Motivation in the Classroom I am writing about motivation in the
I am writing about motivation in the classroom, for the purpose of addressing the problem for teachers and to give some strategies that can be used to assist the teacher to overcome the problems.
As a novice teacher I can only imagine the nightmare of having a class room full of unmotivated or demotivated students. This in itself is the motivation for me and why I choose this subject to write about. I believe that if the class is motivated the subject will take care of itself.
It is believed by some that the student teacher relationship is that of power and that we should concern ourselves with the fostering of learner motivation, as it is considered to be the most effective and proactive, so to speak, power relationship. Of course levels of motivation will vary from student to student and all can be motivated by different things. Some will loose self confidence completely while others stride onward. It is important to keep in mind that all students regardless of their level of self confidence will affect the dynamics of the class and those with low self- confidence can with harmless gossip between a few students create class-wide doom and gloom.
Students tend to experience their first loss of motivation about midway through the first quarter of the course. The second motivational drop later in the course can be triggered by taking a practice exam under real exam conditions. Results from this can give students quite an accurate guide to how they will perform later in the course and can be a wake- up call for some and a shock for others. Maintaining motivation at this time is a challenge for the teacher.
Strategies: There are certain steps teachers can take to avoid demotivation of the class. Some teachers take the time to explain to the students at the beginning of the course that they may become demotivated and that it is not unusual or permanent. Letting the students know that you understand this and are available to help should they feel demotivated will give a certain comfort to those students who are already feeling insecure with language study and awareness to others.
Keeping the students organized and showing them how to keep track of their own progress will assist in keeping them motivated. They should be shown how to keep a ring-binder or folder, with a list of their result from every test and homework task. Divide the folder into sections corresponding to the sections of the upcoming exam to assist them in studying. This can give students a sense of respect for their own work and use it to refer back and note the improvements in terms of time and overall improvements.
Teacher behaviour and good student-teacher rapport is important. The teacher's behaviour is a powerful motivational tool and should not be understated. The teacher should establish a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the learners, by means of talking with them on a personal level. This mutual trust could lead to enthusiasm which may impart a sense of commitment to and interest in, the subject matter not only verbally but also non-verbally. The atmosphere is very important to the student. The tense classroom climate can undermine learning and demotivate learners. To be motivated to learn, students need both ample opportunities to learn and steady encouragement and support of their learning efforts. It is important that the teacher organize and arrange the classroom as an effective learning environment that is a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
There are many more issues relating to motivation in the classroom, other than those above and many articles available to assist the teacher. Any teacher who believes that motivation is important will find they have a strong supply of advise available to draw from.
Maintain and Protect Motivation:
There should be a motivational repertoire that includes several motivation maintenance strategies otherwise when action has commenced, the natural tendency is to get tired or bored of the task and succumb to any attractive distraction and demotivation will result. Part of maintaining motivation is to maintain the learner's self-confidence. In some cases a small personal word of encouragement is sufficient and in other cases there are many different approaches to consider.
In general it is believed by some that motivation is the 'neglected heart' of our understanding of how to design instruction Teachers will also not be able to form a cohesive and coherent group, unless they succeed in turning most curriculum goals into group goals.
Learning a foreign language is different to leaning other subjects. Therefore, language teaching should take account of a variety of factors that are likely to promote success. A good successful teacher will accept their students' personalities and work on those minute details that constitute their social and psychological make-up. 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 and social and cultural behaviour and ways of thinking. Teachers need to keep this in mind at all times when determining how the student is relating to all facets of the language.
'Dornyei, Z 2001. Teaching and Researching Motivation. England: Pearson Education Limited.
'Rolf Tynan Exam Action Document from Embassy CES: Oxford, England
'Dimitrios Thanasoulas. Motivation and Motivating in EFL English Club.com, ESL Teachers Lounge