Language and Facilitative Approach to Teaching

Language and Facilitative Approach to Teaching

Manila : Philippines | May 31, 2012 at 7:27 PM PDT
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Language and Facilitative Approach to Teaching

By Norberto M. Natano*


Language is an indispensable tool in communication. It is also one of the significant tools being used by the teachers to practice their profession. Without it, it is impossible for learners to acquire knowledge easily.

Through the use of language teachers will be able to perform their roles, among these are: (1) in maintaining the interest and the attention of the students; (2) in giving directions and instructions to the students; (3) in encouraging the students; (and (5) in reminding the students.

However, the ‘proper’ use of language greatly affects the students. In the study of Flanders (1960), he said that the personality of the teacher has an effect to students’ advancement and development of their attitude. According to him students usually followed the teachers who are indirectly giving command or giving command with the use of the expression ‘please’ in right manner. For example: can you please give me chalk. It is unlike with teachers who are directly giving command. Teachers like this showed that they are more authoritative than his/her students.

Similarly, Ato (1976) investigated on how a teacher communicated with the students and its effect to the students. In his study he found out that the students increase their self-esteem and they get higher grade if a teacher used a motivating and inspiring words.

Knowledge on Language

The use of language requires various skills. Teachers should not only have knowledge on how to form a sentence, they should also know how to combine sentences for effective communication to different people in different situation. They should also know how to use proper action and body expression in choosing teaching strategy which will not be appeared awkward in front of the class. Remember, communication is not all about language, teachers’ actions can be misinterpreted by the students. Certain action of the teachers may be converted into language that is base on how the students interpreted a certain action. Also, there are some instances where actions may seem inappropriate to the language or language being inappropriate for the action. Teachers should bear in mind that both aspects should not come in contrast for it may mislead the students’ progress.

Roles of Teachers in using Language and Ways to Achieve This


Motivation is a cardinal principle of learning (Acero,, 2000). Being cardinal means it plays a vital role in honing the students. From the words of Acero, A learner will learn only those things he wants to learn. If student is not interested in what he is learning, he will simply ‘go through motions,’ or worse, he will not engage himself in the learning act at all.

Teachers are good motivator. They start the lesson about something that may call the attention of the students. How language can be associated to teaching? Teachers may simply use the art of conversation. They should infer that communication is essential skills in facilitative approach to teaching. For example, while speaking in front of the class, they should maintain the connections to the students-- the undying rule in communication—don’t just communicate but connect and connect. Connection may also be achieved by the teachers if they have mastery of the lesson. They may lessen looking at their books and give more focus on talking to the students. Once the students saw the effort of the teacher that they are being engaged in the conversation, this will motivate them to listen. Through systematic questioning a teacher can also caught the interest of the students.

Another technique is-- teachers may use pictures, real object, or any situation to open the discussion. For example, through using graphics and motive questions, and proper use of language, the teacher will begin the class about the story of a mythical bird:

Possible motive questions...

  • What different birds do you know?
  • Are birds singing?
  • What do you feel when you hear the birds are singing?
  • Do you know that a bird can heal a sick person when it sings?
  • This bird is called... ADARNA BIRD.
  • Let’s read this story and find out how this bird can heal.

If a teacher will use a picture…

  • Teacher: What do you see? (in the picture is the Adarna Bird)
  • This bird is magnificent.
  • It has a unique feature among other birds.
  • Do you know what is it?
  • Let’s read the story...

However, if the teacher may sounds like this: Do you want me to tell you a story? So, let’s read and study the story about...Our lesson for today is about...Do you think the students will be interested to listen to the story of the lesson? Effective technique and proper approach to proper use of language really matters in motivating the students.


