The Challenging Way of a Teacher to Create Confident Students
Confidence is a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word fidere' which means "to trust"; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one's self.; for students who have English as their second language, the confidence in speaking in English is mostly low as they do not practice the language often enough and they worry about being wrong so they’d choose not to talk at all. As a Filipino, schools in the Philippines use English as our medium of teaching. Therefore, most of the Filipinos do know the right structure of grammar, vocabulary is sufficiently wide for a conversation, and the accent is what you might call neutral, perhaps. Most of the Filipinos managed to learn the four skills of language which are: listening, speaking, writing, and reading. However, we didn’t practice the speaking section enough to be confident in speaking the English language. This is the current situation with most of the schools not just in the Philippines, but also in some other countries whose English is not their native language.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nathalie L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
One of the most effective ways to build your students' confidence in speaking in English is to offer opportunities to exercise it. The teacher has to motivate the students to speak in English whilst the classroom, even if they need to just ask their classmates about something or ask for their teachers’ guidance – they need to do everything in the form of the English language. The more the students practice the language, the more they will be comfortable speaking it.
Moreover, for students to relax about the thought of speaking in English making the task fun in a game form might help; of course, the game has to be appropriate for your students’ age group. For example, students are young learners. By nature, most of the games will be fun for them as long as there’s a pointing system. When they get enough points, encourage them to reward themselves so, in this way, they can view the conversation as something fun. Positive reinforcement should always be considered. Also, teachers should give their students praise; teachers often tell them the things they’re doing wrong than the things they’re doing great on. Offer commendation when they’re going a good job then you may mention what they need to work on. They do get a more positive message when they hear that they’re doing great first.
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Nevertheless, teachers should encourage the students to prepare discussion questions before they come to class. If students ask the questions, they can control the discussion and they can keep it on subjects that they feel comfortable talking about. This will work in both small and large group deliberations. We can also encourage students to think about how they would answer their questions. Students often think of similar questions so, if they can answer their questions, then chances are they will be better prepared to answer their classmate's questions as well.
Furthermore, it’s important for students to feel safe in the classroom. There will be instances that when one of the students make a mistake whilst talking in English, one of their classmates would make fun of them for being wrong and embarrass them in front of the class. This is often the reason students get discouraged in participating in any recitation activities in the classroom. As a teacher, we should create a safe environment in the classroom that if they would make a mistake in speaking in English, we don’t correct them all the time in the speaking activities. This will help with their confidence as if you don’t correct them all the time they make a mistake; they’d feel like they’re doing just fine. It is important to take notes of the common mistakes they make but teachers must do this whilst doing targeted practice. Let them feel that it’s all right to make mistakes as you’re there to help them improve.
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