Building Confidence in Students To learn English in today?s world seems


To learn English in today's world seems to be not only a source of personal desire but also a necessity. Many non-native speaking country students may feel intimidated by the concept of learning this new language and therefore require as much encouragement and confidence building as possible from teachers of the English language.

Many students find that learning English is an important attribute for living in today's society for it enhances their potential in the social, academic, and economic world. The study of English can be intimidating to the student who needs as much confidence as possible from those who are assisting him to achieve his English speaking goals.

ESL students have to cope with enormous pressures related to their lack of ability to communicate effectively in English as well as their different cultural conditioning and expectations. Experience working with ESL students at the Writing Center and elsewhere provide evidence on how hard ESL students work to meet academic requirements. Many make dramatic progress in their courses when they receive the necessary support and encouragement.

Confidence may be given by the English teacher in a variety of ways such as: personal tutoring, verbal praise, approving body gestures, special 'awards', and acceptance of the student no matter how much trouble he may have during his study of the language.

A teacher must be available to his students during school hours and in a friendly manner, encourage the students to not fear approaching you due to the lack of confidence or shyness.

Cultural conditioning and shyness, as well as lack of confidence, may prevent many ESL students from going up to their professors to ask questions, or from asking questions in class. Try to initiate a friendly interaction with some of ESL students. Encourage ESL students to see you during your office hours, or to email you. Some students may need assurance that seeing their professors during their office hours is encouraged, and not considered a nuisance, as may be the case in some cultures.

One of the most effective ways of building self-confidence in the students is to make them feel that their presence in the class room is important, that their attempts to learn English is important, and most of all, that they themselves are important as a human being. Once that trustful rapport is established between the student and his teacher, then learning may become much more easily obtainable due to a decrease of fear of failure by the student himself. Confidence or the lack of confidence can have many root systems from the student upbringing and cultural background. Therefore, the teacher much show patience all the more towards the student who seems shy or lack the confidence to learn the language that he is being taught. It is also vital that the student himself desires to be in the class to learn the new language. If he doesn't want to be in the class or have the desire to learn the new language then the goal of success is twice as hard to obtain. It is like the old saying, 'You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.'

Confidence, therefore, is obtainable for the student whose teachers is willing to show that he is important, show patience during his time of learning, and praise him for any steps towards success no matter how small they may be.

1. Teaching & Learning Services, 2006. This page was last modified on 23 January, 2006. Please send comments and questions to the Websmith. This website designed by ELD department. Content prepared by Dr.Elaine Khoo. All photographs by Ken Jones of Photographic and Digital Imaging Services.

2. Teaching & Learning Services, 2006. This page was last modified on 23 January, 2006. Please send comments and questions to the Websmith. This website designed by ELD department. Content prepared by Dr.Elaine Khoo. All photographs by Ken Jones of Photographic and Digital Imaging Services