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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Rapport is an important component for a teacher to have whether they are teaching a classroom full of students or an individual student. The definition of rapport is “the ability to maintain harmonious relationships based on affinity”. Students being able to identify with their teachers indicated good rapport and increases motivation in the classroom. Teachers should allow themselves to be relatable to their students and students should be able to develop the feeling of being valued in the classroom while establishing rapport. Teachers should make themselves available to their students inside and outside of the classroom. When there is rapport, comfort is increased and the students tend to answer and speak more freely. The teacher and student relationship is important and beneficial in the classroom throughout the course. Establishing good rapport is important to do in the beginning of the course and equally important to maintain throughout the course. Communication is enhanced as rapport grows, so does understanding and comprehension. Having a good rapport will increase enjoyment for student and the teacher as well as motivate the student to attend class and to pay more attention in class. Sometimes trust is necessary for rapport to develop. Rapport and trust generally go hand in hand. But trust can also be an outcome. Once rapport has been established, trust between parties grows. Trust is the core of a student-teacher partnership. If the teacher wishes to be successful in the teaching process then they must demonstrate to the students that they can be trusted. To connect with the students, they must be willing to reveal a little about themselves and their motives for teaching. Teachers should show that they genuinely care for students and to nurture their learning. Steps the teacher should take to developing rapport with the student: • Showing a sense of humor - crack a joke- laugh at yourself • Be available before, after or outside of class • Knowing students’ names and call on them by name • Sharing personal insights and experiences with the class • Relating course material in everyday terms and examples • Be respectful. • Get to know your students; learn something about your students' interests, hobbies, and aspirations. • Show your enthusiasm; let the passion you feel about your subject matter inspire your students. • Make eye contact with each student - without staring, glaring, or flaring. • Be polite; one instance of rude behavior or harassment can destroy rapport forever. • Be gentle; if a student performs poorly, take care to communicate clearly that it is the quality of work you find unacceptable, not your student. • When all else fails, smile a lot - students will think you like them and your job. Developing rapport is a continuous process and all these steps above are necessary throughout the course. The teachers will have to use a combination of these behaviors and implement them consistently over time. Rapport does not result in learning, but it certainly helps to create conditions conducive to learning—things like higher motivation, increased comfort, and growth of communication are enhanced with rapport.