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Biplob Prodhan
  • 2 months ago
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Discuss the roles of teachers in language classroom. [N.U. 2015] Or, What are the roles of a teacher in a language teaching class-room? [N.U. 2018]


Ans. A number of teacher’s roles can be demonstrated via the analysis of Jeremy Harmer (1991). He divided teacher’s roles into different categories. Several of them are narrated below:

1. Teacher as controller: This role is extraordinary in the past. In the class of teacher as controller, teacher directs both what the learners do and what they speak and what language they use. (Harmer, 1991) Therefore the teacher in this kind of role is very strong that he can concentrate on the front of the class. Pupils are all working to the similar beat as all learners are taught the similar by one similar teacher. (Harmer, 1991). The demerits of this roles of teacher is that learners will learn only what the teacher taught in class.

2. Teacher as determiner : Teacher determines reaction of the pupils. Harmer classified determination into two types:
Adjustment: This is to rectify students answer whether they are right and provide them with the correct answers.
Managing students’ response: Teaching without managing response is like asking them questions without hoping any reply from them. Therefore response is required.

3. Teacher as organiser: Teacher also has to be liable for everything that may take place in class. With a view to avoiding any problem that may take place, good class organisation is required. Harmer advised three levels of teaching as:


Lead-in is the level where teachers lead students to what they are about to teach. Prove is when the teacher discusses class regarding what they are likely to do as well as the reason they have to do it. Initiate is when teacher ensure all the pupils are prepared to begin doing it. Response is what teacher hoped students from that specific activity.

4. Teacher as energiser: This role of teacher is to inspire learners to take part or make advices regarding the way the learners may advance in an activity. (Harmer, J., 1991:241)

5. Teacher as participant: In view of Harmer, teacher should take part with learners in that activities too such as contributing themselves and progress the environment in class.

6. Teacher as resource: In this role, teachers behave like they are books. If students do not open them, they will know nothing from them.

7. Teacher as tutor: This is the role the teacher takes where learners are engaged in self-study. Teachers can facilitate pupils by marking the mistakes and permit them think about them.

8. Teacher as investigator: This role of teachers is quite extensive. They have to test everything that takes place in class and enquire which activity is fruitful with their students and what methodology or technique should be ignored in the next class. They also has to judge themselves to attain more professional development.

With a view to fulfilling all these roles, teachers require regular time together to discuss, inspire, compare concepts, trouble-shoot when things do not go as hoped and establish cooperation between classrooms. (Zemelman, S., 1994). Currently, course organisation must not be assessed and established just by school governors as this is also one of the major roles for teachers (Julie Ferris. 1998).

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Biplob Prodhan
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