How much homework do you give?

How much homework do you give? And what would you do if your student wasn’t handing in his or her homework in a regular basis? 

Diary submitted by Christion W., Erasmus+ internship in Valencia

While teaching at Valencia language club, the homework system can be exam based. If the students undertake a Mock PET writing or reading exam, they will be allowed to take these exam papers home and bring them back for me to mark the following day. In addition to exam-based homework, we also have grammar classes where students can take home grammar exercises that have been given to them. Homework is handed out to students every day and is expected to be handed in when the students feel like it. Some students are faster than others and tend to complete their mock exams or grammar exercises during the hour or hand in their home work they day after it was given to them. 

Throughout my teaching experience as trainee teacher, I am finding my students to be quite reliable and independent. Most of my students tend to complete their homework but if there is a student that does not complete their homework I would have a small discussion with them after class to find out if they are having any trouble completing the homework. It is stated by Dr. Jennifer Davis Bowman that “making provisions for homework increases the likelihood that homework is completed”. I have found this idea to be very useful for me as a teacher where some students have told me that they are too busy when they get home or simply do not have enough time to complete their homework because they have a job or they are committed to other things. One way I overcame this was to create a homework plan with the students and find out their weekly schedules in order to find a gap to fit in their homework. In addition, some student has told me that the homework is too long for them to complete. In most cases I know that it is an act of laziness because I know their ability, but nevertheless I am reasonable with them and tell them to at least do half of the homework and motivate them by explaining how important it is for them to learn English for their future prospects. Surprisingly it actually works and I am proud when they come back the following day with some homework to hand-in because I know that they are making steady progress. If the student continues to not hand in their homework I would inform the headteacher who will then phone the student´s parents or have a meeting with the student depending on their age. This has also been quite effective and most of the time, home work has been completed by my students on a regular basis.

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