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English Teaching Essay

3012 words - 13 pages

Contemporary Online Language Education Journal, 2011, 1, 33-40.

Classroom roles of English language teachers: The traditional and the innovative İngiliz dili öğretmenlerinin sınıfiçi rolleri: Geleneksel ve yenilikçi
Anindya Syam Choudhury

Abstract This paper looks at the classroom roles of English language teachers in the second language/ foreign language context with particular reference to the Indian one. In the beginning, it considers the notion of „role‟ in English Language Teaching (ELT) and how different practitioners and methodologists have conceptualized the roles played by teachers. This is followed by an analysis of the characteristics of the traditional roles of teachers ...view middle of the document...

Çalışmada daha sonra, güncel ve alternatif paradigmaların ışığı altında öğretmenin son dönemdeki rolü olan kolaylaştırıcı öğretmen rolüne değinilmektedir. Anahtar sözcükler: İngiliz Dili Eğitimi, rol, kolaylaştırıcı, öğretmen merkezli, pedagoji


Assistant Professor, Department of English, Assam University, Silchar, India,


Contemporary Online Language Education Journal, 2011, 1, 33-40. Introduction In any teaching-learning situation, the role of the teacher in the classroom is of paramount significance because it is central to the way in which the classroom environment evolves. Moreover, the role adopted by the learner in the classroom also hinges on the role adopted by the teacher. Therefore, teachers must be clear about their role in the classroom so that there is no chasm between their perceptions of their role and what they actually practice in the classroom. Of course, when I talk of the classroom role of teachers here, I take a restricted view of the role(s) of a teacher by focusing on what they do or should do inside the classroom only, leaving out of consideration the institutional or societal roles that they have.

The notion of ‘role’ and teacher roles in ELT The term „role‟, as Dörneyi and Murphey (2003) point out, is a technical term “which originally comes from sociology and refers to the shared expectation of how an individual should behave. In other words, roles describe what people are supposed to do” (p. 109). In the domain of English Language Teaching (ELT), several methodologists (Littlewood, 1981; Richards and Rodgers, 1986; Tudor, 1993; Harmer, 2001) have suggested many potential roles for a language teacher. Richards and Rodgers (1986) consider teacher roles as part of the „design‟ component of a method, pointing out that these are related to the following issues: (a) the types of function teachers are expected to fulfill, (b) the degree of control the teacher has over how learning takes place, (c) the degree to which is the teacher is responsible for determining the content of what is taught, and (d) the interactional patterns that develop between teachers and learners (p. 24).

Littlewood (1981) conceptualizes the role of the language teacher broadly as the “facilitator of learning” (p. 92) in the context of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) instead of the rather narrow concept of the “teacher as instructor”. According to Littlewood, a teacher‟s role as a facilitator entails the sub-roles of an “overseer” of student‟s learning, a “classroom manager”, a “consultant” or “adviser”, and sometimes, a 34

Contemporary Online Language Education Journal, 2011, 1, 33-40. “co-communicator” with the learners. Harmer (2001) looks at the term „facilitator‟ in a much broader way than Littlewood does, and points out that the ultimate aim of all roles is to facilitate the students‟ progress in some way or the other. He talks about using certain “precise” terms for the roles that...

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