Motivating Students Motivation is the psychological feature
Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an individual to action toward a desired goal. Motivation can also be the reason for an individual's action or that which gives purpose and direction to behaviour. In other words, motivation is an incentive that generates goal-directed behaviour.
Being able to achieve something that you may have thought impossible and making it a reality. If you are learning a new language because your parents want you to might be difficult for you to motivate yourself however if there is a reward at the end of it you may still try hard to succeed. Therefore motivation can come in different forms and when in a classroom students will be motivated by different things. Finding what motivates each individual can make teaching easier, rewarding, and fun and mostly the student actually leaving the classroom with confidence in using the knowledge they have learnt.
There are many reasons why learners may want to learn English. Adults will usually have made that decision themselves and so will have some degree of motivation. Young learners normally are made to learn as they have yet to learn how beneficial having a second language could be and usually parents and teachers provide the motivation.
Motivation is not the same for everyone. There are different needs, goals and different personalities and reasons. We are motivated differently at different times. There are a variety of techniques, strategies and macro strategies which can be employed in order to motivate learners. 'Teacher skills in motivating learners should be central to teaching effectiveness' (Dornyei, 2001) Motivation is enhanced when learners can use what they have learned in meaningful and authentic applications. Provide positive feedback when the learner accomplishes a worthy task. Rewards can increase behaviour that is motivated. Be enthusiastic about learner's behaviours. Use rewards to manipulate behaviour that the student does not want to perform.
We need to try to overcome the idea that learning is a struggle. Learning should be fun and challenging. Challenges can be motivating. Challenge exists when the goals are clear and the outcome is uncertain.
Students should expect to succeed. Learners are more likely to achieve a goal if they know where they are going. Help learners see that effort brings success. Teachers should find out their goals, and the topics they want to learn, and try to incorporate them into the curriculum. (Chambers, 1999) 'If the teacher is to motivate pupils to learn, then relevance has to be the red thread permeating activities'
Students should be encourage to self evaluate by providing criteria and answers to problems. Let the learners set the pace to reduce frustration and boredom.
Dornyei, 2001 writes about three areas of positive self evaluation strategies. 1) Promoting attributions to effort rather than ability. 2) Providing motivational feedback. 3) Increasing learner satisfaction and the question of rewards and grades. The feeling of satisfaction is a significant factor in reinforcing achievement behaviour. Satisfaction usually focuses on allowing students to display their work, encouraging them to be proud of themselves and celebrate success.
Performance outcomes should be related to effort. If you know a lot already you should be challenged. If you come in knowing nothing you should be able to do well even if it takes longer. Good and Brophy, 1994 mentions the two views. 1) That learning should be fun and that motivation problems that may appear should be as ascribed to the teachers attempt to convert an enjoyable to hard work. 2) That school activities are inherently boring and unrewarding.
It is important the teachers organise and manage the classrooms as an effective learning environment. Unless motivation is sustained and protected, when action has commenced, the natural tendency to get tired or bored of the task will result in demotivation.
What we have concluded is that what motivates one may not motivate the other however achieving a goal is the same for students and teachers. Homing in on what motivates an individual can increase the success of a person achieving their goal. Positive feedback should be practiced as everyone responds better to encouragement and praise.