Learning to let go: Teacher roles and student motivation

Ben Shearon

How can teachers encourage students to take responsibility for their learning? What are some ways to increase student motivation, autonomy, and success? What roles are appropriate for teachers in the 21st Century? How can we boost learning outcomes without increasing class time? Ben Shearon argues that it is by relinquishing control and stepping back that teachers can best serve students. This presentation will present several case studies of successful classes, including an extensive reading class, a discussion class, and a presentation class, followed by an examination of their commonalities and potential lessons for teachers and administrators. Paul Nation, in his 2013 book 'What Should Every EFL Teacher Know?' lists the most important jobs of the language teacher and puts actual teaching at number 5. The first four are planning good courses, organizing learning opportunities, teaching language strategies, and testing progress. The concepts of the curriculum engineer and language coach will also be introduced as conceptual frameworks for language teachers, along with how teachers can facilitate active learning and establish learner-centered classes through adopting key principles