Teach English in Haimen Zhen - Nantong Shi

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Motivation in the classroom is one of the most important aspects in teaching English language, especially for young learners. Adult learners choose willingly to study and they actually decide to come and learn English by themselves, so they are motivated already. On the other hand, young learners will probably lack motivation in the classroom because unlike adult learners, they didn’t make the decision of learning English or even coming to the classroom. So in this essay I will focus on young learners’ motivation in the classroom. Through this essay I will try to answer three main questions, what is motivation, how to motivate my students in the classroom and why motivation is very important in the classroom. And of course it will be from my personal point of view using previous and current experiences in classrooms, a general idea or perspective. “What is motivation?” is the first question to answer. Obviously I cannot provide a text book or accurate academic definition of motivation, but rather a more general idea of what motivation can be in the classroom. When I enter the classroom and I see my students decide to participate in the classroom activities and different stages of the lesson in order to achieve a certain goal or target, this is motivation. In other words, my students are motivated to be a part of the classroom during my lesson. So how to motivate my students? I used to give lessons to young learners on weekly basis, it was a charity work because their families could not afford to pay. I noticed that they are very excited and motivated once I start my lesson with them, and they race each other to answer my questions, just to win the prize I put in front of them, candies! That was simply their most important priority to be motivated regarding their families’ background as I mentioned earlier. This made me realize that in order to keep my students really motivated and encouraged during the lesson and even during the entire course, is to learn about their real needs and priorities and use it to keep them involved and motivated in the classroom. Another point is to involve all my students equally in the lesson as much as I can, by using interesting activities that gain their attention successfully. Also being friendly as much as possible with my students creating a good rapport among us will encourage them to participate more in the classroom, and encourage them to talk, even for the shy students. Talking to each of them personally in a more friendly way seems to encourage them to talk more reducing peer pressure in the classroom. Also try to make them get to know each other and get used to each other to reduce the tension in case of a new classroom where they do not know each other before, some fun and simple group and pair activities can successfully achieve this very simply. On the other hand as a teacher I must have the motivation every single time I enter the classroom to teach my students. If I don’t have the motivation to teach my students, obviously they will lose their interest in my lessons. So motivation in the classroom starts with me! I should be passionate about my work with my students inside the classroom, not just a job to do. I should be caring enough to keep them motivated and never lose their attention by making my lessons fun, varied and interesting. Finally, I will try to answer the most important question, why motivation is very important? As I mentioned before, I must keep my students’ attention during the lessons, so they must be motivated. So what happens if they are not motivated? I will lose my students’ attention in the classroom which can be a very serious problem! When the student is not focusing on the lesson, he will turn to be reluctant to the lesson, bored and as a result he will have a problematic discipline during the lessons, affecting the whole classroom. On the other hand, a motivated student will have a greater chance to succeed in the classroom, unlike unmotivated students. It is my responsibility to make sure all my students are involved and motivated to learn and succeed in the course I am teaching for them, this is my main motivation which will be a reflection for their motivation in the classroom, resulting in their success. Motivated students will be more interested to participate in the lesson activities which will lead to a more interesting classroom for other students. That is why motivation is the most important aspect of teaching in a classroom.