Teach English in Zhangfang Zhen - Jinan Shi

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Alyssa Anne Brown TEFL course 9 April, 2019 In What Ways Can a Teacher Instill Confidence in Their Students? Teachers have many ways in which to positively influence students, and instilling self confidence is one example of this. In the beginning stages any new skill can seem daunting, and acquiring a new language is no different. Teachers can create a comfortable environment by providing a student-centered lesson plan and by encouraging sense of collaboration. It is important to consistently monitor the class to detect the students that might need a little more praise and encouragement. There is no magic solution to instill confidence, however there are a collection of good practices that need to be considered and tailored to the audience. Each student and each group is different. For instance a group with significant heterogeneity could adversely affect the level of confidence of the students that are at a lower level in respect to their classmates. Unfortunately it is not always possible to count on a perfect homogeneity of classes. It is necessary to consider solutions that could convert a possible weakness into opportunities. Teachers can have the more advanced students sit by those who are at a lower level with the language, either in groups or pairs. This way they can help each other as a team. Assigning tasks that require different level of competencies to accomplish a common task can also be considered. For example, during the activation stage of the lesson the teacher can organize a role play exercise. The more advanced students can play a more challenging role and support the students who lack confidence or may need just a little prompting. Teachers can engage the students at the beginning of the class by asking simple questions. This sort of warm up session can be a good practice to help the students develop self-confidence. Then new concepts can be introduced and the difficulty can gradually be increased. While it is the responsibility of the teacher to enforce the use of English it does not imply that one should correct every mistake the students make. To interrupt the students during a conversation gives them a sense of frustration and inhibition. The teacher should maintain positive communication throughout the class, and focus on suggestively correcting mistakes if they pertain to the grammatical concept they are learning in that moment. The students can also participate when the teacher presents grammatical points for the first time. The rule can be demonstrated from examples that the student may know and feel familiar. A clarifying example could be a lesson where the topic is the possessive form with “s” and apostrophe. Writing on the blackboard the intimidating title of the topic as “Saxon Genitive” will probably make the students think that we are about to face an arcane and very difficult concept. It seems much better to start writing a simple example and choosing a well-known object present in the class. The teacher could write “Lisa’s pen” or “The students’ desks.” The teacher can then ask the students to come up with the meaning of the “s” and apostrophe after a name. With more examples they can work together to find the difference between animated and inanimate, singular and plural, and collective nouns. In this case the teacher is playing a moderator role, and the students are explaining the grammatical concepts. This method can be rewarding and effective. It is important to design stimulating activities and be clear that perfection is not the actual goal. By paying attention to the different talents and interests of the students it is possible to find ways to relate and create a good rapport. For instance, if a student has painting skills they can be used in activities that require visual aids. To link the activities with the previous knowledge of the students can help them feel that they are stepping onto a known path. A shy and introverted young person can become very talkative when discussing his favorite video game. The teacher can also find movies or music in English that appeal to the students and incorporate them into the engage stage of the lesson plan. If students can move past the initial hurdles they can not only accomplish a sense of self-confidence, but also begin to grasp the broader scope of the language itself.