- Wednesday 13 May 2020
- 0 Comments
Have you ever come across pupils that never seem to have a good relationship with English skills? 'I’ll never be able to do this! Why should I even bother?' The self-doubt in their words is palpable. There is no denying that some pupils struggle with their English skills confidence, and breaking down the walls of self-doubt can be a significant roadblock for a teacher. So how important is confidence to a pupil and is it worth a teacher’s investment to grow it?
Confidence relates directly to academic success
Research suggests that pupils’ confidence relates directly to academic success. And it makes sense—how can a child achieve success if they are not confident in what they are doing?
A report presented by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives, suggests two ways to improve pupil academic performance: invest more time and effort (behavioural) and/or reduce their levels of anxiety (affective). Easier said than done! However, the report goes on to explain that there is a cyclic process to achieving this. Improving pupils’ confidence in their abilities, knowledge and skills, and instilling in them the belief that academic success is the result of hard work, and not of innate and fixed traits (Dweck, 2006), can help reduce anxiety and foster motivation (Schunk and Pajares, 2009). Therefore, when a pupil is feeling motivated, it is more than likely to have a positive effect on their academic performance.
How can teachers boost confidence in their pupils?
A paper written on the historical perspective of self and self-belief in psychology and education has found that many pupils have difficulty in school, not because they are incapable of performing successfully, but because they are incapable of believing that they can perform successfully—they have learned to see themselves as incapable of handling academic work.
Understanding that pupils actually have the ability is key to transforming their view on their own learning capability. Confidence is the key to unlocking this ability.
Below are just six ways that teachers can help break down the walls of self-doubt and foster confidence in their pupils:
1. Instil habits from day one
When pupils know what is expected of them daily, they will inevitably become more confident in those regular activities and gain more out of them.
2. Only give genuine praise
If you provide empty praise, they will not feel as motivated to push themselves harder.
3. Give them chances to succeed
Set realistic goals and don’t make tasks too easy or too challenging so that pupils will feel a sense of accomplishment when the goal is completed.
4. Use teaching strategies that provide an opportunity for equal participation
Pupils learn confidence from trying to answer questions and solve problems on their own.
1. Use visuals
Visual cues can help pupils who may feel ‘stuck’ with their understanding of an activity or lesson.
2. Make all learning goal-oriented
Setting clear goals with your class will allow them to have a greater sense of accomplishment when they are achieved.
3. Self and peer assessment
Giving the responsibility of performing assessments to pupils themselves is a proven way to increase pupil understanding, ownership, enthusiasm for learning and, of course, confidence.
What are the telltale signs of a confident pupil?
You will know when a pupil has found their confidence, as there will be a noticeable shift in their approach to their work, along with their general demeanour.
Some standard traits which embody a confident pupil include, but are not limited to:
- They are generally happier at school.
- They participate more in activities and whole-class discussion.
- They are more motivated in their work.
Confident pupils don’t necessarily make fewer mistakes; confidence is not linked to accuracy. It is all about their attitude and their new-found confidence when approaching tasks.
New Wave English in Practice is your key to breaking down the walls of self-doubt in your pupils.
See the change in your pupils by using the New Wave English in Practice workbook in your classroom.
New Wave English in Practice ticks all the boxes in developing confident English skills in pupils by:
- providing educators with the opportunity to instil habits from day one with the practice of English skills becoming a part of each pupil’s daily routine.
- empowering pupils by giving them chances to succeed through daily revision of grammar, writing, speaking and reading.
- enabling scope for equal participation of pupils who can learn confidence through answering questions and solving problems on their own.
- including visual cues to help pupils familiarity with their daily activities, lessening the potential of them becoming ‘stuck’ with their understanding.
- providing opportunities for creating goal-oriented tasks in the classroom, allowing pupils to have a greater sense of accomplishment when achieved.
- facilitating opportunities for peer- and self-assessment when marking daily activities.
Interested in finding out more about how New Wave English in Practice can help your pupils?