In a language learning class, the best and the most advanced students are usually the teacher’s pets. They make life easy for their teacher. Since they learn the lesson quickly, the teacher can focus on students who need assistance and attention. Though this is the usual scenario, advanced language learners may also cause potential problems.
According to studies and testimonies by language teachers, these students are usually more problematic than those who have poorer language learning skills. Here are some of the reasons:
- These students easily get bored. As such, they usually do not pay attention to the lesson. They start playing around and disturb the other students who have not yet understood the lesson. Some leave the class, posing more problems due to their absence.
- In class, students are expected not just to learn the language, but also to learn values in life. Given their extreme confidence, they feel like they need not learn anything from the teacher at all. Thus, other values that they should learn are ignored. They only believe in their capacity and even undermine that of the teacher’s.
- Those who try to show off will keep on asking questions to test the teacher’s capacity to teach the lesson. Some questions are even pointless, and all they care about is being able to show to their classmates that they are good, or at some point, humiliate their teacher.
- There are also those who want to move on to the next lesson which may be difficult but interesting for them. Thus, the teacher who is afraid that those students who won’t be granted the wish might soon leave or cause chaos. Even if the others have not yet learned the lesson, the teacher might be forced to move on to the next.
There are a lot more problems that may be caused by students who are way too advanced in terms of language learning skills. Therefore, as a teacher, you need to make sure that you are going to address the problem well. Here are some tips to consider:
- Provide the students with a different set of exercises. You may still give the same lesson to all, but give them more advanced and complicated tasks to work on. By then, they will be occupied and won’t disturb others.
- The school must devise a way to ensure that advanced language learners are grouped together. Thus, they will be given appropriate lessons. Those who have poorer skills will be grouped as well so the teacher can provide more assistance to them.
- Give these advanced language learners the freedom to learn in a way that they deem best. Allow them to challenge themselves through computer generated exercises. Let them suggest their exercises to work on as well.
- As a teacher, make sure that you are several steps ahead. By then, it will be easier for you to answer all the questions your students throw at you. You have to show that you are confident.
- Teach other values. You need to instill to the students the idea that they are in a class not only to learn the language, but other values as well. You have to be in control of the class.
Yes, these students could cause big problems if their needs are not addressed well. They have to be given special attention too.