Base on the author’s observation the following are techniques in maintaining the interest and getting the attention of the students:

  1. Maintain eye contact to the students while teaching.
    1. This can be done if the teacher has mastery on the lesson being discussed.
    2. Of course, if he has a mastery, looking in the books, or in the lesson plan may be minimized.
  2. Observe the reactions of the student while in the flow of discussion.
    1. It can be seen on the faces of the students if they like the lesson or not.
  3. Before a student distract the class, a teacher may say the following:
    1. May I continue without anyone making such noise?
    2. Is everybody ready to listen?
    3. It seems like many are not yet ready to listen.
    4. It seems like you are busy of something.
    5. Do you one to say something?
    6. It seems like you wanted to ask something,________(student).
    7. Let’s wait _________ (student) to finish what he is saying.
  1. Teacher can also used non-verbal cues:
    1. A teacher may look at the students.
    2. Controlling the volume of the voice. See to it that the voice is just enough for the students to listen. Avoid shouting if want to call a student.


One of the things that may increase the enthusiasm of the students is to have feedback from the teacher. Not most of the time, students should get negative feedback from their teacher.

The following are some suggestions in giving feedback to the students:

  1. A teacher may use the following expressions: Your answer is correct. Very Good. Correct. You’re really good.
  1. If the answer is somehow correct here are the suggestions: That could be. Do you want to add? You are quite correct, but there is more exact answer. Who can give me the correct answer?
  1. If the answer is wrong, teacher may say this to his/her students: I am afraid that is not the correct answer. Who can help him/her? Do you agree to his answer? Let’s hear ______________ (student). It seems like you don’t understand the lesson. Let’s call_________(student).
  1. If a teacher will ask to those students whom he/she thinks are not participating in the class: Don’t be shy. You can do it. It seems ___________ is very quite. Let us hear your answer.
  1. I haven’t yet heard __________. Let us listen to him. Try to answer it. It’s easy. Why don’t you try it. I know you can give us answer. I know you have something to tell. Okay. I will call you again. These expressions can be accompanied with provoking look, facial expression and body gesture.
  1. If a teacher wants to give feedback to the whole class, he/she may use the following words: I am glad that you all listen well. Our discussion is really good. If you’re always participating in the class I will be more inspired to teach. I am hoping you are always active in the class. However, if the performance of the class is not quite good: I hope that you are all prepared in our next meeting. I am hoping that in our next meeting many will participate and answer the questions. It seems like you are not interested in our class today. I am sure tomorrow you are all prepared.


Giving instructions and directions are the tasks that teachers usually did. Teachers should put in mind that students can follow to their instructions. The directions and instructions are usually expressed through giving command.

Here are some suggestions on the proper language to be used:

  1. If the teacher is requesting from students, he/she may used the expressions: Can you please open the window. Can you please be quite. Please answer this question.
  1. If the teacher wanted to give suggestions, he/she may tell these expressions to the students: It would be better if you will be silent. This will be finish earlier if you all help. Let us see if this one is effective.


Teachers are also human being. They also expressed strong emotions sometimes to their students, who are really noisy and unorganized in the class. There is nothing wrong in expressing anger and it is a case to case basis. But using the appropriate language should be put in mind. Avoid using words that are not offending on part of the students. Also avoid using harsh words to students.

End Quote (A Conclusion Perhaps)

Let me end this piece with a quote:

“Teachers, like flowers, everywhere abound

Effective teachers, like fruits, are rarely found”

Effective teachers may be rare, but being one is an aspiration of every mentor. Acquiring such may be difficult, but putting in heart and mind that doing things passionately and intelligently may encompass one’s doubt of being such. (*the author is a Communication, Literature and English instructor from University of Rizal System, Philippines)


Acero, PhD., V.O, Javier, M.A, E.S., Castro, M.A, H.O: 2000. Principles and strategies of teaching.Sampaloc, Manila.

Excitingly English: An English training method for ‘Enhancement and Expansion of Capability in Information Technology and English’ (EXITE). URS Publication.

akosibatch is based in Angono, Southern Tagalog, Philippines, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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