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Rubrica di Steve D.

Teaching confidence to EFL kids

Aug 7, 2019

Teaching in Japan, my biggest challenge was having a natural conversation with my young students not because of their English speaking skills, but because of their confidence levels.

It is fear that holds back students from using their best communication skills.
Fear that they might make mistakes, and look bad in front of others, and often
fear of the EFL teacher.

It is difficult to teach a student confidence, but here are 3 things I like to do, to help my students grow in confidence:

1. I make them aware that they may be challanged with underconfidence.
Many students don't even know that they are afraid to speak to native English speakers!
So, first it is important to tell my students that they can relax and have fun, reminding them that I am just a person too, so they need not try hard to impress me.

2. After they become aware of underconfidence, I challenge my students to take initiative.
I do this by asking specific questions like, 'what is your favourite movie, why is this your favourite movie', and allowing my students more room to speak in our conversation by not talking all the time. This forces the student to also speak and be a part of our conversation.

3. Finally I encourage my students on their progress.
I like to congratulate my students on how much their confidence and communication has improved. This progress motivates students to express themselves even more in conversations.

I'm sure you know how important confidence is for young students, and my key is that you never have to be afraid of others, they are also just people!

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