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The Different Roles of the Teacher in the English Classroom

The Different Roles of the Teacher in the English Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

There is no doubt that a teacher plays a vital role in the classroom. To become a good teacher, the teacher should pay full attention to their teaching and students’ learning. In particular, teachers serve many different roles in the classroom rather than just convey linguistic lessons such as Controller, Organizer, Assessor, Prompter, Participant, Tutor, Resource, Model, and Observer. Over the years, there are a great number of changes in the teaching approach along with the learning strategies. The classroom becomes ‘student-centered’ rather than ‘teacher-centered’. This will largely depend on which type of activity and what we wish the students to achieve.

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

One of the most common roles is the Controller

The teachers are supposed to be effectively in charge of the class and fully organized classrooms in which everything is controlled by them. The teacher would normally be standing in front of the class, talking to students and giving instructions, etc. Each teacher has his/her own character and style of teaching as long as the teacher keeps motivation and pass on knowledge. The key factor however is, the teacher keeps in mind, not to overuse. The student needs free space to work on their own, in pairs, or as part of the group.

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The teacher as an Organizer is such an important role

The teacher spends plenty of time giving clear instructions about what exactly the task is, organizing students to do various activities, and then providing feedback on the tasks when they are completed. If the teacher over organizes the activities in the classroom, it can lead the students to become too dependent and lazy.

During studying progress, the student is usually keen on finding out whether they use correct English or not. Therefore, the teacher will need to act as an Assessor to identify and correct errors. The role of an Assessor is significant and gives the teacher an idea of how students learn, their attitudes, what skills they have, what skills they are working on, and how they are progressing. However, the assessing teacher should be fair and consistent with all the students in case of damaging the student’s confidence.

Sometimes, the learners literally ‘lose’ the idea of what they are trying to talk about and they need help to avoid a breakdown in communication, the teacher will gently encourage the students along and make suggestions about how students may proceed with activity instead of giving them the answer and taking the initiative. At times, the teacher may also take advantage of using English to prompt the learners and not their native language, the prompt in this regard can prompt but always in a supportive way.

teacher by the whiteboard

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The role of the Participant means joining a group or making a pair

Normally, teachers stay as a prompter, an organizer, or a monitor in the class. Nevertheless, joining as a participant, they attribute to the better atmosphere in the class and help the students to feel comfortable as they can share their ideas. Moreover, when the teacher participates in activities, the learners feel less shy as they think they might be wrong. It can be a great way to interact with learners without being too overpowering.

Being a Tutor is considered a more personal role.

The tutor plays a vital role in supporting a student’s academic learning. The teacher acts as a coach when students are working with individuals or small groups. The tutor can easily give attention to each member of the group. It also allows the teacher to create a course to fit a specific student’s needs. The tutor should, however, give equal attention to all the learners, but he/she should not intrude on the task too much or too little.

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The role of a Facilitator sometimes is not clear to everyone.

The teacher is responsible for creating lesson plans that direct the course of study students follow. On the other hand, by using processes such as conflict resolution, strategic planning, and team building, the Facilitator helps the group of students to find out the answers to questions. As a Facilitator, the teacher must make her/himself available so that the learners can consult her/him when it is necessary, but the teacher has to resist the temptation to spoon-feed learners, as this might have the downside of making learners reliant on the teacher.

Usually, the teacher is often the only source of real English that the students have ever encountered. Being a Model, the teacher provides his/her best ability of linguistic lessons such as vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. The more the students stay in touch with the Monitor, the more they get better English. The influence of a role model is critical to motivation and learning.

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Performing as a Monitor, the teacher will observe what is going on in the classroom, therefore the teacher can evaluate how successful the activities that the students take.

The students should be observed individually and attentively. The teacher should observe them in a way so that they do not distract from their work.

Ultimately, regardless of what role the teacher is in charge, a good teacher should flexibly change the role in different parts of a classroom to encourage the students’ abilities and allow students to develop themselves.

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