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Teacher Roles in English Language Teaching and Learning

Penulis : citrapriski on Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 4:59 PM

These are summary of teacher roles in English Language Teaching and Learning

  1. Needs analyst. The teacher surveys the students’ learning needs and styles and uses the information  gathered  from  the  survey  as  a  basis  for  planning  and  developing  future courses. Good teachers carry out needs analyses on an on-going basis and make use of the information  to customize  their  lessons  so  that  the needs and aspirations of  the  individual students can be optimally addressed. 
  2. Materials developer. The teacher writes his or her own teaching materials, or where this is  not  possible,  selects  published materials  and  adapts  them  according  to  curricular  re-quirements, learner needs, his/her own teaching styles and socio-cultural factors.  
  3. Monitor  and  assessor  of  students’  learning. The  teacher  continually  assesses  the  students’ learning in order to monitor their progress, or lack of progress, and uses this information as a basis for developing remedial lessons, revising course materials or introducing new teaching methodologies, or other course improvement purposes.
  4. Controller. This word may  have  a  negative  connotation  as  the  teacher  is  seen  as  an autocratic  figure whose  job  is  to  transmit knowledge  and  tightly  regulate  student behaviour. This  role  is  often  associated with  a  teacher-fronted mode  of  learning, which many experts (e.g. Lee, Ng & Jacobs, 1998) believe is not conducive to learning. However, one can argue  that  there are many occasions during a  lesson where  the  teacher must act as a controller – when  introducing a new  topic  for which  the students have  little prior knowledge, when explaining a difficult grammatical concept or vocabulary meaning, when organizing  structured group activities, when arranging  for question-answer work or when encouraging  the  students  to  stay  engaged  and  focused  during  task  work  (Harmer,  2007). Thus, the watch word here is flexibility in carrying out this role in that the teacher must not stick to this role all the time.
  5. Prompter.  In  a  foreign or  second  language  class,  the  teacher often plays a prompting role when  the  students  are  not  sure  about  how  to  perform  a  task  or  how  to  respond  to teacher questions. During oral task work, for example, the students may be struggling for words to express themselves or may lose their train of thought. The teacher can offer hints or suggest words or phrases. Harmer (2007: 109) points out that when prompting the students, “we need to do it sensitively and encouragingly but, above all, with discretion.” This is because the key purpose of prompting is for us to provide just “the right amount of en-couragement”  so  that we do not  run  the  risk of “taking  the  initiative away  from  the  student” (Harmer, 2007: 109). 
  6. Participant. There are times when the teacher might take part in an activity as a participant, and not as a teacher. Taking this role will allow the teacher to understand the students better not only in terms of how they learn and process information, but also in terms of the kind of difficulties they encounter in their learning. For example, when asking the students to write an essay on a certain topic, the teacher can actually write an essay him/herself so as to understand the kind of planning, drafting, rewriting and editing that is required of the students to produce a good piece of writing. This teacher role can help us to become more tolerant and sympathetic towards our students’ learning process, which in turn helps us to better anticipate our students’ learning difficulties. 
  7. Resource.  At the other end of the continuum to the teacher-as-controller is the teacher’s role as a resource. This teacher role is particularly relevant when the students are working independently  following  a period of  instruction but  still need help  from  the  teacher. For instance, when preparing for a class presentation, the students might need help with certain words, phrases or with certain  linking words or discourse markers  that will help  them  to organize the flow of their presentation; they might ask for tips on how to begin their presentation in order to get the attention of the audience, etc. When implementing an extensive reading programme, for example, the teacher can act as a resource by suggesting the kinds of books that the students may find interesting but at the same time written in an accessible and comprehensible language. 
  8. Helper.To the students, a teacher is a dictionary, a tool book and a computer. Whenever they meet problems, they will ask the teacher to help them. When students do oral communication games, reading and writing, they will meet with many many problems; they will ask the teacher to help them understand them. Besides, one’s confidence and attitude determine if his English is poor or well. So, when the students lose their heart in learning English, the teacher should say something to comfort them; when they make advances, the teacher should praise them; when they have problems, the teacher should help them in time. Loving the students, the teacher should be good at getting into the students’ emotion world. To get into the students’ emotion world, the teacher first should be the students’ friend and feel their happiness, anger, grief and joy.” The teacher should create favorable conditions that help in time, and recommend some favorable English readings and magazines to the students and tell them some reading skills in the class to improve their reading speed.
  9. LearnerAmong the most important roles teacher leaders assume is that of learner. Learners model continual improvement, demonstrate lifelong learning, and use what they learn to help all students achieve. Manuela, the school's new bilingual teacher, is a voracious learner. At every team or faculty meeting, she identifies something new that she is trying in her classroom. Her willingness to explore new strategies is infectious. Other teachers, encouraged by her willingness to discuss what works and what doesn't, begin to talk about their teaching and how it influences student learning. Faculty and team meetings become a forum in which teachers learn from one another. Manuela's commitment to and willingness to talk about learning break down barriers of isolation that existed among teachers.

    See these sources to get more information:
    1.    Teacher Roles in EIL Final Draft
    2.    Implementing the Common Core State Standards for English Learners; The Changing Role of the ESL Teacher ccss_convening
    3.    Classroom roles of English language teachers The traditional and the innovative
    4.     The Role of an English Teacher in the Middle School Classroom
    5.    Twelve Things that great English Teachers do by Geoff Barton
    6.    Roles of Teachers; a case study based on; Diary of a Language Teacher (Joachim Appel 1995)
    7.    Teachers` role
    8.    Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion

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