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Through the activities that the teacher initiates, he or she assumes a number of

roles:
Controller
At all times the teacher must be in control of the class and the activities taking
place. As a controller the teacher tell students things, organises drills, restores
order, give explanations, leads question and answer sessions.
Organiser
This is one of the most important roles for a teacher. This involves giving the
students information about the activities to be performed in class, putting
students into pairs or groups, distributing materials, timing the activities, keeping
track of time, making the students ready for the activity. In order to make sure
that the activity is understood, the teacher can demonstrate the activity and ask
for feedback. The steps in organising a class or activity: engage instruct
(demonstrate) initiate organise feedback.
Assessor
Students expect form the teacher an indication of whether or not they are
getting their English right. This is where we have to assess, offer feedback and
correction as well as grade students. It is always necessary for the student to
know what they are being assessed for. For instance when giving the task to
write a letter, the teacher will tell students that in assessing the essay he/she will
be looking for the correct use of the new vocabulary. Correction can be instant or
more drawn-out (in the case of tests).
Prompter
When students are at a loss for words the teacher will adopt this role in order to
allow students to carry on their task without major interruptions. The same role is
assumed when students tend to do the activity in their mother tongue. During
the group or pair activities the teacher should be discrete but not too retiring or
we may leave the impression of indifference.
Participant
This leads to the next role, that of participant. In order for the students to feel at
ease during activities and also in order to have a closer view at what is going on
in certain groups, the teacher may want to join in an activity as a participant.
This can have a by-product: enlivening the activity.
Resource
There are many instances in which the teacher is a resource: during the teaching
stage of the lesson but also during group work activities, while writing
something, making oral presentations. It is unlikely that the teacher be able to
give any information requested by students. So the thing to be done is indicate
students where the precise piece of information can be found. An added bonus to
doing so is that students will not tend to be over-reliant on us.
Tutor

When students are working on longer projects, such as pieces of writing or


preparations for a talk or a debate, we can act as a tutor, working with
individuals or small groups, pointing them in directions they have not yet thought
of taking. In such situations we are combining the roles of prompter and
resource, acting, in fact, as a tutor. Although the students rely on the teacher as
a tutor, he/she should do not impede learner autonomy and act with discretion.
Observer
It is the teachers duty to observe what the students do so that we can give them
useful group and individual feedback. But this again should be done with
discretion. A good idea would be to take notes on students performance and to
have columns for what students get wrong but also what they do right. Teachers
do not only observe students in order to give feedback. They also watch in order
to judge the success of the different materials and activities that they take into
the lesson so that they can make changes in the future.
Below is a list of possible behaviours adopted by the teacher
Activity

How the teacher should perform

1 team game

energetically, encouragingly, clearly, fairly

2 role-play

clearly, encouragingly, retiringly, supportively

3 teacher reading aloud

commandingly, dramatically, interestingly

4 whole-class listening

efficiently, clearly, supportively