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Importance of a Teacher

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Yeah teachers are INCREDIBLY important, especially with language learning. It's not something like math where you can work at it by yourself. Language teachers here (in Vietnam where I'm from) are very well compensated for their work though. I'd actually like to become an English teacher myself someday

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I believe that teachers' effectiveness in educating their students is of utmost importance. Not only should teachers be knowledgeable about the subject matter, but they also know what strategies and methods to use to successfully carry out the lessons to the students.

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If you will teach me your native language now do you have an idea where to start and how long do you intend the class session be?  Do you know what teaching methodologies will suit my learning style? If the answer is no then I must get myself a real teacher who knows the ropes.

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I totally agree, a teacher is a very important part of the learning process. If I could afford it, i'd pay for taught lessons because a teacher instils in you the proper way of speaking that language and keeps you in line in terms of the proper way to speak your chosen foreign language.

I would not just go for any teacher, or simply go with a teacher just because they're a native speaker, because I'd be interested in learning the "proper" version of that language as opposed to a dialect. I've come across many situations where it's soon become very clear that dialects can seriously compromise your learning ability, and as such, I'd opt to introduce dialects right at the end when I'm more than capable of making informed decisions about what I take onboard or not.

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I say a teacher is extremely important.  Whether you are in a classroom or one-on-one, you need someone who can tell you the mistakes you are making.  I know some people who were self-taught who had to be corrected by those with whom they spoke.  Even if you learn the language by yourself, you should at least get someone to look over your work. 

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Oh dear friends, when it comes to a teacher and their influence, I can tell you a story.

I fell in love with English language, which is my second language now, at a very young age, when in my primary school, a teacher of English walked into a classroom, and started dedicating her time, effort, and energy, filled with love and a lot of CREATIVITY to us, pupils.

I remember she was explaining the tenses in English by drawing a line across the blackboard and placing some small men on the line, explaining what is the present, the past, or the future. I  just loved it. It was all new back then. It was filled with laughter, smiles, songs, repetitions and a lot of love, which all of us could have felt coming from the teacher.

I am still in touch with the teacher that influenced me enough to enroll at the university and get my BA in English language and Literature.

Thanks to her I am here with you now, understanding what you write, thinking for myself in this very language i am writing in now, and posting and sharing my stories with you.

Wanda Kaishin likes this

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I would say if you elect to learn a language in a classroom, then the teacher is very important. I've taken some excellent classes that were, quite frankly, excellent because of the teachers. 

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with learning a language on your own. Depending on your circumstances, this might actually be your most efficient option. For the most part I learn languages completely on my own, except for conversation. For conversation I just need someone who is patient, willing to write down words for me when I ask them, and doesn't over-correct. It doesn't take an experienced teacher to do this, and in fact I've met a lot of teachers who can't resist the urge to sharply correct even the smallest mistake.

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I remember when I was studying French in middle school. Whenever we could try to learn the language on our own, we were just dead in the water and that’s why I insist that having a teacher stand before and orient you in learning a new language is very vital and irreplaceable as a matter of fact. First of all there is a level of confidence felt by the students through the teacher and second of all, students positively react to enthusiasm from the teacher toward them as a key ingredient needed for the learning process. Without a teacher, learning a new language can be daunting, boring and time consuming much more than if there was a teacher.

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People can often underestimate importance of such things, I was one of those people. I learned English mainly through my teachers, but also through movies and TV and I though learning a third language on my own would be easy since "I have a gift for languages." Nope. Tried learning Spanish for a month (through Rosetta Stone, which I admit may not been the best method), then switched to French and had pretty much same experience. It wasn't until I got to college and had to learn a third language that I realized the importance of a teacher. Everything I couldn't understand, she was there to answer. 

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On 2/28/2015, 4:56:45, MarcArgent said:

There is a great difference between being able to just SPEAK and being able to TEACH a language

Wow, you just raised an intriguing point here. I came to understand that even learners of a new language can come to fathom whether the teacher is either speaking the language or actually teaching the language. I realized this during my French language classes. So a teacher better fully understand the language on one part and on the other hand, have the necessary teaching skills that would mask the “mere” understand of the language. You are very right about this.

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On 2/28/2015, 4:56:45, MarcArgent said:

There is a great difference between being able to just SPEAK and being able to TEACH a language

Wow, you just raised an intriguing point here. I came to understand that even learners of a new language can come to fathom whether the teacher is either speaking the language or actually teaching the language. I realized this during my French language classes. So a teacher better fully understand the language on one part and on the other hand, have the necessary teaching skills that would mask the “mere” understand of the language. You are very right about this.

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On 2/28/2015, 4:56:45, MarcArgent said:

There is a great difference between being able to just SPEAK and being able to TEACH a language

Wow, you just raised an intriguing point here. I came to understand that even learners of a new language can come to fathom whether the teacher is either speaking the language or actually teaching the language. I realized this during my French language classes. So a teacher better fully understand the language on one part and on the other hand, have the necessary teaching skills that would mask the “mere” understand of the language. You are very right about this.

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I also think a teach is the key to being able to a learn a new language.  Teachers are there to help your pronunciation and tell you how to correctly say word.  It is extremely hard to learn a language without having someone there to listen to you and help coach you how to say words.

