Posts Tagged ‘personality’

Summary of my presentation given at the IATEFLConference in Brighton 2018: ‘The Power of Personality in Teaching’

April 13, 2018

When researching language learning development for my PhD (‘The development of language acquisition in a mature learner’) four aspects stood out as being most important to the learner (me). One of these was ‘attitude’ and our personality often presents an attitude, in teachers and in students.

What is personality? For this presentation it is ‘The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.’

Discussion:

(This summary does not always provide an answer to the discussion questions for they are often unique to the individuals concerned.)

Who was your best teacher when you were at school?

Why did you think he or she was good?

Many of us selected teachers who were flamboyant and acted.

Which personality are you? Tick the number of characteristics that match your characteristics:

1 duty fulfiller

  • thorough, responsible, and dependable
  • interested in traditions and establishments
  • well-organized and hard working
  • can usually accomplish any task once you have set your mind to it

 

2 mechanic

  • interested in how and why things work
  • risk-taker who lives for the moment
  • uncomplicated in your desires
  • not overly concerned with respecting laws and rules if they get in the way of getting something done
  • detached and analytical, you excel at finding solutions to practical problems

 

3 nurturer

  • can be depended on to follow through
  • usually puts the needs of others above your own needs
  • stable and practical, value security and traditions
  • extremely perceptive of other’s feelings, interested in serving others

 

4 artist

  • do not like conflict, and not likely to do things which may generate conflict
  • loyal and faithful
  • extremely well-developed senses, and aesthetic appreciation for beauty
  • not interested in leading or controlling others
  • flexible and open-minded

 

5 protector

  • quietly forceful, original, and sensitive
  • tend to stick to things until they are done
  • extremely intuitive about people, and concerned for their feelings
  • well-developed value systems which you strictly adhere to
  • individualistic, rather than leading or following

 

6 idealist

  • quiet, reflective, and idealistic
  • interested in serving humanity
  • well-developed value system
  • extremely loyal, adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened
  • mentally quick, and able to see possibilities
  • interested in understanding and helping people

 

7 scientist

  • independent, original, analytical, and determined
  • have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action
  • highly value knowledge, competence, and structure
  • long-range thinker
  • have very high standards of performance,
  • natural leader, but will follow if you trust existing leaders

 

8 thinker

  • logical, original, creative thinkers
  • can become very excited about theories and ideas
  • exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings
  • highly value knowledge, competence and logic
  • quiet and reserved
  • individualistic, having no interest in leading or following others

 

9 doer

  • friendly, adaptable, action-oriented
  • are focused on immediate results
  • live in the here-and-now
  • a risk-taker who lives a fast-paced lifestyle
  • impatient with long explanations
  • extremely loyal to your peers, but not usually respectful of laws and rules
  • great people skills

 

Discussion:

Which personality type are you?

Many of us realized that we are a mixture of the above. It is the descriptions   that matter most, no necessarily the name of the personality type.

Discussion: Which personality type(s) make the best teachers?

This is a matter of opinion and different personality types of teachers suit different personality types of student.

Another look at personalities:

Understanding the Myers Briggs type indicator

WORKSHEET

Place these descriptions in the correct boxes where there are * s:

e.g. Think to clarify thoughts

Speak to clarify thoughts

  1. Critical
  2. Prefer breadth over depth
  3. Controlled
  4. Process information through the five senses
  5. Process information through patterns
  6. Realistic
  7. Prefer depth over breadth
  8. Relaxed
  9. Inventive
  10. Empathetic

 

Introvert Extrovert
Gain energy from inner world Gain energy from outer world
e.g. Thinks to clarify thoughts

 

Speaks to clarify thoughts

 

 *  *
Initially is seen as difficult to get to know Initially seen as easy to get to know
Likes to work independently Prefers to work with others
Few close relationships Many relationships
Concentration Interaction
Reflects before making decisions Tends to make decisions quickly

 

(S) Sensing vs. (N) Intuitive

Sensing Intuition
 *  *
Thinks in the here and now Thinks of future possibilities
Concrete thinkers Abstract thinkers
Notices details Sees big picture
Practical Idealistic
Factual Theoretical
Gather info from what they can see Gathers info from underlying patterns
* *

(T) Thinking vs. (F) Feeling

 

Thinking Feeling
Decides with head Decides with heart
Judge based on logic Judge based on feelings
Driven by thought Driven by emotion
* *
Gives priority to truth Gives priority to relationships
Impersonal Personal
Not easily upset by others’ remarks Takes remarks personally
Rational Passionate

 

(J) Judging vs. (P) Perceiving

 

