What is The Role of The Teacher in an ESL Classroom?
Teachers play an essential role in educating their students. While teachers are known for this, they also serve many other roles. Teachers set healthy environments for the classroom, motivate students to perform well, can provide cultural expertise outside of the student’s traditions, and have a greater understanding of the general difficulty in learning English as a second language. The role of the teacher is to guide the student, allowing them to perform to the best of their ability.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Micheal S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The teacher is responsible for creating a nurturing environment that helps in developing the overall quality of the class. Students can naturally gauge the atmosphere that the teacher creates. This is important because it helps with the speed at which the student understands and utilizes information. Reinforcing positive habits can ensure that the overall environment stays intact. The teacher is also responsible for the social activity within the classroom, which includes general conversation and group activities. The social flow of the class could be enhanced or deterred depending on the mood of the teacher. This could either disrupt the learning process or encourage the students to be more engaged. Having a positive environment for students allows their language-learning experience to be enjoyable.
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Motivating students is considered one of the most important aspects of a teacher’s role in the ESL classroom. An unmotivated teacher is less likely to connect with students. This can hinder the learning process by having an uninspired class. Teachers can encourage students to freely explore the language used; group activities, competitions, stories, role-playing, music, and art. These examples are great in keeping the class engaged while still acquiring knowledge of the lesson. Naturally, there will be students who are personally motivated to learn English based on their backgrounds. It is the teacher's job to not only assist in those motives but to also give perspective to the students who are not as inclined to do the same.
Providing students with culture outside of their own country allows them to gain knowledge that would not have been taught otherwise. Utilizing culture in a lesson is not just for students who have traveled abroad, but for many of those who have not. Sharing this information will broaden the students' perspective on foreigners in their country and cultures outside of it. This allows the students to receive a personal perspective of the teacher’s home country. When done correctly, introducing and continuing education in culture can greatly enhance the interest of learning English.
In general, English is not an easy language to learn. The teacher should allow students to have input in the lessons which increases rapport. This gives them the sense that they are just as involved as the teacher. To help deal with language difficulties in the classroom, having a structured lesson can ensure ease in both the student and teacher’s success in the class. A balance of listening and speaking, writing and talking creates a structurally sound lesson plan. Teachers should adjust according to the difficulties of their students. In doing so, this greatly enhances the quality of learning.
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Teachers have many jobs outside of furthering the education of students. Their ultimate goal is to enhance the students’ interests, regardless of their continuing education. Inviting culture into the classroom increases knowledge and promotes a willingness to learn more outside of their country. Students should be able to express their concerns about learning English while understanding that they have a voice in the classroom. Achieving all of these goals will create an atmosphere suited for all students.
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