Mobile Phones in Class

Last week I had the regular yearly inspection with a well meaning, rule following inspector. I had a class of around twelve adult learners from many different parts of the world studying intermediate English. Everything was going fine, students were engaged in various tasks at their level, they were working together and the classroom was a peaceful buzz. Then, one of my students get a call on their mobile, and, as always, I asked them to take the call outside the classroom.

...taking a call in class

...taking a call in class

In my feedback with same well meaning inspector I was told that students should be reminded to turn their phones off before class and should not use them. I was struck at how much of a point was made. I have never banned the use of mobiles in class, or asked anyone to turn them off. I simply ask that students take the call outside. Of course if a student persistently takes calls then I will ask them not to bring their phone or talk to them individually about if they really want to be in class. Most people, especialy adult learners, tend to be very polite in any case.

I know that some teachers are vehemently against the use of mobiles in their classes, but I don’t see it as too much of a problem in the modern world, where students have more to worry about than just being in class.

How do you deal with mobile/cell phones going off in your class? What do you do? Leave us a comment.

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