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Learning Article : For Teachers: Why Increasing Student Confidence Is A Teacher's Greatest Responsibility

Discuss the Article : For Teachers: Why Increasing Student Confidence Is A Teacher's Greatest Responsibility

For Teachers: Why Increasing Student Confidence Is A Teacher's Greatest Responsibility

How do you increase your student's confidence? Why is it important? Check out this article and learn how to inspire your student learning a new language.

Dec 3, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 28

Sorry, but I find your article a bit like a big spoonful of saccharine: pleasant sentiments but empty of calories. I'm not professional teacher but I've been around a bit. I find that only a very small percentage of the students actually need confidence boost. For example, I had one student who would not talk (even though she had a big vocabulary) until I started a game. I met far more students how had too much confidence for their own good: contacting me 2 weeks before a scheduled exam, hoping that this would be enough to get them B2 when they were hovering between A2 and B1.
Some students really want to be corrected, but most of them don't, but not correcting them is doing them a disservice. I'm an English learner, living in the UK. I've made a lot of mistakes, and nobody corrects me out of politeness or because they don't want to thwart my efforts (or whatever) and I'm like "I want to learn! How will I progress if no one is telling me?"
My way to deal with those who really dislike to be corrected is to type correction has they speak, not interrupting them and not drawing attention to it. I find that using my hands is effective to correct people. Pointing backward, when a student should have used a past tense but didn't, or forward when they should have used a future tense, works well. Better than stating the correct verb tense because when I point, they usually stop in their track and try to fill in the correct verb tense by themselves. When they forget a pronoun, I rephrase and point to my throat to emphasis the pronoun. Little things like that help.
Even if have step on some people's toes more than once, if you look at my feedbacks, its praises and thank you. That tells me being harsh is not a bad thing after all. But people are polite too. If they are unhappy, they might still write something nice. Anyway, students vote with their feet and just don't come back when they don't like it.

December 10, 2014

@Caroline L-B

 

"Shop around if you clash too much" is a very solid piece of advice.

I've already done that (without leaving disrespectful comments or something) and I'm on italki but two weeks.

 

@Caroline L-B

@rscharfer

@aegis

 

As a student, I want to be corrected and my errors pointed out to me, in a smooth way. That's why I hired a teacher.  The teacher should encourage me and not snub me or diminish my efforts, but they should not treat me like a kindergarden child, either.

 

I think it is very important when the teacher knows when and what to correct. For example, when we're having a dialogue to practice grammar, they should correct my grammar very strictly. But when we're practicing my vocabulary, they shouldn't stop me mid-sentence to point a wrong tense because they'll block my thoughts and I'll never learn my vocabulary.

 

@mondaytuesday

 

Please do not dismiss language exchanges so lightly. There are many trained professionals.

 

December 13, 2014

part 2:

I'm not a teacher, but I've literally done thousands of hours of language exchange. If I ask, most partners ask to be corrected strictly. But even if I correct someone lightly, using methods in the article and the other teacher's post here, it degrades the conversation, and in some cases really frustrates my partner. Normally I don't ask and don't correct, and that seems to bring about the best results.

The only thing I use a teacher for is conversation; I find it more efficient to learn everything else on my own. So I want a tutor who can talk to me like a friend, having a normal conversation. A friend doesn't correct you, try to bully you into talking a certain way or drill you for the entire conversation time. When I tell tutors how I want to talk, they all agree. But only half of them do what I requested. About 25% of them need to be reminded, and then they are ok. And 25%, regardless of the fact that they agreed to it, accidentally or intentionally, will not stop correcting me. They feel it is some sort of disservice to me, even though I've told them exactly what I'm paying them for. Unfortunate, but true.

Anyway, thanks again for the article.

December 12, 2014

There's definitely a market for both professional lessons, informal ones and language exchange. You can make a living out of it (albeit a small one).

 

Aegis, I honestly did not know that French was currently in the highest demand. I'm pleased you are concerned about my long term money making ability but there's really no need. I have other feathers in my cap. I'm a ex-lawyer. I quited that well-paid job because it was sheartless and souless. I feel more useful teaching French. If I decline students, it's because I'm not here to take their cash and run away with it, I want us both to have fun during that hour we spend together.

December 13, 2014

I see what you mean, and I agree boosting confidence is a noble goal for a teacher but it is not the main one by far in my opinion.  Provide feedback and answers (which a self learner can't get otherwise) is paramount in my mind. I also have to disagree on who learn the fastest. I have noticed that the overly confident students learn next to nothing (no exageration on my part). One need a dose of confidence and a dose of self doubt, in equal measure, to grown. But let's agree to disagree.

December 12, 2014
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Language Skills
English, German
Learning Language