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Teach English in Xisongji Zhen - Huai'an Shi
Introduction Nowadays, the term ‘motivation’ is well known among people. Motivation becomes a key element in learning, work, and other aspects of life. Actually, motivation becomes one of the key factors in getting people involved in different kinds of groups and activities. While English is the major language for worldwide communication as teachers, we expect that students themselves understand the importance of learning it. The reality is different. There are students that have strong self-motivation when they come to the lesson: they are ready to invest their time in preparation and active learning. However, even they can face problems with motivation when some difficulties appear. At this point, the important question regarding students’ motivation appears. Who should lead the process of students’ motivation to maximize the effect of learning? On the one hand, students' motivation may be seen as the students' area of responsibility. On the other hand, teachers also should play an important role in motivating students to learn English. The aim of this essay is to identify based on evidence of better ways for students' motivation and define the role of teacher and student in the motivation process. To solve this question the term ‘motivation’ should be analyzed as well as main types of motivation. Based on theory analysis we can briefly discuss practical aspects of students’ motivation Main Types of Motivation The term ‘motivation’ is described differently depends on the field of study. Some researches define ‘motivation’ as a theoretical base for “the initiation, direction, intensity, persistence, and quality of behavior, especially goal-directed behavior” (Maehr & Meyer, 1997). Others consider motivation as a reason to progress to do something (e.g., Johnstone, 1999; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Most theoretic papers present motivation as a cycle that connects thoughts, behavior, and performance. This cycle itself can be divided into several dimensions like attitude, beliefs, intentions, effort and other aspects that can affect individual motivations. As far as motivation is a broad and popular topic among different researchers several common types of motivation are defined. The basic two types of motivation are extrinsic motivation (a person is motivated to do something because of some external factor like a reward) and intrinsic motivation (a person is motivated to do something because of some internal drivers and reasons). ‘Reward’ is common for both types of motivation. However, in intrinsic motivation by reward, we mean something more internal and personal like self-realization or self-improvement. On the other hand, ‘reward’ in extrinsic motivation in more cases is a real reward, approval from others, etc. All other types of motivation are generally can be included either in an intrinsic type of motivation or in an extrinsic. For example, intrinsic motivation can be divided into: • Competence and learning motivation (a person is motivated by the process of learning) • Attitude motivation (a person is motivated by finding a way to change how this person think and feel) • Achievement motivation (a person is driven by some goal or specific result) • Creative motivation (a person is motivated by a desire to express himself) • Psychological motivation (a person is motivated by deep feelings that are not easy to explain in a rational way) The following types of extrinsic motivation can be defined: • Incentive motivation (a person is motivated by the reward that he receives in case of goal’s completion) • Fear motivation (a person is motivated by events that may happen or negative consequences that have already existed) • Power motivation (a person is driven by the chance to control his own or other people lives) • Affiliation and social motivation (a person is motivated by social circumstances Practical Aspects of Student’s Motivations The motivation can rapidly change the effect of language learning. Course content, education materials, classroom environment, teacher and other group members may affect motivation in both ways: positive and negative. According to different researches and practice in modern education, teachers are expected to understand how to manage their classes to ensure effective and successful learning activities in terms of students' motivation. First of all, it is important for a teacher to find an appropriate balance between the motivation of the whole class and individuals’ motivation. It may be a challenge because each student has his own circumstances, goals, and reasons to study. As a result, it may be difficult for a teacher to find the best combination. Second, each teacher should understand that the appropriate syllabus and topics for the lessons increases students’ motivation. For example, when a teacher plans speaking or reading activities he should take into consideration not only coursebook materials but also students’ interests and probably suggest an article from an economical magazine for business English learners or fairytale for young learners. This activity needs special work and some time to be prepared but can increase students’ interest in the learning process. The last but not least for this discussion is that teachers need to understand the best ‘reward’ that can be given to their students. The grading system is not universal and can only be used to the start, but in the whole learning process students with the best grades can lose motivation. That’s why a teacher needs to find a ‘reward’ that can be changed based on students' results and support teachers in learning activities. Conclusion Nowadays, motivation is one of the important success factors in each learning activity. Motivation is a crucial part of everyday life that supports people in their activities and language learning is only one part of them. However, the most important point regarding students’ motivation that a teacher cannot motivate all students to study for 100% of their ability. Students’ motivation depends on different factors, but a teacher should provide support when it is needed. References 1. Johnstone, R. Research on language teaching and learning // Language Teaching. 1999. №33. 141-162. 2. Maehr, Martin L.; Meyer, Heather A.; (1997). "Understanding Motivation and Schooling: Where We've Been, Where We Are, and Where We Need to Go 3. Ryan, Richard & Deci, Edward. (2000). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. The American psychologist. 55. 68-78.