The Importance of Teacher Enthusiasm in the EFL Classroom
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There can be no doubt that being an enthusiastic teacher is an important part of the classroom. Even though there have been major advances in technology, and many people may think learning through artificial intelligence is the future, teachers are still needed to guide our students to learn as best they can. We know that teaching is not the same as learning, and while we can’t make them learn, we can help them learn. We need to make sure our students are dealing with appropriate language for their level, engaging with the relevant learning tools, as well as help them discover the best way they can learn.
But besides our input in terms of knowledge, we also have a very important job to do when it comes to helping our students want to learn English. Have you ever tried to learn something by yourself? It’s hard, because there isn’t anybody to tell you what your mistakes are, or why you’re making those mistakes, or cheer you up when you keep making them!
We’re not just making this up to make you feel good. There are a number of theories around learner motivation and success to support this idea. Stephen Krashen is an expert in the field of linguistics, particularly with regards to theories of language acquisition and development. One of the tenets of his Theory of Second Language Acquisition is the Affective Filter Hypothesis.
According to the Affective Filter Hypothesis, certain factors in the classroom affect our learners’ ability to learn language. Anxiety, lack of motivation, low self-confidence and a negative attitude towards learning means that the learner’s affective filter is high, which will result in a barrier to learning and actually hinder the language learning process. In contrast, a low affective filter will help the learner take risks and make mistakes, thus promoting language learning.
Even though this may seem like it is up to the students to control, as teachers there are numerous things we can do to help them. So the question is, how can the teacher ensure the learners feel comfortable enough in the learning environment in order to lower the affective filter?
Create a safe classroom environment
Ensuring your students feel comfortable in the classroom and with their teacher and their classmates is the first step. If students are content with the physical learning space and they don’t feel threatened in any way, they will be able to concentrate on learning. Students need to feel comfortable so that they are not distracted.
From a physical perspective, make sure the classroom is not too hot or too cold. The students’ chairs should be comfortable and there should be enough space for each student to work effectively. On a personal level, students need to feel comfortable with their classmates so that they don’t feel too shy to make mistakes or participate in activities. You can accomplish this be maintaining a light and relaxed atmosphere in the classroom and helping the students get to know one another.
Nobody wants to go to a lesson with a grumpy teacher. The mood of the teacher will dictate the mood of the students; they will pick up on your state of mind. It’s very important to put on a happy face when you walk into the classroom, even on those days when you don’t feel it. Fake it til you make it and you’ll probably find yourself feeling better soon anyway.
As a teacher it is important that you don’t take your personal life into the classroom. As with any job, while it is perfectly acceptable to chat about your home-life, it can make your students uncomfortable if you try to deal with personal stress at work. If you do need to complain about work or friends or family, chat to your colleagues, friends or therapist – but not your students! Make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health so that you don’t need to offload onto your students.
Have a can-do attitude
Be an enthusiastic teacher. If you are expecting your students to do exercises and activities, you need to show enthusiasm for them yourself. You cannot expect them to want to do something you clearly don’t want to do yourself. Be positive about what’s happening in the classroom and the enthusiasm will rub off on your students.
This extends to the content of your lessons. If your lesson materials are dry and uninteresting, it will be difficult to muster up enthusiasm. Let’s face it, if you’re not looking forward to doing an activity, you can’t expect your learners to. Instead, make sure your materials are relevant and interesting to your students. This means getting to know your students so your lesson materials are appropriate and relevant.
Read more: 3 Factors Affecting Personalised Learning
Think about it: would you want to go to a lesson every day that’s boring? Of course not, and your students are no different. Getting to know your students will allow you to relax in your teaching and have fun with them. A light-hearted atmosphere is a definite way to keep your students wanting to come back for more.
It is very clear when a teacher is not enjoying a lesson, and you cannot expect your students to enjoy the lesson when it is obvious you would rather be somewhere else. If you plan your lessons well, you will make sure you look forward to your lessons and your students will mirror your enthusiasm.
At the same time, you need to enjoy your job for your own sanity. You cannot expect yourself to perform in a job that you don’t enjoy, and there really is no reason for you to be doing a job you don’t enjoy! If your lessons are boring you will come to hate teaching, and getting out of bed to do your job will get harder every day. Making sure your lessons are fun and enjoyable is self-care for you too.
As you can see, for many reasons, the enthusiasm of the teacher is an important part of the learning environment. A positive attitude can make a big difference to a class and being an enthusiastic teacher will ensure your learners enjoy their lessons and so are able to learn. Plus it will ensure you enjoy your job and are happy to do it every day.
We’re not saying you need to dance into your classroom every morning or tattoo your students’ names on your chest or invite your students round to your house every weekend, but we are saying that you need to do your preparation, show up, and give it your best go. Your students’ success depends on it!
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert) Observed Teaching Practice Course 40-hour observed teaching practice course
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
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Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
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.