Strategies to Build Confidence in Students
When teaching students most of the time we mainly focus on just teaching them the language and having them pass some tests and that is how we measure if they have learned well or not. In reality, it is a bit different though. Knowing how to read, speak or write a language does not necessarily translate to the student excelling in the language. There is another often ignored factor called confidence. Confidence is necessary for success in many parts of life and it is no different when learning. One of the greatest gifts we can give our students is to instill in them a strong sense of confidence. In doing this, we enable them to be higher achievers.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Moses K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Why Is Confidence important?
Confidence breeds success. If students believe they can succeed, they will succeed. As teachers, it is our duty to instill confidence in our students as we teach and interact with them every day Besides helping them to be able to express themselves more clearly having confidence helps the students to learn faster and gain the fluency they need. If a student does not have confidence they will usually make excuses like “It’s too hard” or “I can’t”. These sorts of excuses stem from a lack of confidence and they can be very debilitating and detrimental to a student’s learning process.
Having said that there are a couple of things that teachers can do in order to help their students be more confident in themselves.
1. Mistakes are not bad
Accept Mistakes with Grace-A teacher who belittles or humiliates her students when they make mistakes is destroying their self-confidence. It’s crucial that you model to your students that making errors is a normal part of the learning process and nothing to be ashamed of. Accept your students’ mistakes with grace. Just take them in stride as a natural part of learning. Never tolerate a student snickering or laughing when a classmate makes a flub. Talk to the student after class and make sure he or she understands why this is unacceptable and not the culture of your classroom.
2. Saying Good Things is Great
Praise & Encourage Your Students- When your students do a good job or you "catch them" doing something positive, let them know. Replace general words of praise and encouragement such as “good job” or “great work" with specific words of affirmation.
Teach your students how to do and figure out things by themselves-A big part of learning is being able to be self-sufficient and having the confidence to be able to solve problems by yourself. As a teacher, you should be able to teach your students to correct their own mistakes when they make them. This will help them greatly when they actually solve the problems alone.
3. Use Visual Aids
Use Visuals-Visuals like flashcards, posters or graphic materials provides a different learning experience for the students. If a student has some visual material to see when they learn something they are more likely to remember that and this will help with their confidence.
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Although I have only mentioned a few methods that a teacher can use to boost their students’ confidence but there are countless ways in which to achieve this. The teacher will just have to use what’s at their disposal in order to get the best out of their students.
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