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Motivating students Introduction Having chosen the subject
Introduction Having chosen the subject of motivation in the foreign language classroom, I will briefly discuss various motivational techniques and strategies that can be used by TEFL teachers in order to motivate their students, and make their learning more efficient. Even though during my research I have found a lot of education- oriented publications providing different pointers and techniques, I came to a conclusion that they don''t always offer an efficient guide to new teachers like me. Therefore, my main goal is to come up with a set of strategies that may come handy during my future teaching endeavours that are likely to include a need to motivate foreign language students.
Creating the motivational conditions
There are certain preconditions that need to be met in order to generate in students. Some of these conditions are the following:
''Appropriate teacher and student behaviour ''Good teacher-student rapport
Teacher behaviour is a powerful "motivational tool". Teacher influence is often what makes the students engage in tasks. Therefore, it''s very important to establish a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the students, by means of talking with them on a personal level. This mutual trust could lead to enthusiasm. At any rate, enthusiastic teachers impart a sense of commitment to, and interest in, the subject matter, not only verbally but also non- verbally.
''Pleasant and supportive classroom atmosphere
It is quite natural and obvious that tense classroom climate can influence students'' motivation in a negative way, and make them more self conscious in all aspects of the learning process. On the other hand, learner motivation will reach its peak in a safe classroom climate in which students can express their opinions and feel that they do not run the risk of being ridiculed. ''Well organized teaching/learning environment (classroom)
To be motivated to learn, students need both opportunity to learn and steady encouragement and support of their learning efforts. Because such motivation is unlikely to develop in a chaotic classroom, it is important that the teacher organises and manages the classroom as an effective learning environment. Furthermore, because anxious or alienated students are unlikely to develop motivation to learn, it is important that learning occur within a relaxed and supportive atmosphere (Good and Brophy, 1994: 215).
''Generating student motivation
Ideally, all learners have curiosity to explore the world, so they are likely to find the learning experience pleasant. In real life, however, this "curiosity" is influenced by such factors as compulsory school attendance, curriculum content, and grades. Apparently, unless teachers, increase their learners´ goal orientation, make curriculum relevant for them, and create realistic learner beliefs, they will come up against a classroom environment, and the learning process overall.
In general, motivation is the "neglected heart" of our understanding of how to design instruction (Keller, 1983, quoted in Dornyei, 2001: 116). Many teachers believe that by sticking to the language materials and trying to discipline their students, they will manage to create a classroom environment that will be conducive to learning. Nevertheless, these teachers seem to lose sight of the fact that, unless they accept their students´ personalities and background, they will fail to motivate them. Learning a foreign language is different to learning other subjects. Therefore, language teaching should take account of a variety of factors that are likely to promote success. Language is part of one´s identity and is used to convey this identity to others. As a result, foreign language learning has a significant impact on the social being of the learner, since it involves the adoption of new social and cultural behaviours and ways of thinking. References:
''ITTT. (n.d.) Course Material.
''Dornyei, Z. (2001). Teaching and Researching Motivation. England: Pearson Education Limited.
''Good, T. L. and Brophy, J. E. 1994. Looking in classrooms. 6th edition. New York: HarperCollins.