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I have recently implemented a new system to control discipline in my
classroom(teenagers, intermediate level). My inspiring muse has been
This is how it works: I keep a yellow card (like Mark´s) where I have
written all the students´names. I have told my students that whenever
they speak Spanish (their first language)even among them, I´ll write
a cross by their names. When they get 3 crosses they are shown a red
card, which means they are punished.
The punishment works as follows: I have an envelope where there are
slips of paper with tasks for them to do. They pick one at random and
they have to perform the task they got. There is a wide range of tasks,
for example: "Find out who Martin Luther King was and tell your classmates",
or "Cook for the class" (they have to bring the ingredients, cook for
us as if he was cooking on TV and -if eatable- we eat it during the break).
Another one is:"Interview an English teacher in the school and ask her
if she thinks it is important to speak only English in the English class
and why" (he has to use a tape recorder and then transcribe the interview).
This system has a double benefit: as students cannot speak L1, they aren´t
so restless, because they tend not to chat about trivial things in L2.
If they do, they are still practicing their English. The "punishments"
make them go on with their English practice and they can learn something new.
I hope you find this as useful as I have found your recipies!

Mercedes Foligna
Buenos Aires, Argentina
[email protected]

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