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Almost everyone out there would say that our personality is one of the most important aspects of our life, yet we so seldom these days think about that or think about it too much in all the wrong ways, e.g. how can I be more liked, how can I get more likes (on social media) etc. The whole thing is losing its oomph!
So here I want to look at the personality attributes that can be developed through learning English. Sounds like a long shot? Don’t you believe it. In fact, the world today is ALL about being who you are – for real. But how do we get to that point.
I am going to get you to think about the way you learn English and how it can in fact improve your personality and ‘realness’, because actually that’s how we do get more ‘liked’ or ‘likes and comments’ on our social media any way.
Take a session in the classroom with your fellow students and teachers, and think about how you put yourself across to the class, because once you look deeper here, you will realise you come across in many different ways.
How to show who you are in class in a real way.
- Where are you from?
This will be the first and easiest thing for you to do as it is all about facts and figures… How you present that first impression is all about politeness and respect for the listener. This is the first thing people will remember about you.
- Are you enthusiastic about learning?
Everyone has an energy, it can be positive or negative. We all know the negative energy people, they are people who don’t show any enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the key to showing others you are a positive pro-active person. This will come through your willingness to engage with the teacher, make eye contact with others and of course smiling. The most important this is that in the classroom it really needs to be about the learning process. Ask yourself, am I showing an enthusiastic approach to learning to others? Do I want to get the exercise finished? Do I want to listen, etc? This is what others see.
- Are you willing to work with others?
Studying is not just about sitting at home at your desk finishing assignments, it is also (particularly if you are learning English), all about communicating and working together with others. Of course to practice your speaking, but also to share your experiences and through this you develop your personality more as your confidence grows.
- Are you on time for your class and your assignments?
Everyone understands that sometimes the train is late, sometimes there is a terrible traffic jam, but what no one understands is why it is always you that seems to be late. The constant lateness from someone not only shows that you are not organised, it also shows you don’t respect the people you are working with and around. They have all shown up and expect you to too. This is a very important personality trait to develop as respect is the very thing that makes people want to be around you and do things with you – including speaking in English!
- Attitude to the concept of ‘working hard’
Are you a hard worker or a smart worker? Hard workers are people who may be on time for class, always show enthusiasm, but are not necessarily efficient with how they spend their learning time. A smart worker puts this question first – do I understand what the teacher is asking of me? How can I do this to the best of my ability and also within less time? Being able to do these two things at once will propel you further ahead with your English. If you only try to memorise your work first (which is a lot of hard work), you won’t get as far as if you actually ‘understand’ your exercise. This is what we call working ‘smartly’. When there is someone in your class who is ‘smart’, you want to spend time with them so that you can understand who they do things and hopefully you can be smart too!
And of course those who are smart workers and hard workers are the true winners!
- How do you handle pressure?
This is the true indicator of who you are. When the pressure is on do you crack under the stress or do you rise from the flames? Think about exam time and try to keep cool. The cooler you are the more efficient you will be in your retaining information and skills, the hotter you are, all kinds of information and misfiring and throwing things around in all the wrong places will emerge and the last thing you want to be known as is a bomb site. What do people do when they see a bomb site? They run away because there may be another one coming.
- How do you handle success and failure?
If you are someone who loves the glory or winning, great but don’t rub it into the ones who have failed, that is a sure-fired way to lose friends and become unlikeable. You can feel proud and confident – even congratulate yourself, but think about how you can help those who didn’t do so well, if you have the right character, they will gravitate to you to see if you can help them too.
If you are someone who can’t take the humiliation of losing, time to put your ego aside and step up into the world of reality. This is the time for you to sit back and be your own ‘Mum’, and say ‘Okay, you didn’t do well, look at why and see if you can work on it so it doesn’t happen again!’
This kind of reaction is the most important of anything here in this post. If you can show that you are a person who has a character that is very real about themselves and honest about what they need to do next, you will be the hero of the class. It’s not easy to do, but it show’s everyone that you are the person to watch because you are the most fair about yourself.
So there you have it, the winners of this world are not the most popular, they are the people who are the most real. Use your English class to develop these skills, and you will find that you will not only improve your English learning but also create a greater network of people to learn and practice with as well.