Teach English in Konglong Zhen - Huanggang Shi

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Motivation in the Classroom Motivation is a complex construct that has consumed the field of psychology for the last fifty years (Bruce, 2011; Kanfer, Frese & Johnson, 2017; Locke & Latham, 1990). Motivation can be thought of in terms of drives, both internal and external, that move people to complete a task (Bruce, 2011). People learn to speak English for a variety of reasons. Some people chose to learn English for business opportunities while others chose to learn English for the purpose of assimilating (iTTT, 2011b). Others chose to learn English for reasons not readily known. A teacher can influence his or her efficacy by understanding their students’ motivations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the motivation of English Foreign Language (EFL) students and how teachers can manipulate it to increase the learning potential of EFL students. Teachers with a solid understanding of student motivation can increase teaching effectiveness. Motivation is both intrinsic and extrinsic (Bruce, 2011). Teachers must determine what motivates each student. This can be done through a Needs Analysis Survey (NAS) or through an informal discussion. A NAS can provide the teacher with a student’s internal and external drives. Once these drives are known, teachers can create an environment to further increase motivation. For example, if a student is motivated by public demonstrations of approval, the teacher can harness this motivation by praising the student when he or she has done a good job. Other students may be motivated by the need to achieve (NaCH) (McClelland, 1961; McClelland, 1965). Teachers can harness this by ensuring lessons are taught at or below the language level of students to ensure students complete each task, build confidence and feel a sense of achievement. Teachers can also influence motivation by building rapport with their students. According to International TEFL and TESOL Training (iTTT) (2011b), building rapport is vitally important during the initial lesson. The author agrees with iTTT’s assumption and posits that rapport is an important influencer of motivation throughout the student learning experience. Rapport can be built or strengthened anytime during the period of instruction; but, when utilizing the Engage, Study, and Activate (ESA) method, rapport can be built and reinforced during the engage stage and at the end of class to ensure each learner is sent home in a motivated state. iTTT (2011) states that it is important to get away and build rapport during the initial lesson but does not suggest that rapport building should stop there. Rapport can lead to comfort and a student that is comfortable with his or her teacher, will not worry about making mistakes; rather, they will be eager to learn (iTTT, 2011b). The type of teaching material and method of delivery can also influence student motivation. Teachers should deliver their lesson plans using multiple forms of media and technology. More importantly, teachers should understand which method of delivery increase student engagement – an important indicator of motivations – and the retention of information. For example, if it is deemed that a group of students learn more through visual means, teachers should incorporate as much visual material as necessary to ensure retention of information. Teachers can use DVDs, Picture or newspaper clippings to learn new vocabulary. According to iTTT (2011a), pictures and other visual information are best suited for the engage phase but could also be incorporated during any stage to reinforce important concepts or vocabulary. Teachers should continually look for ways to motivate their students as students will rarely tell, or may not be capable of telling, a teacher what motivates him or her. Once motivators have been identified, teachers should create an environment that influences the internal drives with external rewards. In closing, the concepts of motivation, regarding EFL students, are often understudied and underutilized. Motivated students are willing to learn, make mistakes and engage in classroom discussions. Engaged students are more likely to learn and develop their newfound skills. Teachers play an important role in identifying and understanding student motivation. There are several ways to identify and increase motivation. Teachers can build and strengthen rapport, utilize a wide array of technology when delivering lesson plans and praise students for their work efforts to enhance motivation. In doing so, teachers can increase the retention of information and encourage an atmosphere of continued learning. References Bruce, A. (2011). Manager's Guide to Motivating Employees. [VitalSource]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/1260121313/ iTTT (2011). Teaching New Language. iTTT. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Russ/Desktop/TEFL 120/120_Unit7.pdf iTTT (2011). Teaching Special Groups. iTTT. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Russ/Desktop/TEFL 120/120_Unit19.pdf Kanfer, R., Frese, M., & Johnson, R. E. (2017). Motivation related to work: A century of progress. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 338–355. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1037/apl0000133 Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). Work Motivation and Satisfaction: Light at the End of the Tunnel. Psychological Science, 1(4), 240–246. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1990.tb00207.x McClelland, D. C. (1961). The achieving society. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand Reinhold. McClelland, D. C. (1965). N achievement and entrepreneurship: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1(4), 389–392. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1037/h0021956