You may need help in how to structure a sentence or what tense to use a verb.

Online programs don’t offer that. 

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On 2/28/2015, 4:56:45, MarcArgent said:

I cannot recall how many times I have encountered students who intially, are so interested in learning the language, only to be discouraged when the harder aspects of language learning start creeping up

:D this statement cannot be truer than if it targeted mathematics. The more challenging any learning experience gets, the closer we get to the discouragement team and the faster we edge closer to the exit! Training provide to teachers is compound and does not only target the best way to educate and drive content to learners’ minds (pedagogical mechanisms), the training also includes an element of behavioral assessment. So teachers can scan the mood of the class and augment the pedagogy to ensure that reception and retention of taught content is at the maximum. It involves empathy, it involves motivation, and it involves putting yourself in the students’ shoes, just to mention a few. So the position of the teacher stands undebatable.

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On 11/12/2015, 6:52:43, czarina84 said:

I know some people who were self-taught who had to be corrected by those with whom they spoke

Very important observation you just made. The fellow had to be corrected by others even though they had spent some time teaching themselves. There is always something lacking where there is no teacher and I always see that when we could carry out student discussions. Even though the brightest student in class would decide to teach something, psychologically we weren’t quite satisfied because the authority he assumed as the teacher of the moment wasn’t sufficient. So in the end we could decide to augment the teaching with self-study. However it wouldn’t cut it when compared to students who had been taught in private lectures. They seemed different. So the teacher must always be the leader as the students follow along if we need to comprehensively learn something.

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Having a teacher whom you can interact is definitely an advantage to language learning. The company I work with develops programs to aid Filipinos learn Korean. Our programs were successful in teaching English to Koreans. Thinking that it could work the same way, we employed the same programs in teaching Filipinos learn Korean. Unfortunately, the results weren't the same. To many of our Filipino students, using technology alone is not as effective as when they have one-on-one sessions with our Korean teacher.

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Of course the teacher is a very important person and plays a paramount role when one acquire a language. He or she is responsible for the process of teaching, the progress of their students, as well as the right guidance. Yes, you can pick up a language on your travels, and you can perhaps use plenty of applications to learn a language, but a human touch to all of that, especially from a good pedagogical professional is something very important. Teachers are equipped with enough knowledge, and experience, to know how to recognise the best ways a person can go through a language and learn it in the best possible manner. Plus, teachers come with different approaches, which they have acquired through their education, and just know which principles to use in a class.

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As far as I have it, the most important service a teacher gives you is not the actual teaching - it is their consistency in getting you to practice. I have made great progress on my own through mobile apps and language courses from book stores; the only problem is that it took me a few years because it is difficult to stay motivated by yourself. It is the same as going to the gym - if you don't have a training partner, you are going to miss a few days.

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Learning on your own can only take you up to a certain extent. You need somebody who knows the language and can tell you if you're doing anything wrong. Like, if you are pronouncing a word wrong - that kind of thing you cannot learn on your own. Also, a teacher, depending on how good they are, will speed up the language learning process.

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Teacher would be knowing about the background which children usually come from and therefore when the teacher is teaching, he or she would be teaching according to the current languages which you are familiar with and therefore, ensuring that you are able to pickup the language quicker.

 

Moreover, when you are asking any doubts from the teacher, they would be able to explain to you until you actually understand the topic and thus ensuring that you are able to clear your doubts and learn the language as you want.

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It is but you need to have a patient one. Having a very small class helps too because some people learn faster than others and then you move on and people get left behind. Language learning is one of those things, in my opinion, that should be taught to very small groups at a time as it is quite tedious. 

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When I was in high school, of course, I had a teacher when learning French. I really think that I could not have learned what I did at that age without a teacher. But since I did not study in college, I am now kind of left to my own devices. I actually feel that taking more courses or having a private tutor could really benefit me, but I am not sure that I can justify the cost.

What would be ideal, really, would be for me to find some people who are fluent that could help me out in exchange for some other services, or just because they were my friends and wanted to be nice. But I am not sure that that is going to happen!

In the mean time, I just plug away and glean what I can wherever I can. My hope is to becoming knowledgeable enough to feel confident getting around and living in Paris for a little while. I figure that while I am there, then I can learn even more by being immersed in the culture and surrounded only by French!

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I think it's possible to learn alone but a teacher probably does help out a lot. If not having an instructor then maybe just having a partner you could practice with could help out a lot as well. I think a healthy mix of self study and having a teacher or partner is the best way to go as having a teacher alone won't guarantee you'd learn a new language and it will mostly still depend on your own dedication on whether you will learn by the end of the run or not. 

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4 minutes ago, Baburra said:

I think it's possible to learn alone but a teacher probably does help out a lot. If not having an instructor then maybe just having a partner you could practice with could help out a lot as well. I think a healthy mix of self study and having a teacher or partner is the best way to go as having a teacher alone won't guarantee you'd learn a new language and it will mostly still depend on your own dedication on whether you will learn by the end of the run or not. 

I agree with you. Teachers are very important in any part of learning including language study but a big part of succeeding at it also depends on the learner him/herself. A teacher could be great at his/her craft but if a student doesn't have the effort to absorb and understand what is being taught, then learning is greatly impaired.

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