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Give your opinion on the importance of basic counselling skills in assisting

the process of teaching and learning (30%).

The term counselling is much used in English language teaching today and
has come to be used as a blanket label covering a wide range of activities inside the
classroom and out. The fact that it is used in such a general way leaves it open to
the dangers of abuse, misconception, and the dilution of its true meaning, from a
highly-developed skill that requires a great deal of training into any kind of advicegiving that might be needed. In this essay I should like to clarify some of the
confusion surrounding the term and suggest that the introduction of counselling to
teachers and teacher-trainers can be of real benefit to institutions in our field. I shall
be concerned not so much with language teaching methods based on counselling
techniques (i.e. Counselling-learning, Community Language Learning) as with
attempting to describe and illustrate how the acquisition of such skills can contribute
to teacher development.
More specifically, two vital areas in which they could have immediate
application are, first, in teacher-training, getting the teacher to understand why things
have gone wrong, accept responsibility for them and adjust his/her behaviour in the
future to avoid such situations recurring; and second, in the classroom, getting
students to recognize realistic aims in terms of their time and ability, to accept the
limitations of their individual aptitudes, and to understand their personal balance of
strengths and weaknesses. What is counselling? At its most potent, it is about
putting pupils in touch with their true feelings so that they may be receptive to the
kinds of insight that will enable them to work towards greater self-knowledge and an
understanding of how the conduct of their lives causes their problems. The ability to
counsel is within every one of us, but before we can reach other people we have to
be in touch with ourselves. We have to learn to recognize our own inhibitions and
anxieties, blocks and prejudices, safe and unsafe areas, and how far we are
prepared to listen to other peoples feelings. To do this we must first recognize our
own motivations as teachers:

Part of the problem of being involved in education is that most of us have a

desire to educate; that is, to change or influence other people for what we believe to
be the better. It tends to give us tunnel vision and to make us dismissive of people
who do not see things in the same way as ourselves. Our normal professional
position is that of instructor, imparter of knowledge, priding ourselves on our ability to
weld groups and to control and to direct. Even if, to help us feel more at ease, we
use more humanistic terms to describe our activity (e.g. the knower, the learning
facilitator, the guide), we cannot disguise the fact that our work makes us anxious
to influence, anxious to provide input. We and our students have been conditioned to
think that this is what teaching is about, and so it is to a certain extent. But these
very skills and attributes which enable us to stand up in front of a class and perform
can block our way when the need arises to reach people (including ourselves) at a
personal level. It is important to understand that both counselling and teaching are
deeply concerned with human relationships . learning and learning processes are at
the heart of counselling. It is therefore a particularly proper activity for a teacher,
provided that he/she is able to allow pupils to learn and not simply instruct them in a
rigid way (Hamblin 19743). The essential ingredient is self exploration which is
guided and directed to enable the individual to understand and come to terms with
those elements in his/her personality which have formed blocks and blind spots and
prevented further growth. These are present in every one of us and are at the root of
our everyday anxieties and the way we conduct relationships.

It has been identified by several authors that 10-20 percent of school-age

children exhibit emotional and behavioural problems. This fact highlights the primary
and significant role of the teachers in the use of basic counselling skills in helping
their students. Counselling is the skilled and principled use of a relationship to
facilitate self-knowledge, emotional acceptance and growth, and the optimal
development of personal resources. The overall aim is to provide an opportunity to
work towards living more satisfyingly and resourcefully. Counselling in schools
involves helping students individually or in small groups to deal with the concerns or
difficulties they are experiencing. The need for counselling skills among teachers is a
basic requirement that is integrated in their duties in the development of human
behaviour and knowledge. In order to optimise the help they can provide to children

and to their parents, teachers need to develop their knowledge and skills in the areas
of counselling and consultation. Also, teachers are now expected to work more
closely with parents and other professionals such as psychologists and social
workers. In addition, senior teachers are expected to be able to support and appraise
other teachers. To fulfil their roles in each of these areas teachers need to possess
basic counselling skills. But the question is: what are the characteristics of an
effective counsellor?
The attitudes, knowledge and skills which teachers need in order to provide
effective counselling and guidance to students as well as parents are ones which will
help them develop collaborative working relationships. Hall and associates (2003)
provides several characteristics of a good counsellor that teachers must acquire and
develop. In terms of attitude, the following attributes must be present to a teacher:
genuineness, respect, and empathy. These three attitudes are the bases for healthy
relationships. Thus, students and parents need teachers to be people of integrity
who will not shy away from being open and honest with them, but will do this with
sensitivity. In terms of knowledge, teachers need to have certain knowledge which is
over and above that which they require for effectively teaching children. A good
counsellor has a good knowledge of the strategies for working effectively with
students and parents, good understanding of students and parents' perspectives,
and awareness of family dynamics. Teachers as counsellors need to be
knowledgeable about the range of services and other resources which are available
to parents. They need to be sufficiently aware of the diversity, for instance, in beliefs
and customs of the ethnic groups with which they work. This is to be able to adapt
their interventions and make such culturally appropriate.
The skills which a good counsellor possesses include excellent interpersonal
skills such as listening, assertion and collaboration, organisation and communication,
integration, and leadership. In addition to communicating appropriate attitudes and
possessing relevant knowledge, teachers need to have good interpersonal skills. An
essential part of this is the possession of basic listening skills. Other interpersonal
skills required by teachers include the assertion skills needed for working with
students and parents and for collaborating with colleagues. Teachers also need the
organisational and communication skills necessary for maintaining contact with