Judging Perceiving
Like to finish one job before starting another Start many things without finishing
Prefer to move towards closure Keeps options open
Structured Flexible
Prefers to plan before taking action Spontaneous with actions
* *
Organized Disorganized
Tends to stick to a plan Tends to change decisions midway
Responsible Tends to procrastinate

 

source: http://understandmyersbriggs.blogspot.co.uk/p/description-of-8-letters.html accessed 97/04/18

 

Answers

WORKSHEET

 Place these descriptions in the correct boxes:

e.g. Thinks to clarify thoughts

Speaks to clarify thoughts

  1. Critical
  2. Prefer breadth over depth
  3. Controlled
  4. Process information through the five senses
  5. Process information through patterns
  6. Realistic
  7. Prefer depth over breadth
  8. Relaxed
  9. Inventive
  10. Empathetic

 

Introvert Extrovert
Gain energy from inner world Gain energy from outer world
e.g. Think to clarify thoughts e.g. Speak to clarify thoughts
 * prefer depth over breadth (7)  * prefer breadth over depth (2)
Initially is seen as difficult to get to know Initially seen as easy to get to know
Likes to work independently Prefers to work with others
Few close relationships Many relationships
Concentration Interaction
Reflects before making decisions Tends to make decisions quickly

 

(S) Sensing vs. (N) Intuitive

Sensing Intuition
*process information through 5 senses (4) *process information through patterns (5) 
Thinks in the here and now Thinks of future possibilities
Concrete thinkers Abstract thinkers
Notices details Sees big picture
Practical Idealistic
Factual Theoretical
Gather info from what they can see Gathers info from underlying patterns
* realistic (6) * inventive (9)

(T) Thinking vs. (F) Feeling

 

Thinking Feeling
Decides with head Decides with heart
Judge based on logic Judge based on feelings
Driven by thought Driven by emotion
*critical (1) * empathetic (10)
Gives priority to truth Gives priority to relationships
Impersonal Personal
Not easily upset by others’ remarks Takes remarks personally
Rational Passionate

 

(J) Judging vs. (P) Perceiving

 

Judging Perceiving
Like to finish one job before starting another Start many things without finishing
Prefer to move towards closure Keeps options open
Structured Flexible
Prefers to plan before taking action Spontaneous with actions
* controlled (3) * relaxed (8)
Organized Disorganized
Tends to stick to a plan Tends to change decisions midway
Responsible Tends to procrastinate

 

source: http://understandmyersbriggs.blogspot.co.uk/p/description-of-8-letters.html accessed 7/04/18

 

Discussion:

Which 4 of these indicators best describe your personality?

How do these indicators affect your teaching?

My indicators

  • I reflect before making decisions
  • I am realistic
  • I decide with the head rather than the heart
  • I am organized

How do these affect your teaching?

For me:

(reflect) I reflect on failed lessons, work out a plan to improve matters and apply it

(realistic) I assume nothing. I give explanations of everything I can.

(decide with head) I don’t give in easily when students want to finish the lesson early without reason.

(organized) When there is too much work and no time to do it, I draw up plans for survival.

Discussion:

Can we can develop new traits in ourselves that will assist our students’ learning?

How would you change if you could?

What are the pros and cons of doing this?

In summary

We are who we are and there is no changing it except when we make choices to ACT as if we have different personality traits that will help us teach and our students learn.

References:

https://www.edustaff.co.uk/blog/80_

http://www.athens.edu/journal/spring-2016/knowledge-or-personality-types-can-enhance-instructional-programme

 

 

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Writing the blurb on your book is not easy

March 18, 2010

Writing the blurb on your book is not as easy as you might think. What are other people really interested in? – mainly themselves, you might answer. How do you relate the book to other people’s interests? People are so varied; their interests are so different. Perhaps the only solution is to write what you are interested in yourself and hope that others feel the same.

Is it safe for you to write without a copy-editor tidying up your language? Probably not, but they are busy people and sometimes it may be worth the risk…

Here is the blurb for my recent book Out of a Learner’s Mouth. The blurb has been tidied up – perhaps it could serve as a model..? (or not! What do you think?)

Out of a Learner’s Mouth

Picking up a stranger in a pub in Spain and buying a flat from him is an unusual way of starting a new relationship with the country and its language. However, this mature lady casts caution aside and gives the stranger her credit card to pay a deposit for her dream flat by the Mediterranean Sea. When the contract is signed and she first enters the building, she is unable to communicate with the electrician who is still fixing the wiring. She realizes she has to learn Spanish.

In a series of amusing anecdotes she records her feelings about the language and the Spanish way of life. She struggles with new vocabulary and with interference from school French. As her exposure to the language increases, her attitude alters; she makes drastic changes to her approach when teaching English as a Foreign Language to students in the UK.  

