Thursday, 17 March 2016

Worst Practices

A few months ago, David Deubelbeiss raised a pertinent question in ELT Professionals around the world about worst practices: What do teachers do that can harm student learning then and now and also for future months/years? I'm sure there are even many common practices that some of us might consider as harmful.

1. focussing on the most able learners to the exclusion of the more shy but able learners
2. focussing on the wealthy in class to the exclusion of the poor
3. considering themselves superior and mocking / belittling / humiliating weak learners in
    front of their peers by word and deed
4. having fun at the ignorance of learners
5. reading learners’ gestures wrongly and (without seeking explanation) hurting them
6. calling students names
7. accepting another teacher’s image of certain students and looking at them with prejudiced

    perception and developing a negative attitude

These are some of the things that struck me as worst practices. I’ve seen some of these happen and do irreparable damage. The can wound the students in question, destroy their confidence, initiate a dislike for the subject; they may even pave way for bad blood between such teachers and students, and in all probability, it’s the students who get punished for no fault of theirs.