Students are Teachers Too

And they can have a huge impact.

Whenever you can, try to get your students to work in pairs and give them the job of helping each other improve their pronunciation, memory recall, reading, and so on.

The permission here is a powerful tool.

Since the students have the permission to help each other, they will.

Opportunities like this give students the power and motivation to improve.

Students are teachers too. Don’t waste this valuable chance to increase motivation and effectiveness in your class!


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more!
    One of my JTEs uses a “spiral worksheet” activity every class meeting and after the students get the hang of it, they really step into those teaching shoes and you can see them helping coach one another.
    This past week our spirals concentrated on asking “how many…?” and “do you have any…?” I heard a lot of my students reminding their partners to put an “s” at the end of plural words and giving each other hints about the syntax of the sentence.

    Just in case your wondering, a spiral worksheet (at our school at least) is essentially a list of 20 sentences, (questions, answers, greetings, common, expressions etc) that have been covered in the current chapter or tricky material from a previous chapter that needs to be reviewed that the students quiz each other on in pairs at the beginning of every class.
    The list has the English sentences on half of one side the paper with and the Japanese translations or equivalent on the other. Next to the English sentences there is a checklist with a box for each sentence. The students turn in their spirals after having done them 5 times so their are 4 checklist columns.
    The students exchange papers so the one doing the quizzing can mark on the others checklist. The one being quizzed folds the paper so they can only see the Japanese side, while the student doing the quizzing may look at both halves of their paper.
    They are given 2 minutes each to read the Japanese sentences to their partner and have the English sentence given to them.
    After finish reading off all the sentences and getting the English, they tally up the number of check marks earned that day and write it at the bottom of the paper then they return their spirals to one another.

    • Wow, this spiral activity is an inspiration and what sounds like a great success. I’m going to share the idea with my JTEs.

      When you wrote, “I heard a lot of my students reminding their partners to put an “s” at the end of plural words and giving each other hints about the syntax of the sentence”, a smile crossed my face.

      This is exactly the kind of support and teamwork we can elicit from students for the benefit of class.

      I think we should try to overturn the dynamic that “WE ARE THE TEACHERS, YOU ARE THE STUDENTS”. The fact is, students have plenty that they know and can teach. And when students teach each other (their friends) they have a bigger impact.

      Great work! Keep it up!

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