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Teach English in Chaihu Zhen - Jingmen Shi
Learners of all ages need to be motivated in order for them to even come close to succeeding in being able to speak the English language. Students need as much motivation as possible to learn the language in order to achieve or strive towards goals. The motivation each student has determines the attitude they have towards the language, the other students, as well as the teacher. Motivation keeps the learners committed to learning new things and wanting to succeed, it helps keep students interested and prevents boredom. The teaching style has a big impact on the way the students respond to the lesson. It depends on the teacher (different personalities and attitudes towards students as well as the structure of lessons). Lessons shouldn’t be directed only by the teacher but should also involve the students as often as possible. You need to find a teaching style that best suits you, the students, as well as the size of the classroom you’ll be teaching. You need to include students in the discussions. By having a calm and encouraging voice you immediately set a comfortable mood and tone within the classroom and make it less intimidating for the students. This should increase the comfort the students feel within the classroom and therefore their motivation should increase as well. Student talking time is a good way to see the student’s motivation or whether the students understand what is going on during the lesson. If the teacher talks the whole time, students get bored and ultimately lose interest which therefore decreases their motivation to carry on learning more about the language. Establishing rapport is important for the students and teacher to feel comfortable with each other. Getting to know the students’ profiles helps identify their interests and what will keep them interested throughout the lessons. Effective communication (a skill needed within the classroom) will increase the rapport, and also help you get to know your students’ needs. Getting to know your students means that you can relate to them on a wider scale, you’ll be able to motivate them by basing aspects of the language with the students’ own lives. Make sure that while establishing rapport within the classroom, trust is built (it takes time but with trust comes respect and vice versa). Trust has an effect on the attitude of the students in the classroom, it builds confidence not only in the students but with the teachers as well. Establishing rapport makes it easier to discipline (as long as you are fair and consistent), therefore motivation to learn, increases. If there is no motivation in the classroom there will be a lack of discipline. Lack of discipline often starts with the teacher. Make sure you follow the rules and regulations of the school; you need to set the example. This lack of discipline comes mostly from no motivation to learn the language as the students are there, forcibly (not on their terms – this is unusual in TEFL classrooms as it usually consists of learners who want to learn the language). You need to motivate and encourage but also never let the students take advantage (there needs to be a balance of strictness and having fun or playing games – there is a place for each of these aspects in the classroom). Creating materials for the students plays a big role with regards to discipline and motivation in the classroom. If students aren’t motivated, they won’t complete the materials. You need to be as creative as possible – creativity is key. Make sure the students know what is expected of them and that they understand the material given to them, make it fun and enjoyable (this keeps them motivated). You need make sure that all material used (whether you make it yourself or it is already made for the lesson) is ideal for the lessons being taught and are applicable to all students of the language. Games are a fun way to keep the students actively involved and prevents boredom. You need to be smart about the games being played (relate to lesson being taught). Songs are also a very good way to keep students alive and interested, it helps with the learning of the language at a much faster rate (it is a more fun and easier way to get the language across). Music and games are another way to keep students motivated. Include the unconfident students into the games (slowly introduce them – don’t force anything on them as they will shy away even more than before). If you feel that there is a massive gap between the student’s, you may have to have different games for the variation of students (confident and unconfident or stronger and weaker students) – but overall make sure that the games or songs relate and display the same lesson being taught. Evaluation and testing needs to be done to determine the students’ understandings. This can be a little bit scary for most students, however, it can be done in a way that doesn’t affect the students’ confidence levels or motivation to learn the language. You can’t make students feel unconfident or uncomfortable in the work they are completing, if they get low marks, find a way to encourage them and keep them motivated. Help them succeed, even if it means having to spend extra one-on-one time with an individual who is struggling. You need to make them feel comfortable with the language – this shows that you do care, therefore increasing rapport and motivation for you and the student. Having the one-on-one time can help you, as the teacher, distinguish what the individual is actually struggling with (what is the cause of the low marks). Throughout this essay, we see that motivation to learn the language is key and affects every aspect of a student as well as the teacher teaching these students. Without motivation, there is no reason why anyone would want to learn or succeed in anything, never mind the English language itself.