How to help poor learners

By Glenn Barnes,2014-07-05 16:37
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How to help poor learners

How to help poor learners at with the aspect of schools

    The role of the teacher in any classroom context must be to bring each and every student to an acceptable standard of learning, giving room for the achievement of excellence. Inevitably within any class there will be a disparity of grades, a result of differing IQs, varying performances on exam day as well as different methods of exam preparation. It is expected that a typical classs

    grades will form a rough bell curve, and while the aforementioned factors can explain part of the reason why this happens, nonetheless there are other factors that can cause students to achieve beneath their potential. In this sphere two main factors can be isolated; those students who are academically able, but who choose not to apply themselves and thus perform poorly, and those students who have difficulty absorbing new information in a typical classroom atmosphere and have been classified as poor learners. It is this second group that shall be the focus of this paper, of which the following issues will be discussed; recognising those students who are poor learners, analyzing how typical classroom conditions affect poor learners and analyzing various methods that the teacher, the school and the student can adopt to improve the learning ability of said students.

    1.What is a poor learner?

    Poor learners are also called slow learners. Maybe we can call them dull normal, low normal, or borderline retarded. But we prefer the term poor learner. In Andersons opinion, poor learners

    are equivalent to underachievers. According to himpoor learners refer to the students who are not

    doing well in language learning either because they are not trying very hard or because they are less foreign flexible and less effective in learning English. About 1 out of 5 children are poor learners.

    Though exam results may be similar between apathetic but otherwise able students and poor learners, poor learners display a number of characteristics that distinguish them from this first group. As a peculiar group, poor learners exhibit a series of distinctive characteristics, which can be described in terms of their behaviors and psychology. They have poor test results at school and showing little or no interest in learning, refuse to do homework or leave much work unfinished, and they may have difficulties in solving complex problems and working very slowly, they are

    not good at planning for the future or setting goals well below their true ability or potential. These children usually lack of self-control and confidence.

    We can solve the methods to help poor learners through realizing the definitions of poor learners and the characters of them. Here I will focus on school aspect.

    2. Causes of poor learners.\

    While it is clear that poor learners have more difficulty absorbing new information and techniques than other students, nonetheless in most schools not enough is being done to cater specifically for poor learners. Indeed a typical classroom environment can frequently compound the problem by creating an atmosphere not only in which a poor learner may find himself unable to keep up with his classmates, but in fact may find that it lowers his confidence to the point that he does not display sufficient motivation to press on with his studiesThere are many causes of poor learners which include external causes and internal causes; here I will analyze the causes of school aspect.

    First the most important reason that cause poor learning is that the uninteresting teaching techniques and the out-of-date educational concepts. Teachers often focus on infusing what they want to teach to students without any motivation activities, the students might not easily to concentrate to learning, and the traditional educational concepts told teacher that the students

    final score is the only standard to evaluate the teaching effects which could make teachers neglect the process of learning and pay much attention on students examinations. Second ,I think the

    unhealthy typical classroom environment is bad for learning like unhealthy competition , large class size and standardized testing and so on ,in China ,most of schools have large size of class which usually about 40 or more students in one class , it is nit good for the teachers pay individual attention ,particularly the poor learners. The third reason is teachers attitudes toward the mistakes

    which made by students, the Chinese teacher often like the critical way to stimulate hard study of students but this may cause students afraid of making mistakes and scary of exams and then lose their learning interest .

    Teachers‟ teaching quality is also an important reason which influence students learning ,As

    we know, classroom is a main learning channel for Chinese students. Students in a secondary school are often beginners. If teachers give classes with words, which are beyond students‟

    understanding, they will have to explain what they have said until most of the students can understand. In an only 45-minute class, this is a great loss for the students for it wastes students‟ precious time in which they can do more speaking, listening, reading, writing or other activities. Therefore, it is very important for teachers to have a good knowledge of classroom English.

    At present, the polarization widely exists in English teaching process in the middle schools and high schools. Students who learn English has suffered repeated failures, as tine passes, the repeated failures cause a vicious circle, such a vicious circle leads to the psychological obstacle—“doomed to fail”. failures shake the morale and bring out psychological obstacle such

    as panic ,depression ,doubt ,worry ,even detestation and disappointment and so on.

3. how to help poor learners from the angles of school and teacher

    In terms of addressing these problems a variety of methods can be employed, however to maximize the students potential it requires the active participation of the teachers, the school, the students family and of course the student himself. Of course though, learning a foreign language also presents unique difficulties for student and teacher alike, and these need to be accounted for when formulating new learning strategies.

    Educators in the National Coalition for Equality in Learning are discovering that a realistic understanding of the progress and problems of our present and past educational efforts is necessary for new attempts at school improvements to be constructive and lasting. Unfortunately, many current reformers do not present very little evidence to support allegations of the inadequacies of Chinese schools. The most varied of the factors that influence school learning is the student. All children entering the school have developed knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, habits, skills, and practices that are in some respects different from those of any other child. Some of these characteristics facilitate their constructive development while some impede it. For the student the most important factors to be cultivated are self-confidence and an increased motivation to learn.

