UNIVERSIDAD JUÁREZ DEL ESTADO DE DURANGO
CENTRO UNIVERSITARIO DE AUTO-APRENDIZAJE EN LENGUAS
DIDÁCTICAS DE LENGUAS EXTRANJERAS
“THE TEACHER’S ROLE”
CLAUDIA SUSANA ALVARADO FLORES
ESTEFANIA ARREOLA MERAZ
MA. GRACIELA ESPINO HERNANDEZ
JESSICA RIOS PÉREZ
THE TEACHER'S ROLE
Before describing what the teacher’s role relies on, it is important to give a
definition of the role. A role is a proper or customary function: the teacher’s role in a
society, this definition given by dictionary.com, a role is the responsibility that each
person has in a particular area.
The learning of a target or a foreign language can be mainly related to the
strategies or roles that the professor needs to follow in order to succeed, not only on
classroom management, but also on leaving a significant knowledge in the student.
There are different roles that a professor needs to follow, according to an article written
by an English professor guiding the student is crucial because the student needs to
know where he or she is heading. When the student is being guided, the professor
is going to show the students different techniques for learning the new language, for
example one powerful tool that can help the students is the use of English dictionaries,
so by doing this, the professor is already conducting the student to investigate the
meaning of new words.
Another important role is when a professor is an observer, also known as the
teacher’s withdrawal, basically as the word says the professor looks or observes the
students while doing a certain activity or task in the classroom. In this role the professor
leaves the student to work by their own and there is not interaction between professor-
student in this role. Being an observer helps the professor to see what activities left
a significant knowledge on the student and to check if a knowledge is created on the
student, if a knowledge is not created, the professor must try something different in
future classes. An activity for the students in where the professor can put in practice
the role of the observer can be the following: if it is a large class, the students can
be divided in groups of five and ask each student to describe one daily activity using
the simple present, for example a student may say “I take a shower every day”, and
the next one says “I have dinner at 5pm with my family”, and so on and after the five
students say the activity they are going to repeat what each of their classmates said.
With this activity, the professor will be able to see what mistakes the student is making
and try to correct them.
On the other hand, another important role that the professor has is when he
or she gives an explanation of the class, a specific grammar structure, or just how
to follow the rules of a certain activity. By doing this, the professor is taking the role
of the controller, usually when the teacher takes this role students listen and follow
instructions, the teacher has the control of the class. In a real classroom, the teacher
has the role of the controller by explaining the grammatical structure of the simple
present in its different forms, for example explaining to the class where to put an “-s, -
es,: She works, He does,” how to make an statement: “I play football,” how to make a
question: “Do I play football?”, and the negative form: “I don’t play football.” With this
activity the professor has the control of the class explaining a new topic to the students.
A professor is a prompter when motivates the student to continue with an specific
activity when the student has lost the track. The teacher tries to help the student by
giving options or clues inviting the student to think in a more cleverly way, in here the
student is stimulated or motivated to use the target language instead of the mother
tongue . By taking this role the teacher is giving an interactive class, in where the
teacher is not the only one who talks and talks , instead he or she gives the student the
opportunity to participate in class by asking questions or doing certain activities that
motivates the students. An activity of this role can be when a professor gives a warm-up
activity or plays a game.
The main purpose of being a tutor is that the teacher just work in small groups
or individually with the students. In this role the teacher just lead the students by giving
them clues about how to do a certain activity. The professor is just there to solve
doubts or questions that the students may have, this role is also known as the teacher
intervention in where the teacher just gives directions and ask questions to the students.
For example, the professor can set up the students in small groups or in pairs and ask
them to have a conversation using nouns, colors and the simple present, with this
activity, the professor is letting the student to show what they have learned in class.
Being an organizer is another important role, in here the professor needs to
give specific instruction or information of how an activity is going to be done, working
in groups, individually, or in pairs and give the students specific time to finish up an
activity, it is another important point in this role. Organizing the class is also very
important in this role, by doing this it would be easier to give a lecture for the teacher
and most importantly understand the main message of the class for the students. For
example, by preparing a class way ahead it is exposed, it is a clear example of how
the professor is taking the role of being an organizer. It is important to point out that in
the preparation of the class the teacher has the task of putting different activities that
motivates the students.
When a professor takes the role of the Assessor, the student has to receive
feedback and correction of mistakes. In here the professor grades the students and
tell them to concentrate in an specific topic if the student needs it. An activity in where
the professor can be an assessor is to set the students in groups of three and ask the
students to conjugate the verbs using flashcards ( this material is going to be provided
by the professor), in this activity the professor is going to be able to give the students
feedback and make corrections if the student makes mistakes.
Taking the role of a participant, the teacher participates with the students as if
he or she were another one, in here the professor needs to be careful of not dominate
or control the activity and lead the students. When a professor is giving the class but at
the same time let the students to be active in class is taking the role of the participant.
For example, before starting to explain a grammar structure or a new topic, the
professor gives a warm-up activity to learn the numbers and colors. The teacher present
to the class pictures of the numbers and each number has a color then the students are
asked to repeat each number and color after him or her. With this activity a professor is
being a participant.
The resource role is basically when the students need to make a presentation
of a certain topic or to read an article in class and the questions or doubts that they
might have can be answered by the professor or in another type of source that the the
teacher indicates. It's mainly the student's responsibility to investigate new and specific
The professor takes the resource role when he or she asks the students to present an
specific topic, the students can be divided into groups and ask them to draw a clock and
put each number with a different color, and once the students are done the students
come in front of the class and ask the rest of the class what time it is by using the clock.
In this activity the students are going to be the ones who are going to create its own
material and at the same time they are in charge of making a brief review of the topic
A successful teacher is the one who has control of the class, and also motivates
students by having an interactive class by taking the different roles that a professor
TEACHER’S ROLE IN LANGUAGE
THE TEACHER’S ROLE