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Motivation in the classroom I believe that one of the most
I believe that one of the most important things in learning/teaching a second language is motivation. Both sides have to be equally motivated to truly succeed. There are many teaching techniques that can be used to help motivate both students and teachers. Students are usually the ones that need the most motivation and it is my hope to explain some techniques and acknowledgement that is needed to be the motivator. Some students are naturally enthusiastic about learning, but for many, enthusiasm is all in the power of the teacher, what is being taught and how it is being taught. 'Effective learning in the classroom depends on the teacher's ability to maintain the interest that brought students to the course in the first place.'(Ericksen, 1978.) Interest in the subject mater, perception of its usefulness, general desire to achieve, self-confidence and patience, persistence is a major factor of motivation. To encourage students to become motivated independent learners, it may help the teacher to try the following suggestions. One main suggestion is to give frequent and early feedback of the student's progress and understanding. It is very important that the students feel like they are a major role in their success. Always ensure opportunities for student's success by giving tasks that aren't too hard or too easy. Try and help each and every student find the personal meaning and importance in the material. Some general strategies in motivating students in the classroom are to capitalize on the students existing needs. Students usually learn best in the classroom when they feel that their own motivates for learning English is being satisfied. Some of the needs that the students may bring to the classroom are the need to learn English in order to complete an activity or task. They may have the desire to learn or seek new experiences. To capitalize on the students existing needs, try and design assignments, in-class activities and discussions to help satisfy those needs. Making students active participants in learning is also a major factor in motivation in the classroom. Students learn by doing, making, writing, designing, creating, solving. Being passive can dampen the student's motivation and curiosity. Asking a lot of questions to the students will help them become more involved. Don't answer questions that you asked the students, allow them to answer, if they need help they will ask. Working in pairs can help out a lot because it allows each and every student to help one another. It also can help the students feel more at ease because they can see that they are not the only ones that may be struggling with the given assignment. (Lucas, 1990)One major role in motivation in the classroom is in the instructional behaviors of the teacher. Some key issues that need to be recognized are the following. The teacher should hold a high but realistic expectation for the students. To develop the drive to achieve students need to believe that the achievement is possible. This means that the teacher must provide opportunities for success. (Lowman, 1984) Teachers should also help student set achievable goals for themselves. By allowing the students to set their own goals in learning English, the teacher is allowing the student to evaluate their own progress. Telling students what they need to do to succeed in the course is important because it does not allow the expectations to be misunderstood. Avoiding intense competition between students is something that needs to be avoided by all costs. If a student feels that they are being undermined or 'left' behind, it can cause the student to 'give up.' And finally, the teacher needs to be enthusiastic about teaching English. The students can pick up from the teacher whether or not they (the teacher) want to be there. If they sense that the teacher doesn't care about the subject, they won't care to learn it. Another factor of motivation that needs to be considered is structuring the course to work with the student's strengths and interests. If they are interested, they will learn. Making sure that you allow the class to increase in difficulty is also very important in motivation. Students don't want to be learning the same thing over and over again. They will lose interest quickly if that is the case. And finally, to gain motivation in the classroom it is important to respond to the students work. Make sure you give feedback to the student as quickly as possible. Return tests as soon as possible and always give praise and rewards to the students as much as possible. Always make sure you announce good work done by other students in the classroom. This will help with the moral of the class. If negative feedback is needed make sure it is given with ease. It is important to let the students know when they have shown a weakness in learning English but it can be given with grace. (Cashin, 1979)There are so many things that a teacher can do to motivate students in the classroom, almost too many to write about. The most important thing that the teacher needs to do to motivate the student is to always stay in control and keep it interesting. Students need a change of scenery once in awhile. It is up to the teacher to motivate the students and if the student is already motivated, it is up to the teacher to keep the motivation going.