When it comes to building discipline in the English classroom, teachers usually give many verbal directions to stop or discoirage students's disruptive behavior. However, these verbal directions might not always be appropriate. In this short blog entry, we want to provide teachers with some ideas that can be helpful guidelines.
Technique 1: Use positive directions
When we use positive directions, we get higher compliance than when we use negative directions. Compare the following types of directions:
"Don´t make noise"
Technique 2: State rules impersonally
For example you can say “the rule in this class is not wearing caps in the classroom”, or the rule in this house is not pushing your sister rather than you taking ownership of the rule.
“In the classroom we always use English to ask for permission to go to the bathroom”
Technique 3: Give Alpha Commands
Alpha commands involve a clear, direct, and specific statement without additional verbalizations, and they allow reasonable period of five to ten seconds for the child to respond. Alpha commands are short and they tell the child exactly what to do.
“Put your toys on the shelf”
Technique 4: Give more request and fewer commands
Do not give a command if a request would do it as well. When doing it consider the following:
-Stay close to the child
-Make eye contact
-Limit yourself to two requests, making the same request only twice.
-Use soft, but firm voice.
-Give time for the child to comply with your request.
-Reward compliance with a mile and a “Thank you”
Technique 5: Use forced choices
To make sure the child does the behavior we want, we limit the choices given to the child to only two.
“You can paint the book right now or you can start completing the workbook”
Technique 6: Use pauses
We can add a pause before or after the key message, suggestion, or command in a sentence or paragraph to enhance the persuasive power of the message.
“Would you please…sit down?”
Technique 7: Voice regulation
This technique has four sequential steps: