Published 22nd January 2018

The key to a happy and successful classroom is undoubtedly your students. If your students are motivated, engaged and satisfied at the end of the day then you can be sure they are learning, which is the whole point of what we do. What can we do, though, to ensure our students are happy?

Let them talk

Students love talking. It’s probably the reason they are learning English. Make sure you give them plenty of opportunities to talk during your lessons. We don’t mean talk-to-your-partner-about-your-family activities, but genuine chances for them to voice their opinions, express their views and get to know their classmates.

Give them power

Nothing kills motivation like having to blindly follow the leader. Give your students some responsibility by letting them decide what unit of the course book they would like to do next or what topic they would like to discuss in class. They can even choose (to a certain extent) what kind of lesson they would like to do i.e. reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary or grammar.

Get out the classroom

If you are allowed to take your students out for an excursion, this can be a great way to increase satisfaction levels. Using English in real life can be hugely rewarding and motivating and a change of scenery will do everyone good. If you can’t physically leave the classroom, find a way to bring the outside world into the classroom. Put away the course book and use authentic materials so that your students can at least feel like they are taking a “break”.

Build rapport

We’re not saying you need to be best friends with your students (and that’s generally not recommended anyway) but it pays to get to know your students. It can be hard if you have 500 students, but if you spend some time each lesson having a relaxed conversation with your students about their lives outside the classroom, you will find you will get to know their personalities and likes and dislikes. This can go a long way to creating a fun learning environment because you will know what topics and activities will appeal to certain classes but not to others.

 Have some fun

No pressure, but a sense of humour is a sure way to get your students excited about coming into your classroom. In many situations, English classes are different to the usual classes so it’s possible to be a bit more relaxed and have a little fun. Don’t take yourself or the lesson too seriously and you will see that your students will soon relax and enjoy themselves.

There you have it: five simple things which will guarantee your students are happy and content.