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8 Personality Types to Help You Understand Your Students’ Needs

8 Personality Types to Help You Understand Your Students’ Needs | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Each of us have our preferred way of communicating and being communicated to. A teacher who is skilled in personality profiling can understand the preferred communication style of each individual learner and immediately adjust his or her communication approach. According to the Myers-Briggs Type indicators the following Personality profiles exist.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Natasha M.

Introverts and extroverts

Most people are either introverts or extroverts. Introverts generate their energy from being alone and extroverts from being with people, because extroverts love being around people they easily take part in class activities without any hesitation. They enjoy talking to strangers and easily share their thoughts with others. Therefore they are energized and enthusiastic when teachers handout group work. Whereas introverts don't easily share their thoughts and take a little longer to engage in group activities.

If the teacher is an extrovert, the teacher may incorrectly interpret this as if the extrovert learner is a faster learner and more motivated to learn. If the teacher is an introvert they may incorrectly interpret the behavior of the extroverted learner as trying to dominate the lesson or trying to be a show-off.

Also read: The 5 Most Common Types of EFL Students And How To Deal With Them

Sensors and intuitives

Then people are either sensors or intuitives. This refers to a person’s preferred way of gathering information. Sensors like detail and intuitives prefer to use their intuition. The student that is a sensor will often be the student that asks a lot of questions and wants to know exactly what the lesson objectives are. They prefer having a textbook that they can use to prepare from. They need facts before they feel comfortable making decisions. Therefore sensors may feel very uncomfortable during self exploration exercises, or they may make the teacher feel that they don't have the initiative to try exercises on their own. Intuitives don't need a lot of information and may jump into tasks without listening to all the information first. This may frustrate the teacher if the teacher is a sensor and may not give enough information if he or she is an intuitive.

Sensors will want to take notes and may get frustrated when the teacher moves on to the next exercise to quickly. Intuitives may get very frustrated when things are repeated to often, when the teacher is trying to give each learner the opportunity to practice.

Thinkers and feelers

What we do with the information divides us into thinkers and feelers. Thinkers want everyone to be treated equally and feelers want everyone to be treated fairly. Therefore thinkers may get upset when one learner is praised for effort even when their efforts are not nearly as good as the rest. Feelers want the teacher to treat each person as an individual and may get upset when the teacher does not know everyone in the classes names or treats everyone the same.

Also read: Why It’s Important To Create Cultural Sensitivity in the EFL Classroom

Judgers and perceivers

How we organize our environment differentiates between judgers and perceivers. Judgers don't like it when there are deviations from the norm. Therefore they will feel uncomfortable when the teacher varies the lesson too much or deviates from the lesson objectives. Teachers who are perceivers must discipline themselves to stick to the lesson plan if they want to keep the respect of the student that is a judger.

These are just a few examples of the complexity of personality types and their effect on the success of the communication process in the class. Class time is valuable and the maximum returns should be achieved. Therefore if the teacher wants to bring out the best in each student it will be valuable to gain skills in personality profiling.

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