Why Is Cultural Intelligence Crucial For ESL Teachers?

11th February 2022

Cultural Intelligence is a significant part of ESL teaching. Just like emotional intelligence (EQ) allows us to interact effectively with learners on the cues they give about their current emotional state, cultural intelligence (CQ) helps teachers to have similar insight while you work with diverse cultures.

ESL teachers who are teaching away from home widely deals with students from different cultural background. The classroom experience in comparison will entirely depend upon learners' personalities, their learning styles, and the culture they belong to. Therefore, cultural intelligence (CQ) for ESL teachers is a must-have to bring effectivity.

What Is Cultural Intelligence!

Cultural intelligence individuals can function efficiently in various cultural contexts including backgrounds, ethnic, nationality, etc. it also encompasses practical topics such as racism, cultural sensitivity, and cross-border effectiveness. To understand it in in-depth, CQ embodies 4 qualitatively different constructs:

Metacognitive – Being conscious awareness of planning, regulating, monitoring, and controlling.
Cognitive – Knowledge of norms, practices, and conventions in various cultures.
Motivational – Understanding the need and willingness to learn and function in intercultural settings.
Behavioral – Ability to display appropriate verbal and nonverbal actions while interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds.

Cultural intelligence (CQ) isthe ability of an individual to function effectively in situations that are influenced by cultural diversity.

Overall, cultural intelligence picks up where intuition and skills such as emotional intelligence leave off. It allows teachers to have practical sensibility when interacting with learners and colleagues who come from different cultural backgrounds.

Why Is Cultural Intelligence Essential For ESL Teachers!

It is evident for ESL teachers whether they teach online or abroad, students' cultural backgrounds will be majorly different than their own. In short, Cultural intelligence is a growing necessity for all teachers, especially ESL educators. The truth is as an international teacher, connecting with various cultural perspectives and understanding learner backgrounds as it provides a sense of acceptance. This is perhaps the most crucial factor in building a sense of community within the classroom.

The truth is, that there are various contemporary methodologies ESL teachers can adapt with TEFL Certification, where learning can be lead effectively, however, Teaching with cultural intelligence can help you begin with where your ESL learners are most comfortable and then find ways to prepare alternative strategies.

When you are a teacher with cultural intelligence, you can sync in your teaching style and content based on your students' cultural background. This way, you get to retain your style of teaching that feels more authentic as well as effective in the classroom.

Additionally, culturally intelligent teachers can design lessons and choose topics that are more in alignment with the group. Also, the kind of relationships a teacher can form in the class hugely depends on the cultural intelligence of the ESL teachers.

Final Words

When it comes to developing cultural intelligence, awareness is the key, only then teachers can become more open and welcoming towards students who come with an unfamiliar background. To be able to connect with students requires a lot more than just talking to them knowing about their likes and interest. The way you as a teacher show up as the teacher who is making the effort, can speak a lot more.

The good news is there is a great deal of research done on this particular topic. ESL Teachers with TEFL Certification who are new to this can use strategies that are most effective in their classroom with cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence (CQ) for ESL teachers is undoubtedly a must-have for international TEFL teachers.

Written By : Aisha Fazura

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