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Classroom Layout and Rationale Angelica Settell TEA 451R/851R Spring 2009 Dr. Ali Moeller Leyla Masmaliyeva The classroom layout for a Latin language class should be conducive to communication. Therefore, the students’ desks, the learning aids, and the teacher should be posited in such a way as to allow for proper communication. But also there should be plenty of different types of learning tools in this comfortable environment. The student’s desks, or tables, should be in semi-circle. In this way, the students will be able to see each other in a circle, as well as during pair work. The tables are movable with movable chairs in order to let the activities dictate some of the classroom layout. The teacher should be in front of the room during input phases of the lessons, but the teacher should be able to move around what ever formation the tables may be in. The teacher should try to make sure that his or her mouth is visible to most of the students, most of the time. Many of the students can benefit from looking and the shape his or her mouth makes when pronouncing the language properly. Also, the teacher needs to be close enough or loud enough to all students in order to be heard. The learning aids should also be all around the room in such a way that ensures visibility for all students. The teacher should be able to point or indicate areas of interest or attention easily. There should be a table at the front for whoever may be speaking. There should be a large screen for video and large group Internet work in front of a dry erase board and smart board. There should be a main computer up front to control the media center and projectors. There would also be a cabinet behind the media center with laptops for checkout and various activities. The cabinet would also contain clickers for smart board activities. There should be speakers on either side of the room for listening activities. At the back of the room there could be some easy chairs and sofas for group activities, conferences, reading activities, etc. The sitting would lower the affective filter and make the environment seem less institutional and more comfortable. There should be bookshelves with many different types of Latin literature and end tables with Latin and Classics magazines/journals. The bookshelves will also include some books of legal Latin terms. One of the bookshelves should have different types of plants. Students interested in horticulture and science will be able to study the different names of the plants in the classroom and/or outside of the many windows. The plants and windows will not only serve as learning tools, but they will also lower the affective filter. There will be many anatomy posters on the walls displaying different Latin words referring to the body. The walls would also have posters of various aspects of roman culture: buildings, paintings, sculptures, and depictions of historical and mythological characters. In this way, other disciplines will be a constant source of enrichment for the students. Classroom layout can affect the learning of language students. Students need to be able to hear and see the teacher properly. Students need to be able to see each other properly as well, which will foster good communication amongst students. Learning aids should be copious and displayed conspicuously for students and teachers alike. Finally, students need to feel comfortable in their learning environment.
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