Building Self-Confidence in Your Students

Posted by claudio on June 25, 2009 in Teaching in Thailand |

Praise, praise, praise…

Give your students a thumbs up to increase their self-confidence

It’s the magic word when it comes to building self-confidence in your students. You can probably recall numerous occasions when you learned something discouragingly difficult. What kept you from throwing in the towel? Most likely, someone praised you just when you needed it. They praised your progress and gave you encouragement to continue learning and practicing even at times when you felt like giving up. Your students are no different!

To teach your students the rather difficult skill of speaking English, you need to give them lots of praise for their progress. You also need to invoke an image in their minds of a not-too-distant future when they will be able to do what may seem impossible now. Keep encouraging your students every chance you get. Always remember how praise and encouragement helped you keep going… As a teacher, you are leading the way in your student’s English skill development and pointing out small successes go far in keeping them interested and involved.

We learn from mistakes. Constructive criticism is key to learning. Do not be negative, personal, or insulting in your feedback. Make sure your students understand that making mistakes is part of the learning experience. When students do make mistakes, use them as an opportunity to better explain and demonstrate a subject.

Have a rich variety of praise available in your vocabulary. Just saying “good” every time you notice some remarkable behavior or demonstration of skill gets old very quickly. Dig into your bag of adjectives to come up with praise that include words like “excellent“, “awesome“, “well done“, “niiiiiice“, “perfect“, and even expressions like “thumbs up” and “way to go” to make your lessons more entertaining for everybody, including yourself.

Ensure you recognize achievement and give praise whenever possible. The energy and dynamics of a classroom are setup by you and your own enthusiasm for the progress of your students. Keep your genuine enthusiasm up at all times and you’re building the best base to help your students approach their English study with confidence and joy.

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