Teach English in Guangling Zhen - Taizhou Shi

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Building Confidence in Students Confidence plays a major role in studying. “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”1 (What is Self-Confidence? + 9 Ways to Increase It, E.E. Cummings, 08-11-2019). Building confidence would be one of the most difficult skills in studying; especially in Asian countries, people constantly care about their “face” too much, so that they don’t get embarrassed in front of others. Therefore, the first priority for majority of Asian people is to avoid making mistakes. That’s one of the biggest blockages for them to effectively reach a higher level of speaking, due to low self-esteem and lack of confidence in public. Let’s have a look at the definition of “self-confidence”: “Psychology Dictionary Online defines self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands”2 (Psychology Dictionary Online, 26th Feb 2020). From the definition, apparently trusting yourself to have certain abilities that can make yourself successful can lead many people to their goals. Accurate judgment is another essential part of great achievements. To my teaching experience, students have various levels of confidence, and they are all based on students’ different experiences, including life and career. The students who have frequent contacts with western cultures would have gained better and higher confidence to express their ideas in English. On the contrary, those who grew up in traditional Asian families didn’t have chances to speak with English native speakers, brought up in a “don’t lose face” culture, would be less confident at a lot of things. As a qualified teacher, I have summarized several methods to build student confidence. First of all, students with low confidence take time to improve. We should avoid criticizing on their mistakes. Before we give out any negative feedbacks, we need to give them a compliment to express our recognition and help them create some kind of satisfaction of themselves. Then we could leave the correction part to the end of the class via private messages. Once the students gradually receive the taste of success, their confidence will be growing accordingly and dramatically, and it’s because everyone loves being successful. Secondly, we can put a less confident student into a group assessment; and while the teacher is assigning the task, he/she can emphasize each member is significantly important for the task, and every participant needs to play an irreplaceable role to successfully accomplish the task. With high responsibility and ownership, it is a big step to build greater student confidence and enthusiasm. The third way is to provide students with effective, useful, and honest feedbacks. An appropriate feedback can help students feel a sense of accomplishment. In addition, an objective feedback can make students feel good about where they are, what they have achieved, and where they can go. When we give out the feedback with students face to face, we should focus on how we can help students improve and ensure they will receive great achievements. Finally, I would like to say celebrating any learner’s improvement and success is powerfully encouraging, because each learner has contributed their time and efforts during studying, and their accomplishments should be recognized and celebrated. Any verbal encouragement or compliments, or a small gift, and even a little smile stamp would arouse learners’ true talents. To sum up, “self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because the challenging world of business, and life in general, can deflate it.”3 (10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence, Chris W. Dunn, 2020) Thus, in my career, my ultimate task is to acknowledge all my students that they can make the right choices, successfully accomplish their goals and be proud of themselves. Reference: 1. What is Self-Confidence? + 9 Ways to Increase It, E.E. Cummings, 08 Nov 2019, https://positivepsychology.com/self-confidence/ 2. Psychology Dictionary Online, 26th Feb 2020, https://psychologydictionary.org/?s=self-confidence 3. 10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence, Chris W. Dunn, 2020, Founder and CEO of Skill Incubator, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281874