We can imagine what a real strain on the pupils this must be. Consciously or unconsciously,
the teacher's posture and facial expressions exude a certain air or mood which often builds up tension
and aggravates interaction between teachers and students, and among students themselves. This
discrepancy between "bad mood" and the educational objectives relating to cognitive development and
emotional equilibrium is in itself pernicious and unprepossessing to cope with, mainly on the part of
the student. How can the student feel secure and confident in a hostile, unpredictable environment,
in which he / she is to be "seen but not heard"?
He [Paul Ekman] argues that facial expressions for primary emotions, such as surprise, fear,
anger, disgust, sadness, and happiness are universally the same and are consequently cross-culturally
perceived (Papaconstantinou, 1991: 65).
In all likelihood, a grumpy and severe teacher will produce grumpy and severe or refractory
As is evident, a teacher who speaks ex cathedra, exercising his requisite authority
to lay down rules which the students must adhere to unquestioningly, does his cause a great
disservice. Many generations look back on their school-days with a measure of fear and contempt
because they believe that learning means hard work and sacrifice, and teachers' job is to reward or
punish. Legitimate though it may be, this belief should be de-suggested by realizing and
assuming the correct and healthy role as teachers and learnersța task which will be our
concern in the following chapter.
2.2. The roles of the teacher and the learner
One can hardly envisage a language learning situation in the absence of an interaction of the
student with his / her fellow students, the teacher and the textbook. Every time the student interacts
with any of these sources, she makes various hypotheses about what she is learning, and accepts or
rejects them, trying out new ones. In her attempt to learn the foreign language, she is dependent on
her co-interactants, as she develops a wide range of strategies which will be tested only
in a communicative context. Strategies can be distinguished in three categories: production
strategies, comprehension strategies and interactive strategies. We will
not explore any of these in the present study. We should only point out the importance of human
interaction in the classroom as a condition for successful language learning and intellectual, emotional
and social development.