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8 October, 2019 10:30:25 AM


Characteristics of effective English teaching

Teachers who are imaginative can teach any language skill interestingly and effectively. They can develop the students' creative self-expression
Characteristics of effective English teaching

I have been teaching English for almost 23 years now and I have taught all levels, all ages and even multicultural classes I have decided that the most important value one must have as a teacher is 'passion' and love for the people you teach especially children and your profession -which also means dedication; long hours, studying, paying for further development-and this happens because teaching is not only a job for a living it is also living for the job.
Recently I was invited to give a guest lecture on the topic “Characteristics of highly effective teachers of English’. To prepare myself for the lecture I asked my students and fellow teachers to list the qualities of a good teacher of English.

Those who were involved in the informal brainstorming sessions had listed a number of characteristics an English language teacher should have.My experience as an English language teacher and teacher trainer also helps me define an effective teacher of English as someone who possesses 5 I’s:
1.    Imagination
2.    Innovativeness
3.    Interaction
4.    Independent thinking
5.    Interdependence Imagination
A teacher who is imaginative can do wonders in the English class. Their new ideas break monontony and make students take lively participation in the class. Albert Einstein says that imagination is more important than knowledge.

“Human progress is possible only through education. Without imagination, education becomes a kind of intellectual recycling of the same knowledge passed from teacher to student and back to teacher on the test. Education should do more than simply transmit information; it should develop skills such as imagination that evolve our knowledge and move us forward as a species.”

Teachers who are imaginative can teach any language skill interestingly and effectively. They can develop the students' creative self-expression. Teachers who are imaginative explore and create new things. Students enjoy being guided by imaginative teachers.


An innovative teacher dares to go off the track in order to be on the track. Students like teacher who are innovative. Innovativeness means

•    Introducing changes and new ideas

•    Daring to be different and being unique

•    Going off the track in order to be on the track

•    Experimenting new things

•    Being fresh always


A teacher who promotes interaction in the English class does justice to their profession by empowering learners and helping them develop their communication skills. They motivate their students, create opportunities for them to interact with one another through commutainment (communication through entertainment) activities such as roleplays, groups discussions, mock interviews, etc.

Independent thinking

Independent thinking is the process of being able to think on your own, without someone else guiding you. "In a world where knowledge is doubling every few years and what once was a fact can become out of date so quickly equipping young people with the mental tools to succeed in such a world is vital." Teachers can help their students develop their independent thinking only if they are independent. Independent thinking implies

•    Thinking on your own

•     Being critical of what you see and hear

•     Questioning information and irrational assumptions

An independent thinker helps students develop the desire and ability to think on their own. An independent thinker contributes a lot to the team. Language learning tasks should aim at developing students’ thinking skills.


Interdependence is essential for a successful person. Taking students from dependent stage to independent stage and then to interdependent stage is very important. Man is a social animal and interpersonal relationship is the key to success in today's competitive world. The one who knows how to relate with others can climb up the ladder of success. Those who are interdependent use positive language and win people. They are polite, pleasant, practical, persuasive and powerful.

A teacher of English who is imaginative, innovative, interactive, independent and interdependent can be successful in the field and can lead the students from dependent stage to independent stage.

Few ways to Become a Better an English Teacher

1.    Find different ways to teach a new lesson or concept. ...

2.     Be approachable. ...

3.     Make learning fun. ...

4.     Prepare in advance for class. ...

5.     Encourage verbal practice. ...

6.     Put technology to good use in your lesson plan. ...

7.     Be understandable and forgiving. ...

8.     Make connections between the lessons and your students' lives.

The top five qualities of a great teacher, according to students, are:

1.    The ability to develop relationships with their students. ...

2.     Patient, caring, and kind personality. ...

3.     Knowledge of learners. ...

4.     Dedication to teaching. ...

5.     Engaging students in learning.

As we can see the characteristics of a good teacher of English include many traits and strategies. English teachers need to do their best in implementing techniques in the classroom to help our nation's children reach their learning potential. Following are are techniques which could be of great help if we can follow them.

English teachers need to teach reading, writing, viewing, listening, and speaking. These are five distinct areas, and each has its own set of benchmarks and indicators. Simply put, English teachers have a great deal of content to juggle in the classroom. The list of indicators for their content is quite long. They need to be knowledgeable of grammar, vocabulary, writing, literary elements, great novels, researching techniques, speech strategies, etc.

In addition to being a master of content, teachers need to have a large repertoire of teaching strategies. Direct instruction, collaborative learning, and the jigsaw strategy, are just a few techniques that effective teachers use in the classroom. Variety is the key. So, the English teacher must be flexible and willing to try a variety of strategies to see what works best with his or her students.

Management Techniques

Good English teachers must have excellent classroom management techniques. If teachers cannot manage their students successfully, very little learning will occur in the classroom. With the No Child Left behind Act and current state policy, it is important that students make gains in their learning every year. For young teachers, classroom management is usually a struggle. New teachers need to be willing to seek out seasoned teachers to mentor them on how to handle the classroom properly and to try different classroom management strategies.

Usually, the three most important personality traits are a flexible approach, a caring attitude, and a sense of humor. There are, of course, other personality traits that enable teachers to become great teachers. However, in the current torrent of change in education, a teacher needs to be flexible to help a student. It also helps to be able to laugh and to keep smiling in this climate of change. It is very important that students feel that their teachers care about them. They need to feel safe in a supportive learning environment because this may be the only safe place that some children have. A safe, caring learning environment will help students to work to their true potential. Last, teachers need to have a sense of humor. So many things go wrong every day. It is important to be able to laugh and to keep going. The students need a happy teacher, not an angry one.

Compared with many studies done on the characteristics of effective teachers in general education, there is a dearth of studies on the characteristics of ELT. This is deplorable because foreign language education lags far behind

general education in effective teacher and teacher education, and because foreign language education, to date, has been undertaken with more intuitive than scientific approaches.

To identify the characteristics of a good language teacher, studied good language learner behaviors in the hope that knowledge of good language learner traits can help the good language teacher create a classroom environment that will facilitate second language learning. They outlined the traits of good language teachers as follows: Professional training such as professional meetings and instructional techniques; language proficiency such as four skills and cultural comprehension; instructional materials such as visual and audio materials; evaluation such as assessment of students and professional testing; and classroom environment such as reduction of second language anxiety and maintenance of classroom discipline.

It can be concluded that being an ideal teacher is not an easy job and it requires lots of deliberation, efforts, professional competence etc. to be liked by their students. There is no denying of the fact that it is a much sought after goal in pedagogy and all teachers should exert and exploit their best potential so that smooth learning of the target language may be realized properly. Ideal EFL teachers should have good personal and professional qualities. It is highly recommended that EFL faculty working in Saudi universities should try their level best to be available to help their students, be dedicated and committed, exhibit an exemplary attitudes, explain according to the level of their students, keep themselves abreast of the latest developments to ensure up-to-date knowledge of the subject, provide their students with clear instructions and accurate answers, exploit group/pair work effectively, use modern teaching aids and help their students to become independent learners. Finally, it may be said that those EFL English language teachers who have the ability to motivate and inspire their students through their personality and professional qualities to exploit their optimum potential to maximize their language learning possibilities.

The writer is a poet, Fulbright Scholar and Head of English Department, Senior Section of Viqarunnisa Noon School & College, Dhaka



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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