students and their parents through meetings, home visits, letters and telephone calls.
Finally, teachers need group leadership skills so that they can organize workshops
for both students and parents.
In the fullest level of integrity and self-actualisation, I can say that I have most,
if not all of the characteristics needed by a good counsellor. My current strengths
include my positive attitudes towards humanistic development. Being able to identify
genuineness of emotions, respect of each persons conditions and individuality, and
established state of empathy or understanding, and integrated with my focused
interpersonal skills and continuous knowledge, I can affirm that counselling is no
difficult task for me. However, I must acknowledge the fact that sometimes I have
difficulty in relating my existing knowledge. Thus, I recognise the need to
continuously learn the dynamics of counselling and the latest facts related to the
practice (something which most teachers seem to have forgotten). The incessant
development of knowledge and practice of effective counselling calls for constant
upgrading and re-evaluation of the counsellors capabilities and competencies. As
numerous experts and scholars take time to further study different fields of
counselling, the body of knowledge is also transformed. In some cases, what was
acceptable and believed to be the best strategy or idea a decade ago is no longer so
pertinent to today.

The improvement of the knowledge that we possess in relation to counselling

is one of the most important qualities of a good counsellor. As a consequence of
modernization and technological innovations, the call to upgrade our knowledge and
to be kept well-versed in and adept at the underlying principles of counselling is
indispensable. In order to address this requirement, we must be able to read
professional and academic publications focusing on counselling. Meanwhile, as
learning is not only contained within printed sources, we must engage ourselves in
more experiential activities with colleagues so as to share, adapt, and revalidate
personal knowledge and philosophies. One last thing that we should improve is the
relationship of our teaching and counselling abilities. Since teaching is proven to be
the noblest profession, we should not only focus on imparting theoretical and
conceptual knowledge but must incorporate it with practical and realistic situations

that will lead to eventual holistic development. In terms of counselling, the integration
of our passion for teaching is deemed to be necessary. Teaching and counselling are
related. In teaching, there is a need to contribute knowledge to a person, whereas,
counselling also requires knowledge, but at this case not to be imparted but to be
applied. To end, the best quality of a counsellor, in my own opinion, is the ability to
remain authentic and realistic with what is really practical and functional to daily
human existence.

b. You are required to integrate basic counselling skills in daily lesson plan
during your practicum. Prepare a report (critical writing) about the use of basic
counselling skills in teaching and learning. (70%)

I am doing my practicum at Sekolah Kebangsaan Buluh Lima, Alor Setar,

Kedah. I was assigned to teach Level 1, Year 3 Gading. This class is the first class
and based on my observation, their level of proficiency is average. While conducting
the teaching and learning, I can see that some of my pupils need guidance in order
to motivate them to carry out the task as well as to help them to understand the task.
Thus, I regard myself as a teacher and a counsellor at the same time. Basically,
education is for everyone and the need for education has increases in comparison to
the past and according to Kangasharju & Pekkala, (2001) it is view as investment for
the future. Education, in general plays the role to educate and produces wellrounded person and useful for the development of the country. Therefore, school is
the roots of all the work to educate and be the first institution to produce wellrounded person for the nation. In school, teacher is the main person who involves
directly teaching the students and deals with their performance and behaviour. Not
only teachers are involved in developing the students but also the school counselling
Firstly, let us go deeper to the understanding of counselling. What is a
counselling skill? One application of the word skills pertains to areas of skill: for
instance, listening skills or disclosing skills. Another application refers to level of
competence, for instance, how strong your skills are in a particular area.
Competence in a skill is best viewed not as an either/or matter in which you either
possess or do not possess a skill. Rather, within a skills area, it is preferable to think
of helpers as possessing different levels of strength. In all skills areas you are likely
to possess a mixture of levels of strength. For instance, in the skills area of listening,
you may be stronger at understanding clients, but less strong at showing your
The counselling unit started back in the 1960s in the Malaysian education
system. The counselling unit in school first introduced as the guidance unit in the
1960s. Counselling is always mistaken by many negatives beliefs that it is only

