Teach English in Xinjie Zhen - Taizhou Shi

Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Xinjie Zhen? Are you interested in teaching English in Taizhou Shi? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT 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.

Rapport (noun) , no plural, a good understanding of someone and ability to communicate with them: She has a good rapport with her staff. Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2012) Cambridge Gaie Houston*(1990) has written that “The foundation of rapport is to learn yourself enough that you know what style you have and when you are being truthful to yourself” *Scrivener(2011) Learning Teaching p17, Macmillan Being authentic and true to one’s self is considered by some to be the most important characteristic of being a good teacher. However there are many other aspects to consider. When I think back to my school days I can vividly remember a particular History teacher that made each lesson so interesting and engaging that all of my class passed with excellent grades. We passed, not because we were all academically brilliant, far from it, but because our teacher engendered such a degree of respect from us for his general demeanour and teaching skills, that we didn’t want to ‘let him down’. He created rapport with us. Is rapport simply established by being friendly to the students? In a broad sense I suppose it is but my former History teacher demonstrated many, if not all of the following qualities, which I consider necessary to establish rapport. Even before the lesson has commenced the teacher can do some research about his class to establish a good working relationship with his students. He can find out the demographic of the class. The nationalities, age ranges, male to female ratio, cultural anomalies and perhaps whether there are students with any ongoing external problems which could affect their performance in the classroom. He could find all this out from the secretary or possibly previous records kept at his place of work. A knowledge of these factors could help in his lesson preparation and enable him to create an interest for his students from the very start. First impressions are very important and no more so than in the classroom. This is possibly the most important time for the teacher to impress his students and begin to gain their respect and consequently establish rapport. He should have the classroom set up before any students arrive and have all his materials and aids ready at his fingertips. He should be well presented, smart but not overdressed, in keeping with the regulations of the establishment he is teaching in and definitely not be late. Greeting students before they enter the classroom is quite a good idea. A quick ‘hello’ by the coffee machine and getting to know a couple of names before the lesson has started, is always a plus and the students will like the informality of this approach. Likewise staying after the lesson for a few minutes engenders a good feeling of care as well. The teacher can then introduce himself. For example,He may have drawn a stick man on the board with text indicating his name, age, nationality, whether he has any pets or not or his favourite food. That can naturally lead on to the students telling him their names and asking them similar questions to learn a little about them. All of this is done to make the students feel relaxed and begin to trust their teacher because of his engaging manner. When the lesson has progressed past the engage stage the teacher needs to be well organised and demonstrate a good knowledge of the subject at hand. He should speak slowly and clearly and be fair, not having any favourites amongst the students. He should lay down a benchmark for future behaviour by being strict but fair and be particularly respectful of any students from different cultures and religions. Having prepared an array of different materials to maintain interest and engage the students he should use these to demonstrate the target language. When asking questions he should try to remember the names of the students and maintain eye contact when talking to them. He should smile, have a sense of humour and not be afraid of making a fool of himself. Humility is a great leveller and it shows that the teacher is just a normal human being, just like his students. In his interaction with the students the teacher should be consistent and always enthusiastic; enthusiasm is catching so makes for an energised classroom. He should be patient, honest and give clear and positive feedback at the end of the lesson and finally he should thank his students for attending and make them aware of when the next lesson is. Although praise and monitoring are important at all stages of the lesson, a ‘well done’ at the end leaves the students feeling positive and more open to learning in the next lesson. If the teacher has all of these skills in his armoury then he will certainly establish a wonderful rapport with his students.