Teach English in Yuntai Nongchang - Lianyungang Shi

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Occasionally a teacher is assigned to a class full of highly motivated students, each of which has an incredible passion for learning English as a foreign language. However, this is uncommon, often leaving the teacher to inspire and motivate the students, in addition to teaching them. Specific groups tend to follow trends of motivation levels, such as adults usually being more motivated to learn as it was their choice to do so, compared to young learners, who probably didn’t choose to learn English, according to Unit 19. Despite what the trends dictate, EFL teachers have to continuously foster interest in learning English within their students. In terms of a schedule within the lesson, it’s important for the teacher to spark motivation in the first few minutes of a class, which would essentially consist of the “Engage” phase of an ESA lesson, which is taught in Unit 3. If students are interested in the beginning of the lesson, they are likely to feel confident to continue participating in the lesson. The “Engage” phase can consist of activities also referred to as “Warmers,” which are aptly named as to “warm the students up” to their education. A good activity for a Warmer is something quick like a tongue twister, which is described in Unit 20. While it is a helpful exercise for the sake of practicing pronunciation, they often sound comical and can ease students into the classroom environment by providing a lighthearted and fun atmosphere. As a teacher, there is also the matter of the materials used in the course, and their effect of the motivation of the students. In order to effectively accomplish this, the teacher must find out about the interests of the students, along with their English level. Once this information is known, the teacher can tailor the material to the different interests of the students over the length of the course. If the school or company that employs the teacher provides a course book or a set of materials, the teacher should use only necessary and inspirational aspects. The teacher should replace unnecessary material, adapt specific portions, and supplement the material with other exercises, as explained in Unit 14. When supplementing material, it is beneficial that the teacher utilizes authentic material, which could be anything that was initially intended for an English language audience, such as a newspaper, music, or even a podcast. The benefit of using authentic material over created material, which is material that was initially intended for EFL students, is that it tends to be more interesting due to its real world applicability, and provides the students with a sense of satisfaction and confidence when they are able to work through the presented materials. However, this is where the teacher needs to be careful, because if the students are not advanced enough, they will struggle with the authentic material, as they are not the originally intended audience, and the language may be too complicated. This is why the teacher also must find out about the language levels within the class, so that if authentic material is introduced, it is of the appropriate caliber to aid in the students’ education. When it comes to teaching the receptive skills, which are reading and listening, there are two forms of motivation that the student may have: for a purpose, or for entertainment, which is designated in Unit 11. Purpose driven motivation to learn receptive skills has its place in the classroom, such as a student wanting to obtain the English fluency to be able to read the operation manual to a new household appliance. In order to incorporate entertainment based motivation, the teacher can use authentic materials, such as songs or poetry, which have a higher chance of intriguing and motivating the students, as they are generally more interesting to the general population. Although entertainment motivation may seem pointless to some as the purpose of its usage is not immediately evident, seeing as the hypothetical material is authentic, and also used in the educational environment, it serves as both purpose based motivation and entertainment based motivation. The utilization of videos and video equipment are also likely to motivate students. For example, in Unit 17 it is asserted that incrementally showing students parts of videos throughout a course has a positive effect on motivating the students. This can be either authentic material, appropriate to the age, culture, and level of the students, or videos that are provided as supplements to the course books. Of course, the teacher should screen the video material before the class, and only show what is relevant or beneficial to the student’s education at that point. Hypothetically, if the students were learning how to discuss animals and describe their appearances in English, a short clip about zoo animals would be beneficial and content-appropriate. After watching the video clip, the teacher can facilitate a discussion on the content of the video and its synthesis with the topic being taught. Videos tend to hold the attention of students easily due to their hybrid audio-visual components. It is highly important that the teacher motivates the students as much as possible in an EFL classroom, in order to maximize the quality of education that the students receive. An unmotivated student will not get as much out of a course as their motivated counterpart would. By implementing various strategies, activities, and materials within the classroom, even an inexperienced EFL teacher is likely to have a positive impact on the motivation of their students, and benefit their education greatly.