April 16, 2014 13:31 UTC

Blogs / Confessions of an English Learner

TOEFL Challenge: Try Answering This Essay Question

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A TOEFL prep class in Boston
A TOEFL prep class in Boston
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Since many of you are likely to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), we thought it might be helpful to use a sample question as our writing prompt this week.

Read the question below. You would normally have 30 minutes to plan, write and revise your essay if you were taking the TOEFL. According to the Educational Testing Service, an "effective response" will contain at least 300 words.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

A teacher’s ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught.

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
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by: Shuhrat from: Uzbekistan
09/15/2013 8:22 PM
I think, it is important because psyclogical sides of teaching job, is more impotant in pedagogy. As understanding your pupil character, hobbies, interests giving you chance to find a clue to his heart, soul and as a result of it yo will get higer results in teaching English.


by: ayhan from: turkey
09/13/2013 1:32 PM
İn my opinion, a teacher's ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught. As for the reasons for this, a teacher may have exellent knowledge, but this can not properly transfer into his students. Therefore, the best fundemental rule in education is be able to introduce them knowledge which is need to hear by them.Even İf the subject is not attractive for students, a teacher with his ability may make the corse interesting. Eventually, the ability is more important than exellent knowledge for teachers


by: yousra from: egypt
09/07/2013 6:36 PM
i think that i'm going to disagree with that ,dealing good with students is good and there is nothing to say about it but how about that after this good treatment i have learned nothing . so i guess that both the good material and good treatment is required . the good character of the teacher is required as well as the material of course .


by: Dilbar from: India
09/01/2013 3:02 AM
Yes I totally agree with being close to students makes them to understanding subject what teacher teaches, what is the use of having excellent knowledge when it is not reaching to their own students. A good teacher is a combination of both excellent knowledge with understanding mentality of students.


by: Dika from: Indonesia
08/28/2013 3:39 AM
I agree that teacher's ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught because of these reasons. First of all, a good teacher is not only someone who gives material of the subject, but also a motivator to the students. For example, I have a friend competing in International Physics Olympiad in Estonia, he learns most of his knowledge in physics by reading university books, while the teacher motivates and support him well. As a result, he is one of the smartest students in high school. The second reason is teacher is a mood booster for students to learn harder. For instance, when I was in high school, a class taught by a fun teacher is preferable to a class taught by a boring teacher. The students came to that class happily and would do all of the homework that the teacher gave because the students would feel guilty if they disappointed their teacher.


by: Arnold from: Indonesia
08/24/2013 2:43 AM
I totally agree about the statement which is a teacher's ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught. I could say like that because when we want to learn something we must love it firstly. It is similar things with the teacher which has good ability to relate well with students. When the teacher could able to relate well with his/her students, it could make the students enjoy their learning and love their subject. Then the students trying to know more the subjects they liked. It will make the teacher able to teach them easily when his/her students love that subject. Yes, that's the power of communication. It doesn't matter if the teacher does not have an excellent knowledge but he/she can relate well with them and make his/her students enjoy their subject. Talking about the teacher who has an excellent knowledge, in fact, not all the teacher has an excellent knowledge followed by a good ability to relate well with students. Most of students in Indonesia who love their subject like mathematics or physics, suddenly hate their subject because they do not like their teacher. Their teacher does not have an ability to relate well with students. The teacher make the students being boring or not interested with their subject. Then they do not study well to enhance their subject. In brief, has a good communication or an ability to relate well with students is important to make the students love their subject. The teacher must know and realize about it; the power of communication.


by: nemo from: korea
08/21/2013 1:37 PM
I totally agree with this statement. Personally, i have an experience about this matter. When i was in high school in Viet nam, i had one year to learn maths with a teacher who is the head of the mathematic department. I mean he was the best maths teacher in my school. All my friends thought i was a lucky student at that time. However, the problem was that my teacher only wanted to show his knowledge and did not care about the needs of his students. I was disappointed that i could not learn anything from him. That is the reason why i prefer a teacher that can understand my weeknesses and help me to improve myself


by: Bakhitar Basher from: Iraq-Kurdistan Region
08/16/2013 6:44 PM
This question is very important concern for education process development in any country. Having good and friendly relationship between instructors and students is going to initiate dialogue and discussion among them. Friendly relation between both sides make students to love their classes and teachers and the encourage to spend more efforts and time to maintain their relations.Consequently they start to work on mutual basis in terms of conducting researches , exchanging ideas and experiences or openly and constructively. However this does not mean sometime good social relationship would be on the expense of academic performance of teachers. Teachers sometimes use good relation for hiding knowledge gaps they have. Finally i believe establishing good relationships and striking academic performance completing each other. Smooth relationship between both sides leads to flourishing of academic performance .

In Response

by: thao phuong from: Vietnam
08/22/2013 2:29 PM
yes i completely agree with you. I'm from vietnam, and in my country, teachers and students do not get on really well with each others at all. Sometimes, students seem to be offended when teachers say something that they do not agree, and then they say something that they should not say to their instructor. On another hand, teachers always tell their own ideas and some of them never listen to what students say. sometime it's just like a chaos in classes. Sometimes I feel really disapointed about my country's education!


by: Khanh Phan from: Viet Nam
08/16/2013 9:24 AM
At first, I introduce something about Vietnam 's education, my country, long time ago, the relation between a teacher with students is not easy, students very hard take thiers opinion to teacher, beacuse they very hard to close, but now that situation is better, the teacher not only have a good knowlege, but they also easy to talk with students and listening to opinion of students and improve knowleged, soft skills together..and i argree with statement "A teacher’s ability to relate well with students is more important than excellent knowledge of the subject being taught."


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
08/13/2013 1:47 AM
I disagree the statement. I think teacher's excellent knowledge of
the subject is more important than the ability to relate well with students.

First of all, the aim of learning for students is primarily to get knowledge about the subject and not the social skill to do well with others. The deeper and wider teacher's knowledge is, the more students are inspired to learn the subject. Second, students could learn the subject even if the relation to teachers is not so good, at least if the relation is not too bad. Furthermore, good relationship between teachers and students could be made by student's efforts even if teachers have no such ability. Third, good relationship might put students away from hard time learning the subject to pleasant time enjoying chat or recreations.

Above all, I think any teachers should have excellent knowledge about the subject first of all. But I think if students are children the situation would be different. In such cases, the ability of teachers to relate well with students probably play more important role than excellent knowledge of the subject.Thank you.

In Response

by: thao phuong from: Vietnam
08/22/2013 2:38 PM
you know, if teachers are able to relate well with students, even though their knowledge is not excellent at all, teachers and their students can communicate well to complete knowlegde of the both side, i mean, both students and teachers can make their knowledge wider. This can encourage the teachers to specifiy much more in the subject so that the qualify of education can be improve..That's my own idea. Thanks for reading!

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