    All the problems showed that that we needed a whole-school strategy to help our learners become more effective. This meant that they needed to know how to learn. Further key questions

    began to emerge. What did it mean to be a learner? What did good learning look like? What would it be like to teach a class full of highly effective learners? What do we change or rather what can we change? Having been through TVEI, Flexible Learning and Student-Centred Learning initiatives, the thoughts turned once more to the problem-solving enquiry-based learning models that had been subjugated to a target-driven data-driven, curriculum-impoverishing, results-based agenda. Experience had, however, brought with it caution. It told me that to ask staff to take the risk of undertaking the pedagogical change necessary for moving towards an enquiry-based classroom would be doomed to fail unless we first equipped both learners and teacher with the skills and the confidence to manage that change without sacrificing standards.

     First ,I think teachers should enhancing students‟ motivation of learning, Motivation is an

    important factor in English achievementFor this reason it is important to identify both the type

    and combination of motivation that assists in the successful acquisition of the foreign languageAt

    the same time it is necessary view motivation as one of a number of variables in an intricate model of interrelated individual and situational factorswhich are unique to each language learner. In

    order to make the language learning process a more motivating experiencethe instructor needs to

    put a great deal of thoughts into developing programs which maintain student interest and have obtainable short term goalsHere are some methods to about student motivation:

    1) In order to foster intrinsic motivation, try to create learning activities that are based on topics that are relevant to your students' lives. Strategies include using local examples, teaching with events in the news, using pop culture technology to teach, or connecting the subject with your students' culture, outside interests or social lives.

    2)try to balance the challenge, Students perform best when the level of difficulty is slightly above their current ability level. If the task is to easy, it promotes boredom and may communicate a message of low expectations or a sense that the teacher believes the student is not capable of better work. A task that is too difficult may be seen as unattainable, may undermine self-efficacy, and may create anxiety. Scaffolding is one instructional technique where the challenge level is gradually raised as students are capable of more complex tasks.

    3) the teacher should adopt a supportive style. A supportive teaching style that allows for student autonomy can foster increased student interest, enjoyment, engagement and performance. Supportive teacher behaviors include listening, giving hints and encouragement, being responsive to student questions and showing empathy for students.

    Second, foster students‟ ability to study on their own. To bring the student‟s role in class into

    full play, we also need students‟ effort---developing a good habit of self-study. Outside the

    classroom, it is very necessary for students to make good preparation for lessons they are going to learn, and review timely what they have learned as well. It is a prerequisite for a successful interactive classroom teaching. But how can the teachers foster students‟ ability to learn by

    themselves. Here are some suggestions. In the current information age, Internet is playing an ever-increasing role in our daily lives. Internet has made it possible for language learners to be exposed to a wide range of authentic materials of the target language, which is an ideal environment for language learning. If the students have access to computers, they should learn to make full use of it. British Broadcasting Corporation is famous for its English teaching program. Once you click “education” at vivid and funny pictures will catch your eyes, which are designed particularly for children. There are also other programs for learners in different levels. Other websites such as service are also helpful for self-study. If students can‟t get access to computer, it

    doesn‟t matter. A Walkman or a radio is still ok. Students can buy some classical English tapes, such as Li Yang Crazy English, New oriental English, New Concept English etc. Choose one of the tapes listen attentively and hang on to listen, your English will certainly make great progress. Only when students have improved their English have they the desire to express themselves and be active in the class. Therefore, developing students‟ self—study habits are still a key step to

    bring the student‟s role in class into full play.

    Third, to be a teacher, we should improve our professional knowledge and English basic skills .Pronunciation would facilitate students other aspects of learning and it will influence the

    whole life of learners,so we should be strict with ourselves ,try our best to improve our teachers

    Pronunciation which is a key problem we neglect in middle schools and high schools ,because examination- oriented education system made the schools and teachers just pay much attention on students final score. teachers‟ personality is also important , it would affects students learning,

    we should set an good example to them and try to be patient ,energetic ,passionate and treat every students equally and also pay special attention to slow learners .

    While any given classroom will contain a wide spectrum of abilities and thus grades, nevertheless those students at the lower end of the spectrum, classified as slow learners, have the potential to achieve higher grades. Making this a reality requires a change of atmosphere and a change of approach. Typical classroom environments frequently have a detrimental effect on underachievers, lowering their self-esteem and leaving them behind. Poor learners need more one-on-one teaching. With the active participation of the students, the schools and he teachers, coupled with innovative teaching techniques and a better teaching environment, poor learners can fully develop their potential and reach a successful conclusion with their studies.


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