With group language classes at the beginning level, classroom management is everything. Here are these students - whatever age - and they are asked to make funny noises and listen to a teacher say things that sound like nonsense. Laughter, teasing, embarrassment, or just fear of looking and sounding stupid, can lead to student behavior that distracts the other students who are trying to pay attention and learn something.
Next, you, the teacher, are in
disciplinarian mode, instead of fun, engaging dialogue and interactive
mode. Now no one wants to talk, and the quiet classroom is under control
but the students aren't learning to speak and understand the language.
happens next? Often, teachers feel they must switch to English (or the
students' first language) to explain or translate. The immersion
concept goes out the window, at least for now.
do we get to immersion with beginning students, especially when a group
of students vary widely in their level of interest in language learning?