Today, I want to share another experience I had when I was a student at high-school. I really find this experience worth sharing with you. Maybe that’s the reason why I still keep it in my memory even after so many years.
Of course, it was an English class. I was in grade 9. As you know, in each class, there are always some unwilling students who refrain from speaking English. They try not to make even a sentence during a class hour. You can never see their hands raising to ask for a reply. When you ask a question to the class, you look for their hands desperately. However, it is beyond hope because they have already buried their heads in the sand. Moreover, they refrain from maintaining eye contact with the teacher lest the teacher notice them and ask a question. When you ask them a question somehow, they always prefer giving short answers. ‘Yes and No’ are their favorite answers. They hate ‘why’ questions. They look as if they have seen a ghost when they are supposed to answer ‘why’ questions.
The experience I want to share with you is just a similar case. Our English teacher asked, ‘What sport do you do?’ After some various answers, one of the girls answered, ‘I run.’ As you guess, she was one of the unwilling students. Then we heard the same answer from the other unwilling students one by one. They just stood and said, ‘I run.’ without thinking for a second and forcing themselves to speak.
For such situations and students, as you know well, teachers should ask some questions that directed to the whole class in order to include the unwilling students among the others. One example of such methods is asking chain questions. I mean you ask the same question to each students in class or first the teacher asks the question to one of the students and then the student answer the question and ask the same question to another student. By this way, each student knows that there is no way out. They get prepared and reply the question. However, in order not to confront with the same answer, the teacher should set up some rules previously such as not using the same answer more than one time. Therefore, teachers of English should always have a plan b just in case.