the same with all of them.
On the other hand, it is important to consider that although it is common to have disruptive students in a classroom, there are some external factors that may elicit inappropriate behavior; such as, students’ family problems and self-esteem toward English; besides, another factor that brings out misbehavior deals with boredom;this is, that if the topic being taught or the activity in progress is not appealing or inappropriate for students they may present lack of interest an as result, they will start talking with their classmates or doing other things different from the activity.
The aim of this research proposal is to analyze how different discipline techniques work within a classroom ofhigh school students from a private institution, in order to find out which ones are the most useful for the teacher in charge of the group; so that, they could be applied in future classes to handle discipline.
This research is intends to be applied in a private catholic institution at high school level from the state of Puebla. As it is a private institution, most of the...