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Significant Traits of an English Teacher

Significant Traits of an English Teacher | ITTT | TEFL Blog

There is no overemphasizing the importance of the English language in the world. English is likely the most widely spoken world language. Hence, it is of optimal importance that the teachers of English language measure up to the status bequeathed the language in the world.

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

English proficiency

First and most importantly, a good English teacher must be well-versed in the language they teach, the English language. An English teacher who doesn't profess knowledge in the language shouldn't take a classroom in the first place. Knowledge can come from reading and experience. An English language teacher is a reader. Considering how dynamic the language is, the teacher must be able to detect changes made to old systems, so the students aren't caught up in old word or sentence forms. One thing for sure is that learners hardly forgo what they learn in the classroom for other opinions outside. Learners uphold what their teachers say. This is why the English language teacher must be apt. This doesn't entail that the teacher must know it all. No, it doesn't. But he/she must be willing to make research whenever a challenging question or situation comes up, and not neglect it.

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Energy and attitude

The English language teacher must also be energetic. Being interactive and making the coursework interesting is the key to inspiring active interest in the learners. A dull teacher makes a dull classroom. The onus is on the teacher to make the class as interesting as possible. An enthusiastic teacher makes learning more effective. Attentive students can absorb almost everything that is being taught.

Adaptability and flexibility

Furthermore, an English language teacher must have a high level of adaptability and flexibility, to function efficiently for whatever kind of learners they are exposed to. The teaching/learning approach used should depend on the individual needs of the learners. The teacher should keep track of learners’ progress throughout the sessions. Any approach or plan that isn’t working should be changed. There are diverse kinds of learners, the special learners, challenged learners, ones with lower I.Q than the others, motivated and non-motivated learners, learners with zero, little or high English language proficiency, etc. The teacher should study their class to know what teaching approach would work best for the learners, and should be flexible enough to change methods when old systems are no longer effective.

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Also, a good English language teacher should be patient. Learners are different. Some of them learn quicker than others. Struggling learners should be given more attention than fast learners. Thus, teachers should be very patient when dealing with learners. Ideally, teaching should be done at a pace in which most students are comfortable. Teachers shouldn't make the teaching about rushing through the coursework (just to meet up with the curriculum) as this can discourage students from learning.

Lesson planning

The concept of preparedness cannot be overlooked when discussing the expected qualities of an English language teacher. Notwithstanding how much knowledge the teacher professes in the language, he/she must prepare adequately for each lesson. The lesson plan, lesson note, and all instructional materials should be prepared ahead of the lesson. The teacher should review key concepts and ideas if they are unclear, particularly if it has been a while since they have worked with the topics to be taught. The teacher should think about how the materials can be most effectively demonstrated and design a strategy. The teacher should avoid waiting until the morning of the class to prepare the lesson!

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Clear directions

Lastly, the English language teacher must have the ability to use clear and concise words. People often need to communicate in heavy and technical words, just to show off their English language prowess. The teacher should know that the reason they have taken a classroom is first, to impart the knowledge of the language to the learners, and this is only achievable when the learners have understood what the teacher has said to them. Hence, the teacher should resist the temptation to show off their lexicon. The teacher's choice of words must be clear and concise. The complex and esoteric language will not improve learning in any way.

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The English language teacher and his/her methods greatly influence learning effectiveness. Hence, the teacher is expected to have the above traits and more, for efficient and effective English language teaching and learning.

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