Teach English in Dongming Zhen - Tongliao Shi

Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Dongming Zhen? Are you interested in teaching English in Tongliao 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.

Introduction There are many different types of learning environments that exist in the twenty-first century and more than ever, students are receiving agency in terms of selecting a learning model that works best for them. Many courses are offered in the traditional face-to-face (in-classroom setting), but there also options available in the online or distance education models, hands-on learning through apprenticeship and job shadowing etc. The one thing that all of these educational platforms have in common is that there is human interaction – predominantly between students, as well as teacher and the students, collectively and individually. For the purposes of this paper, we will be discussing only the importance of the relationship between teacher and student, though other relationships are certainly important and worthy of further study. The primary goal of a good teacher, both at the beginning of a year/course or throughout should be creating a classroom environment that is welcoming, supportive, engaging, and inspiring for students. Students should be able to tell within a few seconds of conversation with their teacher that they are knowledgeable about what the are expected to teach, passionate about learning and working with students, and that they generally are excited to be at school. This applies from kindergarten all the way through to post-secondary studies, be they conventional programs, second language learning, trades etc. Students can spot a phony a mile a way and will pick up on the fact that a teacher or instructor may be lacking in the rapport building basics. Once the foundations for learning are set by the teacher, it then becomes possible to provide high quality instruction and assessment in whatever field of study the class is engaged in. Rapport Building In Practice It is important to note that relationship and rapport building is not just a box to check off at the beginning of the course or year – it is something that will require consistent effort to maintain. Only in the last few years has the importance of rapport building between teachers and students come to the forefront of academic studies in education. According to Buskist and Saville (2001), this is because “…rapport has been avoided in favor of other variables, such as methods of teaching, modes of testing, and techniques of assessing teaching effectiveness, which can be more readily conceptualized and manipulated” (p. 12). What scholars in education , educational psychology, and related fields have historically failed to recognize is the fact that these are the simplest variables for a teacher or instructor to control which will directly impact the effectiveness of their teaching practice. The onus is on the teacher as to how the learning environment will manifest itself depending on their actions or inactions during the early stages of the course, program, year etc. Aside from reading academic studies, which are of course of value to us, the primary of information as to the effects of teacher-student rapport building should come from the students themselves. Buskist and Saville, who were conducting a survey of undergraduate university students found that for the students: The most common teacher behaviors contributing to the development of rapport were, in order: showing a sense of humor, availability before, after, or outside of class; encouraging class discussions; showing interest in them, knowing students’ names; sharing personal insights and experiences with the class; relating course material in every day terms and examples; and understanding that students occasionally have problems arise that inadvertently hinder their progress in class (p. 13). The authors go on to provide a supplemental list of rapport building strategies (p. 19) before moving to a discussion as to the impacts on student learning, which as was noted in the opening of this paper, is of great significance to student success in meeting learning outcomes. In their study, the students surveyed told the authors “…that the most common positive effect of rapport on their academic behavior were, in order: to increase their enjoyment of the teacher and subject matter; to motivate them to come to class more often, and to pay more attention in class. Thus, rapport seems to facilitate both student motivation for learning and their enjoyment of the course, and enhances student receptivity as to what is being taught” (p. 13). Conclusion The goal of this paper and what was intended to be inherent throughout, is the fact that regardless of what the program of study is or what avenue the learning is taking place in, the relationship and rapport building process that takes place between teachers and students is the single most critical thing that a teacher or instructor can endeavour to build at the beginning of the program of study. This approach has universal application across fields of learning, but of course as this course focuses upon English as a Second Language learning, it is important to consider that context as well. Many ESL learners are new or recent immigrants and techniques and strategies such as learning names, socializing outside of school hours, being respectful of cultural or religious norms, being enthusiastic, and learning about students’ interests, hobbies, and aspirations all show that you are engaged in your instruction, interested in their lives and experiences, and willing to both teach and learn from them. If implemented as above, the stage is set for an effective environment and the ‘teaching’ becomes the easy part. References Buskist, W. & Saville, B.K. (2001). Creating positive emotional contexts for enhancing teaching and learning. APS Observer, 12-13, 19.