This article was very informative of how ESL teachers can build and maintain positive relationships with ESL students. Relationship builds trust. There’s no other way around it. It breaks down the walls of fear, intimidation and mistrust. I feel that it is especially important for ESL teachers to build a positive relationship with their students, so trust can be established. ESL learners come from all over the world to live in America. When they get here, they often experience confusion and culture shock. Some experience America as a great challenge and that they have to work through all their emotions of maybe not wanting to be here because of the way they are treated by Americans and American society. The ESL teacher can act as a bridge over troubled water, helping the ESL student to adjust to American society and helping them through the cultural storm they experience everyday. They can act as a buffer between what they experience in society and their own cultural beliefs. We can act as an agent of comfort through their turbulent changing times. We as ESL teachers can give the encouragement ESL students need to make it through the transition they are going through to adjust and adapt to American culture. The author gave some very good practical applications of how to build positive relationships with ESL learners. These include: regular check-ins, reading student writing, teacher/student letter exchange, weekly reflections from the student, talking and walking with the student and teachers writing about the classroom.
All these ideas are very helping to build positive relationships with ESL students. I have used them all in my classroom except for teacher/student letter exchange. I would like implement this activity in my classes.