How EFL Teachers Can Use Psychology To Improve Their Teaching
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Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour. Psychology is a part of our everyday lives, most of the time without us realising it. Psychology affects our own behaviour as well as our relationships with other people. As you can imagine, then, psychology is an important factor in teaching. It can affect our classrooms, our learners and the effectiveness of our lessons.
Essentially, teachers do three things psychologically in the classroom: develop relationships, foster positivity, focus on their own well-being.
Developing relationships in the EFL Classroom
There are two relationships at play in the EFL classroom: teacher-student and student-student. The teacher has the power to affect both types. Good student-student relationships are needed to maintain a positive learning environment and a good energy in the classroom. Good teacher-student relationships have also been shown to be very important to learners. Without good teacher-student relationships students won’t feel comfortable enough or motivated to learn.
These relationships are especially important in the language learning classroom. Learning a language is a social matter. It involves communication and, in the classroom, collaboration and co-operation. Language learning classrooms are often multicultural and so socio-cultural communication is also important.
Fostering positivity in the EFL Classroom
In order for learning to be successful, classrooms need to be places which foster a growth mindset in learners. A growth mindset is one which believes a person’s attributes are malleable and changeable. This is in contrast to a fixed mindset which believes a person’s attributes are fixed and unable to be changed. The former gives power to the learner, while the latter does not.
In other words, we need to help our learners believe they have control over the learning process. If they are weaker in a particular area – reading, for example – they need to believe they can improve themselves. In this way our learners will learn to persevere even when they are struggling, and not give up easily.
Focusing on the teacher’s well-being in the EFL Classroom
There is no argument: teachers are at the core of education. A classroom cannot be a learning environment if the teacher is not on top of their game. In other words, a teacher needs to make sure they look after themselves physically and mentally in order to be an effective teacher.
This can take the form of many things. You should make sure you follow a healthy diet and exercise regime. You should make sure you have a good work-life balance to avoid burnout. You could focus on teacher development to upskill yourself.
How can teachers utilise psychology to their advantage in the EFL classroom?
- Foster relationships based on mutual trust and equality
- Make sure lines of communication are always open
- Encourage a safe and comfortable learning environment
- Identify individual strengths
- Advise on action plans for weak areas
- Praise the process and not only the product
- Join a teacher’s association to keep up-to-date with research and developments in education
- Don’t work too hard – but don’t play too hard either
- Maintain good relations with your fellow teachers to create a happy working atmosphere
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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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.