In Part I of this series we looked at how a teacher’s attire, punctuality and organisational skills can have an impact on a classroom full of EFL students. This article will look at some further suggestions that can help EFL teachers form a good relationship with their students.
Avoid Offending Gestures
In a previous article written about how to avoid offending students, I discussed the need to avoid displaying gestures that EFL students might perceive as rude in their culture. To avoid falling victim to this, you must quickly learn of what is considered unacceptable behaviour. For example, it might be perfectly acceptable to point to students in America when asking for their response to a question, but some cultures find pointing very rude.
Make Good Use of a Lesson Plan
The early days of your teaching career will require a detailed lesson plan for each lesson you will be teaching. However, as you become more experienced, lesson plans will serve more as an outline than a script. Rather than detract from your effectiveness as an EFL teacher, students who see you making use of a lesson plan will hold you in higher esteem.
Language grading does not mean deciding whether you should award an “A” or “B” to an EFL student’s homework. It means the ability to adjust your use of English so that your English language students understand you. Even the most advanced EFL students will need help in this area.
The liberal use of slang and figures of speech will appear meaningless to a classroom full of students who cannot understand the meaning behind your native-English expressions. Do not make the common mistake that many EFL teachers make of speaking very slowly in a monosyllabic tone. EFL students will feel insulted and you will lose any chance of success you ever had with them.
A recently appointed EFL teacher may feel very confident in their ability to explain a language based question or issue that comes up. But they must always research every aspect of a new language concept before they try to teach it to their class. They need to anticipate all possible answers, how to respond to them and the exact meaning of a word. Any mistakes made on the teacher’s part will only serve to discredit them in class.
I hope this series has been of help to prospective EFL teachers who plan on teaching abroad. Displaying the right attitude and working hard to gain students’ respect and trust will help make the teaching experience a much more rewarding one for all concerned.