Teach English in Wupu Zhen - Xiaogan Shi

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INTRODUCTION This academic discourse will examine the concepts of motivation in an ESL classroom, through the lens of some motivational theorist such John Schumann and John Keller. According to Kreitner ( 1995 ), “Motivation is the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction”. Dalton E (1974) stated that “ Motivation refers to the way in which urges drives, desires, aspirations, and strivings or needs direct, control or explain the behaviour of human beings. From the definitions quoted above,one can conclude that without motivation, there’s definitely inertia at the level of human ability and energy. There are basically four kinds of motivation: intrinsic, extrinsic, instrumental, and integrative. These views were further discussed by renown scholars around the world , among them John Schumann and John Keller.John Schumann, (1986) propounded the Schumann’s Acculturation model in second language acquisition. He identifies two main varaibles that influence every learners motivation viz: social and psychological. He expantiates that the social and psychological distance between the second language learner and the target language is a major determining factor in the extend to which the language learner will acquire the target language. The speech of the second language learner is restricted to communicative function(Schumann 1978, p 76).He further adds eight social variables: social dominance, assimilation, enclosure, cohesiveness, size, congruence, attitude and intended length of residence. Additionally four main psychological variables according to Schumann adds to the motivating factors (language shock, cultural shock, motivation and ego) which the learner has to overcome inorder to acquire the target language and identify himself with members of the target language group. John Keller,( American Educational Psychologist 1979) surmises that second language acquisition is grounded in the expectancy value theory, which purports about perceived success and perceived satisfaction of personal needs. This model stipulates that people will engage in an activity if they believe they will succeed at it, and it will satisfy their personal needs .The views raised above are indicative of the fact that every second language learner is motivated by personal and societal variables. Inorder to sustain this spirit, the content of an ESL course should be one that is capable of letting him meet up with his aspirations. Hence this brings us to establish some congruence between Schumann’s Acculturation Model and Keller ARCS model. They include:  Attention:  Relavance:  Confidence  Satisfaction: ATTENTION John Keller argues that every ESL lesson should be designed such that the it grabs the undivided attention of ESL learners. The course instructor is expected to initiate active participation in an ESL classroom by getting learners participate actively through a series of interesting learning activities such as: role play, simulations etc. This makes the learners easily get assimilated in the language immersion process. In addition to this the course instructor should take into consideration the various learning methods and make predispositions. A fun filled classroom will help ease the tension and stress which often characterizes the process of second language acquisition.Using specific examples and letting learners brainstorm to solve problems by themselves could be a booster and enhancer of motivation in an ESL classroom. RELEVANCE Once the learners attention has already been gotten, it is important that the learners are made to see how relevant the course is in meeting their aspirations .This can be done through the use of concrete language to which the learners are familiar with on a daily basis, thus using their current experiences to enhance their progress is a generally welcomed idea among learners in an ESL classsroom.More to this, the learner should see the current worth of the course in their day to day activities. It is equally important for the course insrtuctor to be a model to the students. This motivates learners to work harder thus emulting desired model behaviour. CONFIDENCE To keep the learners motivated, the course instructor must build in them a great deal of confidence. This can be achieved through painting a vivid picture of what is expected of the learners during the course. Components like knowning the prerequisites for success, assessment and evaluation criteria at the beginning of the course are very important. The course instructor should develop strategies to build and mould them naturally and gradually to success through the course. Positive feedback and making the learners see that their success depends mianly on their efforts is equally advised. The absence of these variables hampers motivaton adversely. SATISFACTION Lastly,the learner has to feel a sense of satisfaction through the course and every lesson inorder to keep his motivation alive. The learner has to find learning as rewarding or satisfying be it through his achievements or just from verbal praises.This is attainable through letting the learners use the target language in as many real life situations as much as they can, thus seeing its usefulness. It is equally necessary that the course instructor uses positive reinforcement and feedback to motivate the learner to keep doing their best.However,Keller warns against patronizing the learner by over rewarding them for easy tasks. From the write up above is evident that everyone who is motivated to learn a second language ,still needs motivation in the process of acquiring the language. Therefore it is the role of an ESL course instructor to sustain such momentum of motivation in an ESL classroom. The learners motivation may come from his desire to feel a sense of belonging among speakers of the target language ( shumann’s model ), most importantly it is the role of the teacher to sustain such motivation by applying the afore mentioned tennents of John Kellers ARCS model. REFERENCE Edu wiki entry on Kellers motivation model. Principles of learning. Englishstrategies.worldpress.com www.learning –theories.com/kellers-arcs-model-motivational-design.html elearningindustry.com/arcs-model Ellis, Rod (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: oxford university press. P 230. ISBN 978-0-19-437189-6 Schumann John H (1978). The pidginization process: A Model for second language Acquisition.