Rapport Module 2


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Now that you have an idea of the importance of rapport building. We can look at some basic skills and techniques for you to practice. Some of you may have heard of, some you may do naturally, and some may seem out of this world. It is understood that part of the learning environment may be administrative constraints. However, the following is a general guide that you can adapt. Rapport in a classroom setting may begin before the class does. A concept approached by last modules readings is immediacy. Immediacy is a term, in relationships, that denotes that there is a connection between two entities that allows a swift and enjoined reaction. While this is an important component and hallmark of rapport, it is important to note the elements that create that feeling. Immediacy can be established through verbal and non-verbal means. It is the essence of reassurance- we are a team. It also allows for exploration and experimentation. An example might be a child checking in for reassuring glances as she/he steps onto a sandy beach for the first time without holding hands. Another might be the adult who tries something for the first time after a reassuring handshake. Please keep in mind that these cues may be culturally or administratively skewed (Schwartz and Gurung, 2012). Not everyone will respond the same way. Remember that rapport building begins right away. Think about someone you jibed with right away or that you immediately did not like. Why was that? Was it a verbal or non-verbal cue? Dis you just bring along a little baggage from a rough or splendid day that tainted the experience. Keep in mind that your students may make the same snap judgements. It is true that first impressions can be remediated, but why deal with that when you can try and build good rapport from the start. It may be a bit more difficult to overcome the dynamics from a rough start, but the rapport will be worth the extra work. In some settings, such as college, there are resources in play such as e-mail, to reach and connect with students before classes start. Early childhood programs may have a day or two for the children to meet the teacher or hang out in the learning environment before school starts. These scenarios create an opportunity for the student and teacher to bond with a bit of anonymity, (Schwartz and Gurung, 2012), possibly without all that messy learning material in the way and retention was improved.

At the end of this Module, You will

Learn verbal and non-verbal techniques in developing rapport.

Practice verbal and non-verbal engagement and rapport building.

Chart what methods mesh with your teaching style and expected learning environments.


Skills You Need: Building Rapport


Bustkist, W. and Saville, B. (2011). Creating Rapport in the Classroom


Frisby,B. N. and Martin, M. M. (2010) Instructor–Student and Student–Student Rapport in the Classroom


Christophel,D. M. (1990)The relationships among teacher immediacy behaviors, student motivation, and learning


Suggested additional reading:

Carnegie, Dale (1936). How to win friends and influence people. http://www.sweetsuccesschallenge.com/uploads/1/9/3/7/19378043/carnagie_how_to_win_friends_and_influence_people.pdf


1. Look at the below Ideal scores. How did this fit in with your results from reviewing the survey in module 1. Keep any areas for improvement in mind as you do the second assignment for this module.

Would you say…

__4__ 1. I get along well with my Student(s).

__4__ 2. My Student(s) and I share a good rapport.

__4__ 3. I listen to my student(s).

__0__ 4. I feel that my Student(s) rejects me as a Teacher.

__4__ 5. I believe my Student(s) and I share a good relationship.

__0__ 6. I feel inferior to my Student(s).

__4__ 7. My student(s) and I share similar expectations regarding progress towards their course goals.

__4__ 8. I feel that I am supportive of my student(s).

__0__ 9. It is difficult for me to empathize with or relate to my student(s)’ problems.

__4__ 10. My student(s) and I are open with one another.

__4__ 11. I am able to take my Student(s)’ perspective when working with him/her.

__4__ 12. My student and I share a trusting relationship.

Would your student say…

__0__ 13. My instructor is impatient with me.

__4__ 14. My instructor seems to like me regardless of what I do or say.

__4__ 15. My instructor and I agree on what is important for me to work on.

__0__ 16. My Instructor is stern with me when I speak about things that are important to me and my situation.

__4__ 17. I believe my Instructor has an understanding of what my experiences have meant to me.

2. Try out as many verbal and non –verbal techniques as your setting will allow. Do not be afraid to try these in unconventional settings, such as the grocery store, laundry mat, car dealer, or doctor’s office. Keep a journal of how you felt trying them and what you perceived the response was. Be sure to include notes on the environment.


Buskist, W., & Saville, B. K. (2001). Creating positive emotional contexts for enhancing teaching and learning. APS Observer, 19, 12-13.

Christophel, D. M. (1990). The relationships among teacher immediacy behaviors, student motivation, and learning. Communication education, 39(4), 323-340.

Frisby, B. N., & Martin, M. M. (2010). Instructor–student and student–student rapport in the classroom. Communication Education, 59(2), 146-164.

Gorham, Joan. "The relationship between verbal teacher immediacy behaviors and student learning." Communication education 37, no. 1 (1988): 40-53.

McGuire-Snieckus et al. (2007). A new scale to assess the therapeutic relationship in community mental health: STAR. Psychological Medicine, 37 (2007), pp. 85–95

Schwartz, B. M., & Gurung, R. A. (2012). Evidence-based teaching for higher education. American Psychological Association.