2. Creativity in Language Teaching
Jack C. Richards [+]
Regional Language Centre (RELC)
One of the consequences of the spread of English as an international language is a growing demand at all levels in both the public and private education sectors for good English language teachers. Schools want teachers who are dedicated, well-qualified, have a good command of English, who work well with their colleagues, who can engage and motivate their students and who are committed to helping their learners succeed. But above all they want individuals who are good teachers. The notion of what it means to be a good teacher is a complex one, since good teaching draws on many different qualities that teachers bring to their classes – reflecting the knowledge, skills and understanding they have built up from their professional education and from their experience of teaching. In this paper I want to explore one quality among the many that characterize effective teachers – the ability to bring a creative disposition to teaching. For learners, creative teaching helps them develop their capacities for original ideas and for creative thinking. It also improves the quality of the experiences learners receive and can help learners develop increased levels of motivation and even self-esteem. For the teacher it provides a source of ongoing professional renewal and satisfaction – since when learners are engaged, motivated, and successful, teaching it motivating for the teacher. For the institution it can lead to increased levels of satisfaction for both teachers and students as well as contribute to the quality, effectiveness, and reputation of the school. To summarize, creative learners need creative teachers and teachers need to work in schools where creativity is valued and shared.