She describes the new Spanish words she acquires and shares the trials and tribulations that all language learners have with concentration, memory, personality differences and interfering life events. 

A developing awareness of the benefits of image, humour, other language associations and her past learning and teaching experiences give insight into the nature of the process.        

The book is an essential companion for those contemplating learning Spanish, or planning a holiday in a Spanish-speaking country, and for those in the language learning, researching, teaching and teacher-training businesses.

Against those who rubbish tweeters and Facebook followers

October 17, 2009

Against those who rubbish tweeters and Facebook followers

Who says it is only the mindless, superficial members of our society that waste time tweeting and putting entries on Facebook? Mindless some may be, but the act of tweeting and communicating in short statements on internet sites is an art, I argue, not a mindless occupation.

One of the most difficult things to do is to summarize your life in a single sentence. Try it. You will see that it is almost impossible to say what your life is about effectively if you have only a few bytes at your disposal. The more you read other people’s tweets, the more you realize which ones interest you and why.  Understanding why some entries are more appealing than others leads to the conclusion that there is an art in creating entries. Judging just the right words to use, knowing how to be in tune with your followers and how to express what you want to say so that your followers understand what you exactly is a real skill.

Then there is the question of tone. How can you express exactly how you feel? So often the use of brief statements is mis-interpreted as rudeness. Avoiding the impression that you have no time to be courteous or you can’t be bothered takes care and special ability.

Newsworthiness is a constant problem for the media and is now an issue for those who tweet. How can you make ordinary, everyday activity interesting and newsworthy? This is yet another problem for tweeters and Facebook participants and it gradually becomes obvious that some manage to make their tweets more interesting and newsworthy than others.

Then there is the question of personality. It takes only a few words to reveal aspects of personality. Your interests, hobbies and feelings are obvious signs but dig a little deeper and you will note how self-orientated some individuals are and how their intelligence, world knowledge and social skills (or lack of them) are made apparent.  

There is also the sense of community and the bond between friends that develops. Networking, information sharing and advice all have their parts to play.  In day to day activity, if someone corrects my spelling without my asking, I can easily be offended. In my tweets or Facebook entries, this sense of community engenders no such feelings. I appreciate it when someone takes the trouble to correct me when I am wrong. We are a bunch of human beings sharing our lives. We have no special points to score as we do in the outside more throat-cutting, business world.

Tweeting and participating on sites like Facebook would be worthy topics for research. Perhaps a tweeter will tell me about such research already taking place?

Rosemary Westwell  (Dr Roe on twitter.com)

What kind of book should I write?

August 25, 2009

The recession, and the ponderous nature of the publishing world have led me to the decision that it might be in my best interests to try publishing my own book. There are websites now that make this much more affordable than it used to be e.g. www.blurb.com.

I somewhat rashly said I would be promoting a book at the IATEFL Conference in Harrogate next year (2010) so obviously I need to complete it by then!

What kind of book should I write? If it depends on how people will want to use it, I suppose a straightforward, no-nonsense approach might be best. However, reading it would be a bit boring. I think I would prefer to read one that is more informal and chatty. If another PhD students wants to use it, maybe I should publish it exactly as it is at the moment. Any ideas?

I’ll paste below three ways I could approach it. Which would you prefer? Is there another way I should present it?

TRIAL 1 – THE DIARY AS IT IS, NO CHANGES

The diary of a language learner

Entry: 1

Date : Wednesday 15 September 1999 1010 a.m. for about 45 minutes                  

Age: this is already ‘known’ to be a disadvantage

Appropriate Approach: the only change I made was to consider abandoning the course early in the procedure if I did not fulfil my needs – e.g. the need for help with pronunciation …

TRIAL 2 – A CHATTY VERSION?

The diary of a language learner

Tasmania was too far. There was no way I would be able to skip backwards and forwards from the UK to this idyllic isle for regular holidays. There was nothing for it but to swap the property I had inherited in Tasmania for one in warmer climes, closer to my new home in the UK.

With great difficulty I settled for Spain, largely incurred because of my complete lack of Spanish. As the proud owner of a new flat close to the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by Spanish speakers, there was nothing for it but to learn Spanish. What better way to learn Spanish than to observe myself going through the process. I knew it would be tortuous. …

TRIAL 3 STRAIGHT BUT READABLE (?)

Day 1: Wednesday  15  September

I knew age was going to be a disadvantage. With some trepidation I started my first course in learning Spanish:  “Teach  Yourself  Spanish by Juan  Kattán-Ibarra, 1998: a  complete  course  in  understanding,  speaking  and  writing  Spanish.”

 Even at first glance, I felt dissatisfied. This course did not give me exactly what I needed. I needed to know how to pronounce the words.    END

So, what do you think? comments would be gratefully received.