Following on from my recent post on what makes a good teacher, here we have some thoughts on what makes a good student. This matter may be largely out of your control, but it’s still worth knowing.
Enthusiastic students are ideal. They ask questions, they are interested, and they are keen. Enthusiastic students can make a single lesson plan last for countless lessons. There are endless tangents, sometimes leading to ‘eureka’ moments where they make linguistic connections.
The teacher’s role is that of a guide and instructor – the student has to recognize their dependence on that teacher. The student should also respect the fact that the teacher knows more than they do. This leads to an attitude of interest in what the teacher has to say.
A willing student is one who is ready to try hard. They are adaptable – ready to try whatever the teacher throws at them. There are lots of ways to learn English, and the willing student is keen to follow those routes. I remember being an unwilling student at times myself, and I also remember not learning very much (if such a thing is possible).
A good student knows when to listen. The teacher often needs to speak at length and demonstrate language. The student’s active role may be minimal.
A good student knows when to speak. Learning English requires a lot of training and participation. If your students are speaking and trying out new language, they will retain more. It also makes the class livelier when students are contributing, which makes a more positive learning atmosphere.
I hope you have plenty of good students and enjoy teaching.