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Is the Personality of the Teacher Important to ESL Students?

Is the Personality of the Teacher Important to ESL Students? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

When a student walks into any classroom, his outlook on the class has a lot to do with how a teacher may present themselves, and the qualities that make up that outward presentation. This concept proves itself to be true as the course goes on, and key concepts are taught. The student's perspective on the material is largely dependent on the specific qualities of the teacher that make him or her a dependable source of information. This essay will explore how patience, listening, and empathy are important qualities for English teachers to have and maintain, and how those qualities are vital in the teacher and student learning equation.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sierra S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


One of the most important qualities for a teacher is patience to follow through with all the information that they have acquired through their educational experiences. This can present itself as a difficult task, especially when beginning a new teaching career, as there are so many distractions coming from fresh environments. The teacher must patiently sift through all the distractions to be able to focus on using what they have learned in the past so that they can effectively teach students in the present. The teacher must also be patient in the manner of communication, understanding that explaining must be done by demonstration rather than verbal communication. This will greatly amplify the learning experience, helping students feel able to understand the lesson despite language barriers.

Also Read: Your 5 Step-Guide to a Successful TEFL Course Completion

Listening abilities

A teacher listening to his or her students is important for many different reasons, one being familiarizing themselves with the students personal identifying factors so that the teacher can customize the learning experience for the student. Knowing the names of the students in the class is a way to make sure each student feels recognized as an individual, which helps to build rapport with students. Listening to interests and observing personality types can come in hand when creating a syllabus best suited to the students. This will help to help catch their attention and gain their interest in every lesson. Listening can also be an important quality when students give feedback on a verbal activity. Without being able to observe their language in that feedback, it would be difficult to see their strengths and weaknesses, making it strenuous to play off of them in future lessons. That concept is so important in a classroom because it means catering to the specific needs of the individual. Being able to meet that student at their level will help to increase their learning capabilities within the class.

Also Read: 7 Amazing Games for Learning English with Preschoolers


That is a form of emotional intelligence. This is often difficult to develop throughout life if it is not already innately a characteristic of the teacher's personality. There are, however, various ways of tricking the system. Reading body language and listening to intonations of the student's voice tones are a good way to scientifically deduce certain aspects of a student's emotional and mental well being. This empathy plays a vital role in the classroom when it helps a teacher to gauge whether or not the student is in a mindset for learning. If that is not the case, playing fun games related to the subject to spark interest is a good way to compensate in part for any low emotional states, tiredness, disinterest, etc. Being able to empathize with student struggles is a way of being able to better figure out how to teach a concept in another form to students who are not grasping it.

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This essay has gone through the three important qualities that teachers should have when teaching English as a foreign language, and how they are important in the classroom. Being patient, a good listener and empathetic will help teachers establish a solid rapport with their students. Learning is a game of human connection. Use that connection to spark the minds of students, and watch the flame come alive.

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