Handling student complaints is one of the most important jobs that a person, who is expected to become a teacher in the future, needs to keep at the back of the mind and prepare duly to do this duty properly. The same thing is applicable for the learners of a comprehensive online TEFL certificate course, who are expected to become TEFL educators in the future. Students learning English as a Foreign Language are becoming more aware of their role as consumers and are becoming increasingly strident if their aspirations are not met. They may complain about their grades, that their teacher is boring, that the level of the class is too high or too low, or that there’s too much or too little homework.
So it is very important for the future TEFL educators to be able to handle his/her student complaints in the right way and ensure that they are able to solve them properly. In the following lines, we will have a look at how handling student complaints effectively can help in the development of the future TEFL educators, who are currently pursuing a comprehensive online TEFL certificate course.
Importance of effective handling of student complaints
Many English Language teaching establishments seem to be of the view that they are running a first-rate service and that, if a student makes a complaint, then he/she is simply a ‘troublemaker’. This complaint may be dealt immediately but often no action is taken whatsoever. A disgruntled student will spread a bad atmosphere throughout the establishment, and may even discourage other potential students from attending courses there. So it is of utmost importance that the obligations of such students should be handled with extreme care and this is where the mechanism of handling student complaints can come into play.
Delivering a course for a student learning English as a Foreign Language is an enormously complex business, and so the chances of something going awry are very high. And if a complaint is made, it’s of the utmost importance to deal with it properly for everyone’s benefit. So a learner of an online TEFL certificate course should understand how to handle the student complaints and deliver the course content in the best possible way.
The future TEFL educators need to learn how to treat the students under his/her tutelage as a valued customer (rather than a ‘student’) and consider the different status that goes with that word. This is a simple truth that is worth being aware of at all times. Without fully occupied classrooms, classrooms full of contented students, a teacher can’t hope to deliver the course content to the student unless they do take complaints seriously.
The teacher should certainly give the complaining student the time to fully express his/her grievances. This means sitting, one-to-one, in a closed office, with absolutely no interruptions, and with a consensual seating arrangement. By this, it is meant that the complaining student and the teacher are facing each other, and not separated by a table. Listening is of supreme importance in this case. It is a precondition for success in the process of resolving a problem. In fact, this very act may well be enough to resolve most student complaints. If a student thinks the teacher isn’t listening carefully, and is eager to stop him/her in mid-flow, he/she will feel less respected. It would not be a good example of conflict resolution, which should be kept in the back of the mind for the learner of an online TEFL certificate course for he/she is expected to face this problem more often once they start teaching.
- Taking action
The teacher should start taking action which is both fair and reasonable in terms of solving the problems, which can guarantee students’ satisfaction. An appropriate reaction is crucial for the development of the overall teaching-learning procedure and provides the students with a stage to come out with their grievances, thus making the process more transparent and impactful.
- Checking the validity
The future TEFL educator should understand how to solve the problems, but before that, he/she has to find out whether the stated grievances are clearly valid or not. If the educator is 100% sure that the problems that have been put up by the students are valid, then he/she can do something about them, i.e., find the most feasible solution for the problems stated.
The aforementioned ways of finding out whether the students have any grievances or not is very much important for the TEFL educators. It is recommended that they should start learning about them and the possible problems that might arise due to student grievance and thus solve them accordingly while the future TEFL educators are pursuing an online TEFL certificate course. This is a step that builds the future of a TEFL educator on a solid base, thus helping him/her to become a better problem solver in front of his/her students and eventually turn into a successful TEFL educator, with an immense capability to deliver the course content to the students under his/her tutelage and cater to their overall development in terms of education in the sphere of teaching English as a non-native educator.