The Main Reasons and Principles of Establishing Rapport
Establishing Rapport is important because it plays an important part in helping the class be successful, enjoyable, and engaging. If the teacher has established rapport, the students are more likely to feel comfortable, which will result in the students being active and participating in class lessons.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Angela H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Let’s look at some ways to establish rapport in the classroom.
This may sound simple and obvious, but it is very important to learn your student's name. For a teacher, this can be difficult especially if there are numerous students in the classroom. Learning the student's name can help to facilitate two-way dialogue and gain respect from the students. Also, learning the student's name makes them feel the teacher has taken a vested interest in them personally, so the students will be more willing to participate and be engaged in the class.
It is equally important for the students to learn each other's names.
They will be classmates and perform group or paired activities together. They need to feel comfortable with each other. They will need to help each other complete class activities and assist in correcting each other. The more comfortable they are with each other the more student talk time engagement can be achieved.
The teacher can also establish rapport by learning the student’s interests.
This is important not only in building rapport, but it aids the teacher in choosing and developing class material. Knowing what types of hobbies, music, or items that keep the student’s attention will make the class more fun and interesting for the student. If the student is paying attention to what is being taught, then they will retain the information more easily and be able to perform well on exams.
It’s okay for teachers to tell students personal things about themselves, as well.
Students love to know who is teaching them. Teachers can let students know about their own interests and hobbies. Letting the students know about you makes you more relatable and gives the student something to identify with. The teacher can share information, which should be age and culturally appropriate. For example, the teacher can share stories about previous experiences or what kind of food he or she likes to eat. The teacher might also like to share information about their family or travels. These topics can open dialogue between the teacher and the student, which will allow the teacher to learn more about his or her students. This not only helps to establish rapport but again the teacher can use the information to help create more meaningful and relevant course material to get lesson topics across to students.
Also read: The 5 Best TEFL Games For Adult Students
Teachers can establish rapport by showing their human side, especially if they make a mistake in class or do not know the answer to a question.
It is important to show the students that teachers are human, just like them and it’s ok to make mistakes or not know the answer. What is important is to recognize that a mistake was made, it needs to be corrected and they have a safe and supportive environment in which to do so. It is equally important to be sincere. Students can recognize if the teacher is being phony. Always be honest with the students and be the person they need you to be. Additionally, coming to class on time every day, displaying the right attitude, being positive, and always ensuring the class environment is fair and consistent will aid in establishing rapport.
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In conclusion, establishing rapport aids in the class be successful, enjoyable, and engaging. There are numerous ways and things the teacher can do to establish rapport. When students feel comfortable with the teacher and feel comfortable in the classroom, participation in learning activities will increase, and learning, in general, will be more effective.
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