Teach English in ChangtAn - Jingmen Shi

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One of the most important intrinsic values in classroom management that need to be addressed with utmost seriousness is the motivation level of students in the class. A teacher may follow all steps required to effectively and efficiently conduct a lesson but if the students present are not well motivated to learn the lesson, the teachings would not reach them and the true purpose of teaching remains unachieved. There are many ways to influence the motivation of students and make them deliver their best during a lesson, but the process to achieve such motivation starts prior to the lesson. In the units previously studied during this course we learn about many problems that come in the way of students’ motivation. Motivation is a tricky aspect to deal with because of its unpredictable nature. All the students do not have the same drive or the same level of motivation in a class and hence it becomes important to address this issue differently for different students. Some students are motivated by the results and achievements such as grades or test scores while others may be driven by the content they are to learn in the lesson. Thus, it becomes of utmost importance for teachers to know why motivation is so important. In a previous study, motivation has been defined as the intensity, direction and duration of behaviour towards the subject in question. Better motivated students generally showcase enhanced receptive skills required for learning. It is easy for teachers to achieve this motivation level among students initially, but students could lose such motivation along the way so it becomes crucial to keep their motivation levels high consistently. This can be achieved if the teacher can successfully inculcate motivational thought patterns in the students and encourage them towards self regulated learning. Moreover, to achieve the above, we should try to know what are the goals and beliefs of the students to determine their attitude and work out ways to increase their motivation levels, because students’ reasons for learning are very important in gauging their approach towards it. Moving forward, we discuss about how to motivate students so that effective learning can take place. Firstly, it is important to make students believe that they have the ability to perform the tasks required to achieve their learning goals. This approach works differently for different category of students because various factors come into the picture such as age and cultural backgrounds of the students. For example, younger students, who although have shorter attention spans are more optimistic towards the idea of learning because of lesser failures faced in their shorter life span, they are more open to learning from mistakes while on the other hand, older students may be not so optimistic due to previous failures faced and are scared to fail again so approach learning very cautiously, they are more afraid of making mistakes which affects their pace of learning. Moreover, since the older learners tend to be office going professionals who participate for occupational reasons, they may attend such lessons post a full day of work which could result in them being tired and hence their motivation levels could dip. Teachers should deal with the issue of motivation carefully considering the category of students in question. The first step in enhancing students’ motivation would be to build their confidence. They should be taught to not only focus on the results but learn to focus on the goals and strategies while enjoying the whole process of learning. A good example would be to give students short term goals and objectives, completion of which generates confidence among students and they can learn further effectively. Boosting students’ confidence works differently when dealing with older students as compared to young ones, because a lot more factors come into picture such as previous experiences of failure, age, cultural and professional background and so on. Hence, teachers need to carefully and tactfully analyse such students’ behaviour and act accordingly to build their confidence without offending them in any manner. Concluding the above, we can say that we have learnt about the importance of motivation in students and that it should be properly taken into account when organising a class or structuring lessons. Teachers could start classes by playing quick games or doing activities that enhance motivation before moving further to the more intensive learning routine. A well motivated class will always perform better than others because motivation as the driving force will always yield the best results out of students. References: ITTT course Units 1-20 Ames, Carole. "Motivation: What teachers need to know." Teachers college record 91.3 (1990): 409-421.