QUALITIES AND ROLE OF AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Since the role of English as a language of international communication has been widespread quickly in educational systems around the world, teaching of English as a second or foreign language has become an increasingly significant task (Richards, 2001). Therefore, many countries in the globe have been working hard to ensure their citizens’ adequate English proficiency, which is necessary for their social economic development. To reach their goals, English has been included as a relatively important subject in each country’s national academic curriculum. As a part of educational development, effective and qualified teachers are really significant in improving students’ academic performance and educational system (Shishavan & Sadeghi, 2009). An effective teacher should have some fundamental characteristics such as knowledge of subject matter, enough preparation, teaching experiences, teaching methodologies, flexibilities, communicative skills, creativity , high anticipation, self-assurance, and sense of belonging (Adams & Pierce, 2006 ; Thompson, Greer & Greer, 2004 ; Mohrdin, Jaidi, Sang, Osman, 2009).
In 2009, Shishavan and Sadeghi conducted a study on the characteristics of effective English language teachers as perceived by teachers and learners. They found that effective English language teachers should give homework; prepare lessons; be up to date, self-controlled and adjustable; think about the students’ needs ; have positive feeling toward students; being smart and creative; and apply a variety of teaching methods. According to Brosh’s study (as cited in Shishavan & Sadeghi 2009), the qualities of good teachers can be identified such as being aware of knowledge of the target language; ability of organizing, explaining and clarifying as well as keeping the students’ interest and motivation; showing equality to students; and being accessible to students. Even though most of research has been done on the important characteristics of a good language teacher in many countries around the world, their research focuses on the good teachers of English in high schools in several South East Asian countries.
English language teachers (ELT) teachers face a set of issues that are largely specific to ELT, and therefore the role of an ELT teacher is a unique one. Being an ELT teacher is both a rewarding and a challenging occupation, as a great deal of energy is required to inspire students to maintain their motivation to learn this language. When teaching a second language, the teacher must be aware that all classes have common needs. Furthermore, the teacher must find a balance between controlling the classroom and facilitating these needs. The teacher’s role is absolutely mandatory in addressing
the common needs of students, and also how a teacher must find an appropriate balance between controlling and facilitating.
The first common factor relating to all ELT students is that they are venturing into the unknown. Every time they enter the ELT classroom they are taking risks in communicating that may be uncomfortable for them – and the teacher is their ‘guiding light.’ An ELT teacher must be aware of how this factor differs from group to group. For example, lots of support is a must for teaching at the Elementary level. A teacher’s role should be to aim to foster, support, and create as much speaking as possible.
Secondly, all second language learners need to practice the language they are learning, and therefore, an ELT teacher needs to create an environment that fosters student production and practice as much as possible. Teaching students at the Intermediate level, for example, means teaching discipline. Consequently, I need to remind students to practice daily while keeping their eye on their goal of English fluency.
Moreover, the students in an ELT class also need to be respected as individuals as they participate and contribute to the learning...
References: Brosh, H. (1996). Perceived characteristics of the effective language teacher. Foreign Language
Annals, 29, 125-138.
Mohidim, R., Jaidi, J., Sang,T.L. , & Osmen, Z. (2009). Effective teaching methods and lecturers
characteristics: European Journal of Social Sciences
Richards, J.C. (2001). Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge University
Vira, N. (2002). Teaching English in Cambodian secondary schools: With a special focus on
teachers’ preferences towards the improvement of their professional careers in language teaching.
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