Teach English in LingguAn Zhen - Hengyang Shi

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The term, “Motivation” may be defined in a number of ways. Let’s offer as an example; in a scenario where you have a seller of a property as well as a buyer, a “motivated seller” is one that has extraneous and urgent causes, outside of the expected reasons for selling that property. The seller has, perhaps a timeline for selling that is extremely tight, or short. With the revelation of a “motivated seller” to the buyer, it may imply that the buyer may be able offer less money or attain more personally favorable terms than he or she could have from someone not listed as “motivated.” The seller has undisclosed (or perhaps disclosed) reasons for wanting to sell their property as quickly as possible. The seller is willing to negotiate. This “motivated” designation makes it much easier for the buyer to get their desired result. In the field of sports, where an individual or team requires absolute desire to win in competition, an athlete’s motivation is a prime example. Sports is a good instance for the need to function at the highest physical and mental ability possible. Anyone who has seen a team play football in the beginning of the season versus playing later in the championship game at the end of that season usually witnesses a marked difference in performance through motivation. When the stakes in sports are very high, meaning the team’s record is in peril or the “do or die” game is at hand, mental and physical acuity becomes tantamount to the outcome. Motivation, in this sense is the vehicle with which to carry all the attributes and skills to fruitfully complete a given task or reaching an established goal. This is the sportsman’s desired result. In Teaching of any kind, the goal is to successfully impart given known ideas, concepts and acquired knowledge of a subject. It is deemed successful when the recipient of that body of information listens intently and ultimately retains the information being shared. They will have absorbed that learned knowledge and expanded their knowledge base. Usually, what is learned is then applied to a task or future function that will benefit them. The student will have gained insight to successfully accomplish the future application of that learned ability. It could be Bricklaying, sailing a boat, learning Graphic Design or learning another language. I believe that to effectively learn any given new subject, motivation, or focused desire, will be its fuel that feeds the engine of that subject so that it will arrive at its destination. In an active and engaged classroom, it is the teacher’s responsibility to keep the classes’ attention focused on the task at hand. Certainly in learning to speak English, there are technical grammar points and age old customs that are, at the very least inescapably boring! Parts of Speech and Tenses require all the motivation a teacher can muster to be able to leap the hurdles of distraction and short attention of marginally motivated students. I believe that analogies, common English expressions and metaphors play a big role in making understood the dry content of the subject. If a teacher can make associations that will help the student remember grammatical structure and rules, then all the better to engage their memories to retain the content of the lesson. Mnemonic verses such as “I before E, except after C” and “Thirty days hath September, April, June and November….” Have withstood the test of time and are great examples of “brain training.” Many people still have difficulty remembering how many days there are in each month without this gem! Essentially, motivation is the source for keeping the brain alert focused and interested. Stimuli from any positive source, as it applies to illuminate a given topic and with focus on the point and content being taught, may be used to make a teaching point effectively. Maintaining interest is the vehicle to reach the desired result for the teacher. Motivation is simply crucial as a primary tool to teach. Whether that “motivated student” sits in a class because they have personally paid for the course, or are inspired to do well based upon their company’s edict, they become vested in their own success. Ideally, the love of learning itself would suffice but a student’s energy to focus can be compromised by factors outside the classroom. With the “engaging fuel” that is motivation, a profitable return on their investment is much more likely as the end result. As students approach their classes with a vigor and receptive zeal to ingest what is being taught, they are giving to the teacher and that class, an open mind. There is nothing better to bring, in order to learn. This will certainly greatly enhance the chances for attaining the student’s desired result.