As we all should know, homework isn’t the best part of the class, after all, we all had to go through school and we all remember how it felt to have homework to do. The question here is: Should teachers give homework?
Some people believe that it is not necessary, some people think differently, but what is the right thing to do?
I think that in this case the right answer would be: it depends.
It would all vary from their age, content and most important, the level. We should consider that students nowadays have been extremely busy with their schedules. In private schools we often see 4 year old kids who have a very busy life with swimming classes and a second language classes, for example. And the older they get, the busier it is, with bilingual schools and extra curriculum activities. So, taking into consideration all of this factors, what can we do, as teachers, to help them?
I personally believe that it is important to give homework, but not a lot, just enough for them to remember what the have learned during the class. Here are some tips about homework:
1. Give meaningful tasks
2. Don’t make them write pages and pages of homework, we are looking for quality.
3. Start giving homework since the very first day, so the students will get used to the routine.
Last week I attended the BRAZ TESOL 10 and one of the talks was about “Managing your teaching: accountability, tangibility and feedback” by Élcio Souza and one of the things he said was that we should vary the time of giving homework. We usually give the homework at the end of the class, and Élcio said that after we give homework, the students stop paying attention. I do believe that students need to have a routine, but maybe he is right. I have already done that: once I had a student that every monday had to leave early, so I had to give the homework early. The students always seemed surprised. As Élcio said, when you give the homework in different moments, they have no choice but to pay attention to the rest of the class.
So, avoid the feeling that- now that the class is over I don’t need to worry about anything- by giving homework at different moments of the class. If you like, try it and give me some feedback, I would love it.