The journey of language learning is one of challenge, risk, and reward. Students embarking on such an adventure must be lead by a language teacher who can guide them toward communicative competence and fluency in the target language. The language teacher must also possess a well-packed tool kit of language standards, understanding of the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, know how to properly assess the language learning process, and sharpen the student’s own motivation.
Engaging with Learner Motivations
The first task of a language teacher is to unlock the motivations of the students. Language learning is beneficial for unlocking job opportunities, connecting to new cultures, or understanding one’s own heritage. Motivations…show more content… Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development provides the infrastructure for offering sufficiently challenging material for a learner at any stage in their language development. Then through carefully designed schema and scaffolding, the teacher helps the learner to accomplish a task which he or she could not have managed on their own. Eventually this increases the learner’s proficiency allowing them to perform without assistance when faced with a similar challenge.
Language teachers must continuously maintain a balance between challenging and encouraging. Language learning is an often discouraging task, and sensitive students can easily become overwhelmed by the linguistic challenges they face. However, by offering insightful feedback and genuine compliments, a language teacher can help students increase their motivation and realize how far they have progressed in their language…show more content… In this setting the teacher becomes an insightful guide, leading the language learner all the while teaching the student how to learn. For in time, good language teachers will carefully decrease the student’s dependency on themselves, in exchange for a self-sufficient, motivated language learner who can learn the language in the real world with only minimal guidance and support from the language