Teach English in Chanyeyuan - Yangzhou Shi

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Maintaining a learner’s motivation could be the difference between success and failure when it comes to learning English as a foreign language, as an unmotivated student is less likely to want to take part in lessons or attempt the tasks aimed at helping the student to learn and develop. If a learner begins a course with no motivation or loses motivation during the course, their capacity for learning can be greatly reduced, due to their participation and attention being negatively impacted. An unmotivated student may also present other problems, such as weakening groups in teamwork activities or just being generally disruptive in class. Classroom disruption then becomes a larger issue as it not only affects the unmotivated student in question, but also the rest of the class and the teacher. The ability to successfully teach a class can be hindered by this disruption, as dealing with discipline issues reduces the time in which a teacher must conduct their lesson. Having one or more unmotivated students in a classroom will slow down the time it takes to understand an upcoming task or even complete the task at all, and this will impact on the whole class. When learning English as a foreign language, using English as the primary source of communication in the classroom is important for a learner’s development, so having an unmotivated student in the class could lead to them using their first language as a communication source more often, reducing their exposure to the English language, as well as possibly other members of the class too. For this reason, keeping a student motivated enough to communicate in English and refrain from reverting back to their first language during lessons is an important part of the role of the teacher. If a teacher is following a lesson plan or a set course structure across a certain number of lessons, then motivation can have an impact as to whether students will be where they’re supposed to be, at a certain point in the course. It is therefore important for the teacher to ensure that lessons are fun and engaging, whilst also making sure that students are improving as the course goes on, with feedback and evaluations to back this up. Seeing themselves improve and develop is a way to help maintain a learner’s motivation, but it is important to make sure the student is progressing, as showing a student that they’re not improving can have the opposite effect and reduce their motivation for learning. Using a placement test or a needs analysis can help to find out what level a student is at prior to the start of the course, but also what their motivations for learning are. By using this information, the teacher can remind a student of why they are there if it looks like motivation is beginning to drop. Consequently, identifying a student’s motivation for learning, in whichever way, is an important part of the teacher’s role. In one on one lessons, a student’s own personal motivations can be used as an incentive by the teacher, encouraging the student to learn and progress further. In group sessions, it can be more difficult for a teacher to tailor a lesson around various motivations but can still be used as an incentive and to encourage students in the group, one on one. This, of course, changes when working with students who may have to take mandatory English lessons, for work purposes for example. In this case, identifying a personal motivation for learning might be more difficult, but once established can still be used as the same encouragement as for students who are learning of their own choice. Maintaining a student’s motivation will help to build respect for the teacher and encourage a positive rapport between teacher and class, as a motivated student will also most likely be an active and willing participant in classroom exercises. If a student loses motivation, their participation in classroom activities could reduce, resulting in them becoming bored. The frustration of this boredom could be directed at the teacher, causing a breakdown in the relationship and loss of respect from the student in question, and possibly even the rest of the class. Creating a classroom environment that is inclusive of the whole class, fun, engaging and challenging will keep students from getting bored, and if managed properly alongside their own personal reasons for learning, should keep them well motivated and maintain a healthy respect between student and teacher, allowing for a positive classroom experience and successful lesson outcome.