Teach English in Huangwei Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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Why building rapport is important? For every teacher the most crucial thing inside the classroom should be creating an environment which will maximise students’ learning efficiency. In order to achieve this, teachers have to take care of an appropriate relationship between themselves and their students from the very beginning of the course. It means that a teacher has to introduce certain rules during the first lesson, and remain consistent in implementing those rules throughout the course – otherwise students will not approach their learning seriously. After all, if the teacher stops acting in accordance with the established principles, then why should children behave the way teacher expect them to? However, demanding obedience from students does not mean that teachers need to be strict towards them or punish them; on the contrary, a good teacher should be kind and respectful of his/her students. Since teachers are in most cases the only reliable source of knowledge for students, it is essential that they get on well with each other. First of all, the teacher needs to acknowledge each student individually, and learn to call them by name. He/she should also get to know the students well – learn about their hobbies, interests and abilities. It will make them feel appreciated and more willing to participate in the lessons. It will also help the teacher adjust the lessons’ content to specific needs of the students’. Children who are shy or have some difficulties in learning will become less anxious, and more encouraged to be active during lessons. Secondly, it is also the attitude of teachers, and the approaches they adopt to teach children, which matters a lot. If a teacher wants his/her students to remain enthusiastic about the lessons, than it is absolutely necessary that we – people who teach young learners – have lots of passion and energy ourselves. Therefore, we need to cater to the needs of our students and make sure that our lessons consist of exercises which are interesting to children, and involve their active participation. Teachers should therefore rely on TPR (Total Physical Response) activities, games and songs instead of textbooks and grammar-translation method. Such a way of teaching that includes plenty of opportunities to interact with all of the students also contributes significantly to building a good rapport with children. Another thing that has to be mentioned here is the teacher’s way of being – they should create and maintain a friendly atmosphere with their students. Smiling, making eye contact and striking up nice conversations with them will have a positive effect on their learning and retaining information. Additionally, being honest, natural and showing genuine interest for students can lead to discussions resulting in strengthening the bonds between teachers and students. For this reason, it is so essential to become an active listener who can relate to the students, highlight and praise their strengths, but also help and encourage them when they need support to overcome difficulties. After taking into consideration all these factors, it becomes clear that an emotionally safe classroom environment is crucial to effective language teaching and its acquisition by children. This is why I decided to gather and describe the aspects of a good rapport between the teachers and students, from which they will gain benefits most efficiently.