Teach English in Haitou Zhen - Lianyungang Shi

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One of the most difficult parts of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate students. It is also one of the most important ones, because if students are not motivated, they will not learn effectively. They will not retain information, participate in class or might even become disruptive. There are various reasons why students may have decided to attend the class, such as learning the English language for future career prospects, travel purposes, studying or living in an English speaking country, communicating with colleagues, friends, partners and some out of the interest in the languages itself. This short essay will highlight a couple of techniques that teachers can use to motivate their students. There are different reasons for a student to be unmotivated, such as not being interested in the subject, not being interested by the teaching methods or be distracted by external factors. Usually, adult learners have made their own decision to attend classes, however young learners have rarely made that decision for themselves. The difference is that adult learners are quiet motivated and young learners on the other hand lack in motivation. A caring teacher would always try and help build, encourage and motivate the students by making classes fun, entertaining and interesting. Teachers can motivate their students by not over-correcting them at the beginning. This will give them more freedom and confidence to speak and write. The teacher should be sensitive, so that he/she can build a strong rapport with the class, by focusing on them, showing interest and, create a relaxing and supportive atmosphere. Praise and encouragement should be used often in class, to build an even stronger foundation for confidence and class participation, as students tend to look for approval and positive reinforcement from their teachers. The present, practice, production method, also know as the “PPP method”, is when teachers use to first present the context and situation for the language. They also explain and demonstrate the meaning of the new language that is being learned. Students in the practice stage, make their own sentences by using the drilling technique. It means that they listen to a model, a tape recording or another student and repeat what they have heard. Lastly they move on to the production stage, where they are able to be more creative with the language. This teaching method has been proven to be extremely effective in teaching simple language at lower levels. When teaching higher level students, it is less effective, as they already know a lot of the language, therefore not finding it necessary to do the production stage. However, this system can lack a good deal in flexibility and might become too centered around the teacher. The community language learning method, also known as the “CLL method“, is when students typically sit in a circle and it is up them to decide what they will be talking about. The teacher standing outside of the circle will be there to help with difficulty in the language in the course of the discussion, should it be necessary. This methodology on the other hand makes the lessons centered around the students, which might give them more motivation as they are able to choose the topic and language. Sometimes students might need an extra push when it comes to encouraging participation, which can be achieved in the form of offering small incentives. This makes learning more fun and motivates students to push themselves. By handing out rewards, it will give them a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to work with a goal in mind. Another important aspect is to change up the structure of the class, by being creative. Teaching group games and encouraging discussions, using visual aids, like diagrams, videos and colorful charts can add some more excitement. Even small clips of a movie can be shown during class to highlight a topic or theme, in a playful way. It is important to demonstrate how the subject can relate to everyday life or relate to the own interests of the students. This approach would give a new importance and could demonstrate how they could use it in their career, while speaking with friends, traveling and more. To summarize, many different approaches and methods can be used to teach students, unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer, as it will mainly depend upon the teachers individual circumstances. The teachers personality, the culture of the students, their needs and interests all play a vital role in making this decision. It is clear that in real life, each of these methods has its plus and minus, but it will always come back to the certain amount of input from the teacher. The role of the teacher is to guide students, ensure that lessons are enjoyable, fun, interesting, varied and at a good pace to build and maintain motivation. Thus, the student has a greater chance of success in class by being motivated with the help of the teacher.