Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified in Newfoundland and Labrador? Are you interested in teaching English in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador? Check out our opportunities in Mount Pearl, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English in your community or abroad! Teflonline.net offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language. Here Below you can check out the feedback (for one of our units) of one of the 16.000 students that last year took an online course with ITTT!
Establishing Rapport (43) Establishing rapport is critical in any positive learning environment, and even more in the effective learning of a second language that can be intimidating to many. Building a relationship and feeling part of a group can enhance the sense of belonging and trust; and as a result, encourage risk taking, change and academic growth of the student. According to www.wikipedia.com, “Rapport occurs when 2 or more people feel that they are in sync or on the same wavelength because they feel similar or relate well to each other.” The goal is that everyone involved in the classroom learning experience feels connected and works well together towards a common goal. It is essential that rapport be built not only between the teacher and the students, but also among the students themselves. As was discussed in Unit 5 of the ITTT Course Book, rapport “plays an important part in determining if a class is successful and enjoyable.” And as a responsible, effective and committed teacher, I also believe that successful rapport building needs to be a primary goal for the successful learning process. Having worked as a clinical social worker for over 15 years, I know how important it is to have a sound therapeutic relationship to help clients overcome struggles and challenges their lives may present. This type of relationship can be used to promote positive change in people as it is focuses on helping the client. According to www.alcoholrehab.com , “In order for a quality therapeutic relationship to be established, it is necessary for it to contain certain elements: respect, empathy, understanding, clear boundaries, trust, openness, self awareness, genuineness, supportive, warmth, professionalism, confidentiality, good rapport, good communication and acceptance.” I have found this to be true in my experience in the clinical setting since many of these elements are also essential in the building of rapport in an academic setting. The atmosphere in both clinical and academic settings needs to be relaxed, safe and supportive. The leader, whether it is the clinical social worker or the teacher, needs to encourage and stimulate a positive attitude. I have found that the client/student often feels more confident and is more involved in the process when this type of atmosphere is established. According to the research completed by William Buskist and Bryan K. Saville of Auburn University (www.socialpsychology.org) on Creating Positive Emotional Contexts for Enhancing Teaching and Learning, “rapport seems to facilitate both student motivation for learning and their enjoyment of the course, and enhances student receptivity to what is being taught.” However, their study findings also indicated that no more than half of the students interviewed experienced rapport with a professor. Again, suggesting the difficulties and challenges that some teachers and students may find in building rapport. Establishing rapport, takes effort, time, patience, and commitment. Rapport building is something that cannot be memorized; it needs to be felt and to be practiced. Nevertheless, it is important for teachers to remember how important it is to continue to the develop skills to further build rapport in the classroom. The research by Buskist & Saville found that students identified three common positive effects of rapport on their academic behavior: “to increase their enjoyment of the teacher and subject matter; to motivate them to come to class more often, and pay more attention in class”. According to this study there are clear, positive effects of establishing rapport in the classroom and teachers should strongly take into account when enhancing the classroom learning experience. Having established the importance of building rapport in the classroom, teachers often need tips to assist them in further enhancing their skills. Below are some of the tips are recommended by the sources and myself: Smile and have a positive attitude Be respectful and interested in the students Provide encouragement, positive feedback, and a sense of humor Provide structure; clear boundaries and policies. Be aware of your body language, eye contact and voice. Relate course work to students' experiences. As teachers, we must always review and enhance our skills. And remember that rapport building is a highly important skill in the building of a successful class.