The Role of the Teacher

The Role of the Teacher: Teacher’s Roles

There are lots of different types of reading and listening activities. Of course, for these various types of activities the teacher’s behaviour will be different. For example in presentation, the teacher was in firm control. Then we can say that the role of the teacher changes depending on the function he performs in different activities.

A. The Teacher as Controller
When the teacher is in complete charge of class activities he acts as controller. The teacher controls what the students do, what they speak and when they speak. Naturally in presenting new material e.g a grammatical pattern, new vocabulary, a pronunciation item, the teacher plays this role. In communicative activities teacher as controller will be inappropriate. If the teacher rigidly controls all languge to be used by the students, they can’t have the opportunity to learn the language properly. Audio Lingual Method  have been severely criticized; for this reason because the teacher play this role too much and too often. The teacher as controller is useful during an accurate reproduction activities. Teachers should keep the students alert.

1. The teacher constitutes a good for the students
2. The class activities will be well-organized
3. Using the class time economically and efficiently

1. If  the teacher plays this role too much the students will not have the opportunity to speak, use the language independently and creatively. If the teacher uses this role excessively there will be too much teaching but too little learning.
2. Boredom will result because of too much practice besides too little opportunity for the creative use of language. In creative activities the teacher should stop playing this role.

B. The Teacher as Assessor
To evaluate the students’ performance to show the students their success or shortcomings. The aim is to show the students how well they are performing or they have performed. During the presentation stage the teacher should and can correct the errors in order to show the students what has gone wrong and he should help the students put it right with choral repetition of the correct form and repetition after the teacher. In this role as assessor the teacher provides ‘feedback’(the knowledge) that the students have in order to see the extent of his success or shortcoming in his performance.

Individual repetition takes too much time to see how each individual pronounce, to hear the individual performance. To keep the students on their tip toes; in communicative activities the correction should be on the content. In communicative activities the teacher may correct but this correction should be gentle correction. Here the teacher does not insist that the correct form should be repeated chorally, individually or in groups.

Feedback: The knowledge needed by the student as to the extent of his success or shortcomings. Two types of feedback:
1. Form Feedback: it centers on accurate use of language, relates to the grammatical pronunciation, accuracy, the word choice etc. Not that important after communicative activities, some form feedback can be provided. It should be provided in reproduction and presentation stage.
2. Content Feedback: relates to the content of the activity. Content feedback should weigh heavier than form feedback.

C. The Teacher as Organizer
The teacher should tell the students what the activity is. The organization of an activity takes place in 4 phases:
a. Lead-in: Introduction to the activity.
b. Instructions: The teacher should provide clear instructions.
c. Initiation of the activity: The teacher initiates the activity, he sees that the acitvity continues.
d. Organizing feedback: After the acitivity is over, the teacher provides feedback. In providing the correct forms use gentle correction.

D. The Teacher as Participant
The teacher participates in pair-work and group work activities as a peer in the group. The teacher should be careful not to be dominant in the activity. If the teacher is not dominant the students will have the opportunity to speak with someone English well.

E. The Teacher as Prompter
Be careful not to prompt too much in that case you will take the task over from the students. In cases of confusion, not remembering the right vocabulary item, hesitation, silence etc.

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  • comment avatar Hana Nov 25, 2011

    Special thanks for the author of this article! It really helped me so much in my TEFL project!

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