5 Tips For Building Rapport In The EFL Classroom
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Rapport is defined as the relationship between the teacher and learners and between the learners themselves.
Rapport is important in the English as a Foreign Language classroom because good rapport is needed to create an environment that is conducive to learning.
While there are many balls to juggle as a teacher teaching English as a Foreign Language, building rapport with your students is one of the most important.
Of course, your knowledge of the English language and of theories of learning and teaching methodology is crucial too, but what good would all of that be without the interest of your students?
Being interested in your lessons is the most basic requirement for your students to be able to learn. It is important that you do everything you can to keep them interested in your lessons.
Easier said than done, especially if you are new to teaching or if you are not yet comfortable speaking in a room full of people.
But have no fear, here’s our crib sheet to make sure your students are wide awake and engaged during your lessons so you can start collecting those teaching awards.
1. Fake it ’til you make it
Being nervous speaking in front of people is totally normal. But it’s really awkward if your audience can see how nervous you are.
If you are visibly nervous, try deep breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Be aware of your posture, body language, and any nervous behaviour you may have – such as pacing, wringing your hands, or saying ok all the time.
Stand tall, keep your shoulders back, make eye contact with your students, and don’t forget to smile. You’ll feel more relaxed and be able to enjoy yourself in your lesson. Your students reflect whatever you are feeling, so if you are relaxed and comfortable, they will be too.
Read more: Skills You’ll Pick Up Teaching English
2. Make it personal
Personalisation is important in learning. Making a topic or language point relevant to your learners will help them remember the language. In effect, your lessons will be more effective.
How you can do this is by getting to know your learners.
Make small talk with them and actually listen to what they have to say. Get to know their backgrounds, their personalities, their interests.
All of these things will help you choose aims which suit your learners, plan lessons that resonate with your learners and make your teaching more engaging.
At the same time, this is a two-way street. You also need to let your students get to know you. You can do this by showing them photos, volunteering information, and telling anecdotes about your personal life.
Not only will this help your students feel more comfortable in your lessons talking about themselves, but it will give you common ground for general chats in your lessons.
Read more: 5 Ways to Make Language Learning Meaningful
3. It’s all about balance
As teachers, we need to make sure our lessons run smoothly. We need to be in control of what happens in the classroom, which often depends on the behaviour of our students.
As teachers, we may need to discipline our students if they are being disruptive. At the same time, we need to be friendly and open with our students so that they feel comfortable in the classroom.
The key to this is to find the right balance.
You need to be friendly with your students, but not too friendly. You need to be strict with your students, but not too strict. Once you have found a happy balance, your students will feel comfortable in your class but they will also know what is expected of them and their classmates.
Even though you are the teacher, you need to respect your students.
This is something as easy as learning their names and making sure you use them during the class. This will show the students that you respect them and they are not just students to you, they are individuals.
If your students can see that you respect them, they are more likely to respect you. This means that they will listen to you when you speak and they will trust that your teaching methods are the best way for them to learn English. This will make your lessons run smoothly and it’ll be easier to achieve your aims.
5. Understand your students
Each EFL class is different.
Understanding this will help you know how to approach each class in terms of planning, which will make your lessons more enjoyable for your learners. Understanding your learners will show your learners you are teaching them as individuals.
They will appreciate the time you spend planning lessons for them and this will get their attention.
Understanding your students will make sure you treat your learners appropriately. If you are teaching adult learners, even if they are Beginner students, this does not mean you can teach them the same way you would your Young Learner classes. It also means that even if you get on better with some students than others that you don’t have favourites or treat some students differently from others.
Having good rapport in the classroom is vital for your students’ learning.
It will amaze you how much more enjoyable it will make your teaching.
There is a huge difference between teaching classes you have a great rapport with and those you have a not-so-good rapport with – and that alone should be enough to make sure you focus on building rapport with your classes.
Rapport is what will take you from being a mediocre teacher to being an exceptional teacher.
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.