THE GOOD ESL TEACHER
by Schütz & Kanomata
Updated in February, 2004
- Speaks the target language to the students at all times, even outside the classroom. Builds up a friendly relationship in English with each student. If a native speaker, never practices Portuguese with students; makes other friends for that. (Occasionally might allow himself/herself to be in the role of learner trying to perform some Portuguese difficulties, only with the purpose of raising the student's self-esteem.)
- Pretends not to understand very well the students' native language. Whenever the student derails into Portuguese, the teacher rephrases the ideas in English to bring them back on track.
- Maintains good student participation and makes sure each student gets an equal share of participation and attention.
- Teaches a good deal of culture along with the language.
- Hardly ever translates: explains in simple English and illustrates with examples. Is creative in using synonymous forms or different language.
- Is not self-centered, but learner-centered.
- Does not introduce grammar topics. Creates the necessary grammar explanation to elucidate specific difficulties at the moment they occur.
- Downplays the importance of the grammar knowledge offered, not demonstrating superiority.
- When explaining grammar, leads the student to discover a rule by providing plenty of practical examples.
- Does not leave the student without an answer.
- Gears the lesson to the ability, level and interests of the student.
- Is goal oriented, especially with beginners. For example, the syllabus for one semester with fast learning students could be:
- Step 1 - Be & Do Phrases (affirmative, interrogative and negative) - 1½ month
- Step 2 - Present Continuous - 1 week
- Step 3 - Personal Pronoun Forms - 1 week
- Step 4 - There to be - 1 week
- Step 5 - Past Tense - 1 month
- Step 6 - Future Tense - 3 weeks
- Uses imagination - creates original examples and varies questions to avoid monotony.
- Gives the student time to answer before interrupting or prompting.
- Uses imagination to understand what the student means.
- When the student speaks, concentrates on both the meaning and on the linguistic forms at the same time.
- Regards mistakes as insignificant accidents never overreacting but still correcting them. Makes positive corrections: Gives the right form and immediately forgets what the mistake was. Never imitates a student's mistake; reinforces the correct form. Seldom says, "No." Never laughs or makes a face at a mistake.
- Is very patient, may correct the same mistake from the same student over 50 times, but always as if it were the first time. Demonstrates great empathy and maintains a positive attitude.
- Whenever possible, replaces the concept of right/wrong in language by usual/unusual and acceptable/unacceptable.
- Speaks at a normal rate. Does not over-enunciate.
- Begins and ends each session with a quick review (5 - 10 minutes).
- Makes sure that the student has the necessary materials (tapes, books, etc.) and knows how to use them.
- Encourages (but never pushes) the student to do homework assignments regularly.
- Begins and ends lessons punctually.
- Shows interest in and concern for the student.
- Motivates and challenges the student.
- Welcomes the student enthusiastically and is friendly at all times.
- Is very diplomatic, intelligent and acts as mediator when discussing politics, morality, religion, or any controversial subjects. Demonstrates empathy but avoids radical opinions; respects all kinds of views and never gets himself too involved or excited. No stereotypes.
- Is versatile: talks about economics and politics acting as a businessman when teaching businessmen; talks about music, sex and drugs becoming a teenager when teaching teenagers; plays and laughs like a child when teaching children.
- Would ideally be a psychologist interested in languages, with a friendly personality and native speaker of the students' target language.
- Has seen and enjoyed the movie "The Dead Poets Society".
AS TRÊS QUALIDADES DE UM BOM INSTRUTOR
PROFESSOR NATIVO x NÃO-NATIVO
THE ESL TEACHER'S BIBLIOGRAPHY
THE GOOD ESL STUDENT
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COMO FAZER UMA CITAÇÃO DESTA PÁGINA:
Schütz, Ricardo. "The Good ESL Teacher." English Made in Brazil <http://www.sk.com.br/sk-gdins.html>. Online. 12 February 2004.
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