Characteristics of an Awesome Language Classroom

Characteristics of an Awesome Language Classroom

Acquisition of another language is one skill that most want.

The more languages you know the more stars you get. However, teaching and learning in the language classroom can be a tricky thing. To excel in any language one needs to get a knack of the various aspects to any language. To have the best of learning, few things like the content, resources, teacher matters but one thing that determines your grip and hold on the language is the language classroom environment. Many factors influence the learning of language in the classroom.

Some of the characteristics that matter in a language classroom have been listed below. Check if you’re having the best of all!

- You are an individual! You have strengths and weaknesses and individual needs. In a good language classroom, educator recognizes this and tries to provide you with what you want as an individual.

- The classroom should be a stress-free and relaxing environment. You learn most effectively when you feel relaxed.

- Learning a language is fun and hard work! It is important that student participate in the class activities. The more you get involved in the classroom the more speaking and communicating in the language you're studying will seem natural to you. Pair and group-work with other students helps to achieve this.

- If your teachers are enthusiastic, friendly and well-organized you will enjoy your lessons more and learn more.

- Good language classrooms try to help you get involved by relating the classes to your experiences in life and making the class fun with interesting activities.

- Games and laughter are part of the learning process. Communicative games are a very good way of practicing spoken language.

- You need to practice structures/vocabulary you have recently learnt. It helps to use the language you know in an enjoyable way without worrying about making mistakes.

 However, the core features to get the best language learning are:

1. Collaborative Nature:

An awesome language learning classroom constitutes of an environment where collaboration is witnessed. The collaborative nature helps the learners to communicate with each other hence refining the eloquence, develop vocabulary and eventually they start to think in that very language which implies that the language starts coming naturally to them.   

2. Promoted Communication:

The second feature of language learning classroom is that there is a lot of communication among students and teachers. Many institutions prefer the native educators for the language lessons so that they can not only tech students the language but also help them to understand about the culture, history and significance of that very language. This helps the student to get to the roots of a particular language which helps in have a better grip of the language. As said, a language is directly related to the culture one have. It is essential to have a understanding of both in order to excel in any foreign language.  

3. Engaging Activities as part of the Curriculum:

Learning language is fun but very difficult too. Learning about a new language and achieving the eloquent bar in the same is time taking and requires a lot of patience which can get frustrating for students. So, the key to help students learn with minimum stress is to keep them engaged in activities. Also, the nature of the study is such that the more students are engaged the more they will learn in better ways.     

4. Diversity in the classroom is valued:

The diversity in the language learning classroom is viewed as a resource from which all students can learn. Exemplary teachers view diversity in their classrooms as a positive rather than a negative influence. They know that families with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have unique experiences to share with classmates. Students from diverse backgrounds feel that their culture is being validated and feel pride in their heritage when they see their home cultures and languages being studied in the classroom. This is a real self-esteem builder for students pursuing language learning.

5. Scaffolds are used to help students acquire new information:

Scaffolds, such as linking new information to what students already know, pre-teaching academic vocabulary, using of visuals to support content learning, and modeling think-alouds, help students learn content-area materials.

Few examples are mentioned below:

- Highly effective teachers provide comprehensible input to students by linking instruction to the students’ personal, cultural, and world experiences.

- Highly effective teachers use think-alouds to help students understand the step-by-step thinking process in finding a solution. They help students see the strategies and the language that the teacher uses to solve a problem.

- Photos, drawings, graphic organizers, charts, graphs, and Venn diagrams are used by highly effective teachers to support language learning.

- Highly effective teachers choose essential vocabulary for students to learn. New vocabulary is pre-taught in context, not through rote memorization. Teachers provide multiple occasions for students to practice vocabulary.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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