An important factor of success in learning a foreign language is the student's attitude towards it. A student who considers the learning of English as a positive and rewarding experience is less likely to suffer from foreign language anxiety. However, their attitude is very often influenced by the following:
a) teacher/student relationship
b) the general classroom atmosphere, and
c) the use of authentic teaching materials and activities
Here, I'm going to talk about 'teacher/student relationship'.
Teachers might at times appear more serious or more lenient than what is commonly adopted as professional norm. In this case, teachers should smile more and be expressive, without breaking the code of teacher/student roles. So friendly behaviour, but not friends with students.
Acknowledge the importance of immediacy in your classroom behavior. This involves verbal (use of humor, use of students' first names) and nonverbal (eye contact, positive gestures) immediacy behavior. Such behaviour will have a positive impact on motivation to learn, and can decrease foreign language anxiety.
Create a vibrating atmosphere with no pauses, no silences and no awkward moments to ensure the class flows. If it doesn't, change the activity, without blaming it on the material that you have because that will make you look unprepared. Instead, just say that if the students are not quite engaged with the subject, you'd rather do something different instead.
It is also important to establish a kind of "classroom community", in which students feel free to communicate using the foreign language. Another important factor to get across to your students is that, language errors are considered a natural part of the process of learning a foreign language
… or the tone makes the song. No matter what the activity is about, make it sound exactly what the students need. Either that, or don't teach the activity at all.
Sometimes students struggle to understand or say something and the teacher just waits impassively and doesn't try to help them. That often blocks students and they feel they are doing something terribly wrong. On the contrary, supportive teachers achieve better results with all types of students. Your class is your team, you are the team leader but you are also a team player, so make everyone involved and give an example first.
Your everyday classroom behaviour is important. Most students consider their teacher as a role model. For this reason, in order to motivate your students to learn English, you need to be enthusiastic, cheerful and sincere. Show your students that you do care for them, and that you are there to help them master the English language, rather than constantly criticising or correcting them. Students want teachers who are friendly, caring, and trustworthy. This means, be well prepared for the lesson, and show willingness to answer students' questions.
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