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Improving students' concentration

We are quite aware that over the last few years, teaching and learning have changed a lot.

Indeed, new technologies have played a massive role and drastic change within and outside the classroom. As you probably guess, this has both led to positive and negative outcomes.

In some ways, students have become more independent to make their own research using digital devices. However, I find that spending too much time in front of a screen has led to a lot of problems regarding students' ability to focus in the classroom.

Over the last few years, I had to adapt my teaching in correlation with this. Here are the three strategies I use on a daily basis with my students:

The first thing is to set crystal clear instructions with limited wording and an example to illustrate the instructions. Using Bloom's taxonomy with cognates that students can both identify in French and in English is very useful. For instance : Mémorisez, traduisez...

The second thing is to use your body language by miming your instructions. When you say 'liez les mots en anglais et en français', you can joint your fingers so that students can guess what you mean.

Lastly, I always prepare a wide range of different activities in the lesson with speaking, reading, listening and writing so that students know that they can focus only on a limited amount of time without losing their concentration or feeling any kind of pressure to complete the task.

Sometimes, when an activity is longer than another such as reading, I set a snappy activity combined with kinesthetic . This works really well for the younger ones mostly with games like 'Simon Says' or 'Guess Who'. Students find these activities really interactive and are immediately engaged.

Voilà, these are the three main teaching and learning tools I use to improve my students' concentration during the lessons. I hope you find this useful.


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