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26 February, 2018 11:33:33 AM

Importance of learning manners

Classroom is an ideal place to learn manners and teachers are the ideal persons to be followed by the children even more than their parents
Masum Billah
Importance of learning manners

Though teaching manners to the children and studetns begin at home, school is a perfect place to teach them manners as they remain in the school for a significant portion of their daily life that necessarily offers them a nice opportunity for learning socialization. Students need to learn different kind of social manners to learn socialization. So,learning manners is a very important factor to lead personal, social and institutional life . When we take an attempt to teach our students  manners not only in Benglai, but also in English as they learn it as a compulsory subject, it means they are getting twofold benefit at a time. Suppose, if someone walks into the room  we can tell our students  what they should do then ---‘you should stand up to say hello.’ Classroom is an ideal place to learn many things at a time and teachers are the ideal persons to be followed by the children and students  even more than their parents.

Children think that  their parents cannot always tell or do  right things  but their eachers can. So, teachers are the best availbale models before them. Teaching manners to the students is the responsibility of all teachers irrespective of their subjects. English teachers can take this advantage more than other teachers as they can seize the opportunity to teach them language as well.

When students are learning what to do in the classroom, in the market, at home and in different social institutions and functions and what not to do, these learnings prove to be more practical and authentic.

English teahcers can take this advantage of teaching language that will definitely develop their linguisitic ability and the ideas they have ingrained in them will continue reflecting in their  habits in all social fuctions and instutitions.

Teachers can tell the students ‘Always say please if you ask for something to the people around you. While opening the door “Don’t barge past someone.Say ‘Excuse me’ if you want to get past someone.Say ‘Sorry’ if you bump into someone, even if it’s their fault.’

Teaching or talking about personal hygiene  is a good subject matter for practising modals such as ‘should’ and rules of what students should and shouldn’t do in public.Don’t pick your nose.Don’t spit.Don’t burp.Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough. To make them more convincing , interesting and impressive, teachers can play the role or mime while teaching these things.

A teacher  can distribute worksheets with the above general rules written on them and a space next to each rule and  mime the unacceptable public acts described above and they can draw what they think you are doing next to the sentence. ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full. Put your knife and fork together on your plate when you have finished. Do not eat with your knife.

Do not spit your food out onto your plate’. These are the manners to be observed while eating and we can teach these sentences to our students in English. It will obviously teach them manners and they will learn these sentences in their own


Cultural lessons  become more relevant to the children if they can relate them  to their own lives.  (ii)don't spit on the street. (iii)do’t  burp loudly after a meal. (iv)don't apologise if you bump into somebody on the street. (v)do say ‘please' and ‘thank you' at every opportunity. (vi)  cover your mouth when you yawn or sneeze.  (vii)don't pick your nose in public. Students can be taught these ‘do’s and don’ts’ in the classroom. They face these situations frequently in their practical life.

An English teacher can these the students ----‘when you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and

they find them boring and unpleasant.

Do not make fun of anyone for any reason.’ Every single student needs to know ‘If he/she  bumps into somebody, immediately he/she should  say "Excuse me. Students should also follow--- "As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new. When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you


The world is not interested in what we  dislike. So, we should keep our negative opinions to ourselves , or between us and our friends. We should  not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them. We should also teach our students ‘when people ask you how you are, you should tell them and then ask them how they are.When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you

over and for the good time you had.’

Sometimes kids just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly . And in the hustle and bustle of daily life, parents  don't always have the time to focus on etiquette. But teachers should play the role here. Teachers can teach the students--- When asking for something, say "Please, when receiving something, say "Thank you."Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.’

Behaving politely is a way of life. It is not the case that children or students will have to be polite only in some particular places just formally and informally they can behave roughly. Or they need not practice good manners or bahaviourial activities only at school or social gatherings. These norms and etiquttes  to be followed and observed everywhere to make them part of students’ habits. Basically, learning manners is a lifelong education. It does not happen overnight.

Introducing one new social skill after another will make them quite aware of the ‘do’s and don;ts and they will learn English and Benglai side by side if a language teacher grabs the opportunity.

The writer works for BRAC Education Programmme, Email:



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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