meant for the problematic students. Solving and dealing with problematic students is
not the main objective of school counselling. According to Suradi Salim (1996), there
are three main purposes of school counselling which are to understand students, to
develop students and to fulfill the school responsibilities towards the society.
Therefore, as teacher, I should be able to deal with any students need, behaviour
and guide them. Therefore, in order to do so, the counselling skills are required and
should be possess by the teacher as well. This is due to the counselling skills would
lead to an organized classroom and guide teachers to make learning session
interesting and reduce misbehaviour in the classroom. The skills are generally, being
used by the teachers whether they are conscious or unconsciously. The skills that
the teacher should know should not be as complex as the counsellor does. The
basic skills in counseling such as empathy, genuineness, self-closure and few more
at least put into practice by the teacher in order to know their students and create or
invent interesting learning and teaching sessions. Hence, in order to access the skills
of the teacher, it is good to see it from the perspective from the students. Therefore,
the characteristics of rapport building, empathy and active listening are evaluate
through students observations of the trainee teacher application of counselling skills.
There are several basic counselling skills that I have implemented in my










www.askmikethecounselor2.com the basic counselling skills are:

Active listening
Unconditional positive regards
Open Questions
Counsellor self-disclosure
Information Giving and Removing Obstacles to Change
Rapport building

All the skills listed above are some of the skills that put into practice by the me
as a teacher. These skills are useful and can be beneficial if the trainee teachers
(TT) are aware of the skills and know how to use it. Firstly, empathy is a skill that can
be use in order to understand the need of the students. The needs of students are

differing from time to time and required teachers to understand and possibly to
attend all the needs that are necessary for the lesson purposes. It is important to
have empathy during the lesson because it will ensure the smoothness and
organization of the lesson for the teachers. Despite empathy and rapport building, it
would not come to implementation if the teacher did not listen to their students.
Therefore, the teacher should own the listening skills in the first place. For example,
when my pupils could not understand my instructions, I will have to refer to the used
of open questions. By doing this, I will be able to help my pupils to ask questions and
to get the information better.
From my understanding, teaching is the first step towards developing a wellrounded person and can contribute to the nation. Other than that, I always bear in
mind that conducting the lesson in a classroom would never be easy due to students
easily lose their attention and to sustain it might difficult. This is due to the students
feel board in the class that lead them to misbehave in the class. Lacking of empathy
can lead to many classroom issues that the teacher either can control or not. I will
definitely try to promote a guided learning to my pupils. For instance, they need to
know on to construct simple sentences. So, I should show some related examples
and also explain to them. Aubrey (1997) quoted by Moris.H,(2001), If teaching
involves helping others to learn, then understanding the subject content to be taught
is a fundamental requirement of teaching. Therefore, classroom teaching is not only
teaching itself. The students and even the facilities in the classroom are also
involved. This is not to mention any distractions outside of the classroom. Therefore,
the teacher shall listen to what the students want and problems that can distract
them from learning.
In addition, I should always refer to the term acceptance in the basic
counselling skill. Acceptance is recognizing or accepting an individual with a positive
regard, treating him as a worthwhile person. Corey, (1990) is of the view Edo Journal
of Counselling Vol. 2, No. 1 May 2009 105 that acceptance is a means of respect for
an individual without discrimination. In other words acceptance implies an
unconditional regard and care for an individuals person no matter what his
personality attributes are, acceptance is demonstrated through listening attentively
with understanding and communicating warmth and liking to other person. It is

