Reasons Why Student-Teacher Relationships Are Important
2019-06-24 Elizaveta Pachina Alumni Experiences
Learning a new language can be a daunting task. It requires a lot of studying, practicing, and participation in order to fully comprehend and be able to use a new language. That is why people who want to learn a new language prefer to take a class on it instead of trying to learn it themselves. Taking a class on the English language can help build a student’s confidence and motivate them. It is especially important for an English teacher to develop a rapport with their students because English students need to feel comfortable with the person teaching them their new language skills.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Cheyenne K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
When a student is in a class with several other language learners, they can feel reluctant to participate in class activities if they are not comfortable. According to the ITTT website, “Students will respond far better if they feel comfortable, are stimulated, involved, valued, feel as if they are treated equally but given special attention when required”. By establishing rapport with students, they will be more willing to be a part of the learning experience and maybe even enjoy it more. Not only is it important for the teacher to establish rapport with students, but the students should be establishing rapport with each other as well. “A harmonious classroom with minimum levels of drama, acrimony and bad feelings amongst students will ensure a far greater vibrancy in the classroom which will benefit all students, making the teacher’s role a little easier and reduce the amount of wasted time”. It is imperative that students are comfortable around each other so they are more willing to engage with each other, help each other, and encourage each other. It would make for a very difficult learning environment if students were not comfortable with each other.
Also Read: 4 Tips on How to Teach English Using Music
Ways to Establish Rapport
As someone who has worked with English language learners before, I understand how important it is to establish rapport. I currently work at the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and last fall I got to work with a girl from South Korea who was studying abroad to learn English. I met with her once a week to help her with her English homework and assignments. In our very first meeting, I established rapport by asking her about herself, her home, her country, her culture, and her family. I could tell that by the end of our first session she was comfortable around me and confident enough to speak English with me. We even became really close friends and I took her out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. By establishing a friendship with her, she grew more confident in herself when it came to speaking English because she could trust me not to make her feel uncomfortable or ashamed whenever she made a mistake. That is why it is so important to establish rapport with English language learners; it helps them feel more confident with their new language skills.
Do you want to teach English abroad?
Establishing rapport is one of the most important aspects a teacher must be able to do with her students. Without rapport, students won’t feel comfortable or confident enough to speak English and participate in the learning experience. It could also make students lose motivation and encouragement. If we want more people speaking and understanding English around the world, then we must be encouraging, patient, and supportive of them.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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