C-3-5. The Role of the teacher:
There is no doubt that learners are central to the learning process, as they are the means as well as the end of teaching English. Teachers, on the other hand, are what either supports or hinders fulfilling this aim. The role of the teacher is, thus, of great importance. The personality of the teacher and his relation with his students are what may affect and decide his success as a teacher. I think that there are several features that every teacher has to consider or to assume to positively affect and encourage one’s students to speak; to take effective role in their learning process. These requirements can be summarised in the following points that I am, myself, convinced of and keen to apply, in order to afford all the favorable, motivating and supportive impulses for my learners to do better in speaking and in learning in general:
· To motivate my students, I have, first of all, to be motivated myself, not only while conducting activities that require speaking as a main skill, but also during lessons procedures.
· I have to be a model for my students to follow, either in relation to learning English: [(when doing an activity or after explaining a task, I tend to show /to present an example myself. This has a noticeable effect on my students and makes them more enthusiastic to talk: they felt more secure and encouraged to talk after a model than to take risk and to be the first to do the task. This was so obvious, for example, when I did a sample of a task for the 7th form .I enacted a conversation with my pupil Abdelhak about describing our houses. (What’s your house like?).
This motivated the other students to do the same with their classmates (a speaking activity done in pairs; conducted at the production stage of the lesson: Aly’s house /module 3 /activity 3 p 73)]; or also, in relation to my behavior, and my way of speaking: I, personally, respect my pupils though being young learners; keen to be a good model in my relation with others (the administration staff; my colleagues; and my guests in the classroom or outside). I do not only work on feeding my students with knowledge in relation to English learning but also I invest every single opportunity to show and to highlight good ethics. Thus, learners would become aware that to be a good pupil, does not only mean to have good marks, but also to be responsible and respectful inside and outside school. My pupils remember what I usually say at the end of sessions:
- “Enjoy your day; always be respectful pupils.”
· I highlight the close relation between pupils and myself, as their teacher, This relation that might create a comfortable atmosphere that encourages my pupils to interact and to use their English. I did this through:
ü Knowing my students' names, and calling them by their names when they are to be assigned to do an activity and to perform a task. Calling him by his name, a pupil, I think, feels he is addressed as a person, as a recognizable human. This makes him more responsible and willing to be at the level of his teacher's expectations. Megan Downs highlighted this point when he said: “Knowing a student’s name can be a powerful motivation. » I knew my students names around the first 2 months of the school year. This facilitates the work between us because “when students are acknowledged in the classroom and feel understood by their teacher, their level of motivation will increase.”
ü Within the same context, learning takes place more pleasantly and thus effectively when there are chances, from time to time, for a laugh, for a joke and for sharing a funny moment. However, pupils have to understand and to keep in mind that having some fun is not the end in itself, which may hinder the real objective.Moreover, there is no harm to smile to make a pupil feel at ease to lend a hand whenever he gets stuck or he is reluctant to talk. I usually say these encouraging sentences to my students, to motivate them:
-“You can do it”;
- “I know that you know everything, just try to sort/get words out”.