important that these responses are expressed genuinely for the other person to
perceive them as genuine. When they are not, the individual perceives the
relationship with doubts and withholds expressing himself freely and genuinely.
Acceptance does not imply approval of everything the other persons does; it
concerns the worth of the individual as a person and not necessarily his behaviour.
(Kolo 1997). We can disapprove of an individuals behaviour and yet communicate to
him that we have regard, care and respect for his person. Acceptance in teaching
practice supervision means that the supervisor develops a non-threatening
relationship with her student teacher, communicate warmth and likeness and
genuinely demonstrates interest in helping him/her. These responses must be
perceived as genuine by the students through their interactions with the supervisor.
The teachers good interpersonal relation with his student teacher to a large extent
can reduce this anxiety. Also acceptance during the conference session is important,
it releases the pupils and makes him/her feel safe and free to take part in the
discussions. It makes the pupils more likely to accept and elaborate on his/her
deficiency pointed out by the teacher. For example, my acceptance of my pupils is
important for creating a warm, nonthreatening welcoming atmosphere. This means,
that I will listen, respond genuinely and shows warmth and likeness. This make the
pupils perceive the teacher as someone who genuinely respects and cares for
him/her. With such perception he/she feels relaxed and safe to express
himself/herself freely.
Next is modelling. A good teacher will never forget to give a good model to her
pupils. Modelling is a process of learning whereby a person (the model) exhibits a
behaviour which serves as an example for another person (the observer) or
reproduce or imitate because the learners observe the behaviour before reproducing
it. (Ingule, Rono and Ndumbuki 1996) limitation is influenced by how the model is
affected by the consequences of his behaviour. Bandura, Ross and Ross (1963 as
cited in Gesinde 1991) asserted that if the model is rewarded for his behaviour, it is
more likely that the observer will imitate the models behaviour, if punished, the
observer is less likely to imitate him. Reinforcing the observer while he is observing a
model tends to increase the probability that he will reproduce the models behaviour.
Observational learning can occur in teaching and learning process in two ways;
firstly, when the pupils imitates a teachers behaviour, which the teacher has not

meant to serve as a model. Secondly, when the teacher and the pupils deliberately
and systematically utilize modelling to shape certain skills or responses of the pupils.
In the first case the pupils may pick certain responses of the teacher, like how she
sits, how she pronounces certain words, her accepting and supportive responses,
how she reinforces and gives feedback. When this happens, it means the pupils had
grown to like and to identify with the teacher. The second case is utilized by
behaviour teacher through their deliberate use of models to help pupils pick up
certain skills or responses, the teacher can use herself or another adult as a live
model to demonstrate certain specific responses or she can utilize the pupils peers
in a small group situation (group counselling) to do the same thing. The use of
symbolic models such as films, audio, video tapes, computers etc can be employed
in modelling certain skills to the pupils. Modelling techniques is often time used by
the counsellor to help pupils overcome phobias (unreasonable fear) to acquire
desired responses and to inhibit undesirable ones. The use of modelling to help
teachers is very relevant in teaching. One deliberate way of utilizing modelling
techniques to help pupils is through discussion of procedures they can adopt to solve
some specific teaching problems in their classroom. A method once demonstrated,
discussed and used successfully serves as an example for solving similar problems
in future. For instance, in my class, this boy seems to have lost confidence to
achieve it like other children. The teacher needs to map out the following procedures
for solving the problem:
i. Defining the problems in behavioural terms e.g. Boy cannot form words out
of letters. He cannot write words. He has no interest in learning.
ii. Description of objectives to be achieved by the boy in behavioural terms
e.g. after treatment (a) boy to be able to have interest in learning,
iii. Determining reinforcement complementary to the boy e.g. boy likes
teachers approval.
iv. Building a friendly relationship with the boy,
v. Developing graded tasks from very easy task gradually to difficult ones
(very easy tasks being in the ability level of the child).

vi. Assigning tasks to child-beginning with very easy task and moving up the
ladder and reinforcing him when he is correct.
vii. Increasing confidence level of the boy to achieve, through further tasks
and reinforcement. The mapped out method serves as a model to be tried by the
teacher and if successful, it can be used in solving similar problems in future.
Then, let us talk about the use feedback in teaching and learning. As a
teacher, I need to always give feedback to my pupils. Feedback includes self
disclosure and sometimes we discover that feedback can be a form of The Adoption
of Some Counselling Techniques in Teaching Practice Supervision Osagie Obazee
G. E. & Obaseki F. N. 106 confrontation, it can be a source of support as well as
challenges and guidance. Feedback can be constructive or destructive. Destructive
feedback is not meant to help another person but to hurt or belittle him. It is given in
a blunt judgment way with focus on the person instead of the behaviour of the
person. This is given disregarding how it affects the person receiving it. Constructive
feedback on the other hand, aims at helping and not hurting or belittling. It is given in
a nonthreatening way so as to make the receiver decrease his defenses. It describes
the behaviour instead of judging it. It focuses on the behaviour of the receiver and
describes what is observed and not inference with the observations. For example, I
will say, you speak so softly in class that about half of the class at the back do not
hear what you say. The feedback thus comprises of observation, information on
strength and weakness of the student teachers teaching behaviour. By doing this,
they will be able to know their areas of weaknesses and to improve them. This
includes giving information about my perception, or reaction to the behaviour of
another person is giving the person feedback.
As a conclusion, the use of basic counselling skills is very crucial and
importance in teaching and learning. A teacher should act as a counsellor as well. A
teacher cannot make much headway in understanding others or in helping others to
understand themselves unless he is endeavouring to understand himself.



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