Why EFL Teachers Need to Develop Their Teaching Skills
A teacher must possess several skills to teach effectively. The skills required include, but are not limited to, communication, organization, patience, flexibility, adaptability, creativity, in-depth knowledge and understanding of teaching approaches, techniques, and the subject matter. The combination of these skills contributes to the teacher’s success in educating students in any country.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate George S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Communication skills involve reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These skills are the core of an educator to communicate with students, peers, and co-workers verbally and in written form. They contribute to a proper understanding of all parties.
Working with individuals of other native languages can be challenging. The ability to read body language will assist in gauging emotions and determining whether the students are understanding correctly or are confused. With excellent communication skills, a teacher can correct student’s mistakes in class while maintaining high motivation and participation levels.
Organization and Creativity
Organization skills contribute to time conservation and keep things in order. It ensures an efficient and smooth lesson without having to fumble around or losing track of your materials. Organizational skills are used when preparing a class for pair or group activities, grading, and providing feedback. Creativity contributes to the fun, exciting materials, and lessons that grab the student’s attention and increase participation. Organization skills, in collaboration with creativity, enable teachers to make lesson plans, and create materials that assist in the development of the student’s education.
Patience and Adaptability
Teachers must have patience and be able to adapt to different workplaces, cultures, and environments. In the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages, teachers may find themselves traveling to or living in foreign countries. The culture between countries differ, this includes the work culture, and the changes can be overwhelming. Instructors in this field must be able to absorb the culture of their new environment and adjust accordingly.
Dealing with students of all levels will require a degree of patience. Students may make the same mistakes or similar ones several times; it might take several times of repeating yourself before they understand. Teachers should set the standard and teach their students to be patient in their learning process. I can speak from experience of wanting to learn a language (Japanese) in an unrealistic amount of time. Languages cannot be learned overnight or in a day; it takes consistency in practice and a lot of time.
Flexibility enables teachers to adjust to changing environments and unexpected situations. Flexible teachers can change roles, from student-centered to teacher-centered lessons, manager or controller, organizer, assessor, prompter, participant, tutor, resource or facilitator, model, and observer or monitor when required during a lesson. Even the most organized and experienced teachers may run into unforeseen circumstances that will disrupt a structured lesson plan. Instructors must allow time in their lessons during their planning stages for such instances.
Knowledge and Understanding
In-depth knowledge and understanding of teaching approaches and methods provide instructors with a foundation in which to develop their skills. It is the basis of different practices and their effects that educators can use to their benefit in the classroom. Each culture of students may require different methods or approaches to education. They may respond differently to the before-mentioned. The instructors have to align the approaches and methods that conceive the most efficient response from the students.
In-depth knowledge and understanding of the subject matter will allow educators to come up with different ways to explain content to reach students of varying language levels and answer complex questions. The degree of education and understanding of the subject matter allows the instructor more avenues to arrive at the same location of student understanding.
Research and seek improvement
A teacher should always be a student of their field by seeking out new techniques, knowledge, materials, and teaching methods, honing their skills to improve their skillset. New technologies are developed regularly; these can be new methods of teaching, new approaches to education, or technology to assist in all of the before mentioned. An instructor should conduct routine research to keep up with the current advances in their fields, study, read, and practice using their skills to sharpen the dull ones and develop their weak areas.
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