Motivation is important to learn English
Aug 28, 2008 English Language Teaching (ELT) 5939 Views
The students' success in their studies depends upon their motivation. This need or desire to achieve a certain goal can make the difference between success and failure. Motivation can come from two sources from inside and outside the students. Not every one is highly motivated from within, and no one is continuously motivated from within. Fortunately, there is an outside source of motivation. In education, the most obvious kind of outside motivation is the teacher.
To motivate means to make somebody want to do something, especially something that involves hard work and effort (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary). In teaching a language, motivation refers to the ability to arouse in the students the desire to learn the language and a feeling that the language they are learning is useful. Whatever level of motivation your students bring to the classroom will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens in that classroom. Many factors affect a given student's motivation to work and to learn: interest in the subject matter, perception of its usefulness, general desire to achieve, self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as patience and persistence. The important thing here is to know how you, as a teacher, can help your students to be highly motivated to learn the language. In order to do that you should give them clear and detailed information why they should learn English and relate that to their own needs. For example, you may say that English is the first international language, it is used as a lingua franca, and Command of English means better chances for jobs. Moreover, you have to employ techniques that require the students to utilize the language creatively as an instrument of learning. In addition, you should give frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students' beliefs that they can do well. Show genuine interest in your students and their achievements. Nothing is more disappointing for a student than to feel ignored, neglected, or carelessly evaluated, or to feel that his work does not appeal to the teacher. You should be specific when giving negative feedback. Negative feedback is very powerful and can lead to a negative class atmosphere. Whenever you identify a student's weakness, make it clear that your comments relate to a particular task or performance, not to the student as a person. Furthermore, you have to provide praise and reward for all. Some might receive praise for bigger accomplishments than others but even the lower performers need a regular pat on the shoulder. A teacher should also give praise to the class as a whole to encourage the class and also build team unity. Also, Introduce students to the good work done by their peers. In other words, you should share the ideas, knowledge, and accomplishments of individual students with the class as a whole.
In order to help your students to be motivated, you break the routine by incorporating a variety of teaching activities and methods in your course. Classroom activities can reduce the strain of formality in the classroom. They make learning more pupil-centered and less teacher-centered. Activities (such as groups where students exchange personally relevant information) may help to motivate and encourage the more diffident pupils. In other words, activities transfer the process of learning from 'skill-getting' to 'skill-using'.
Finally, here are some tips for the teachers to try:
1.Know your students and use their names as often as possible.
2.Maintain eye contact and move toward your students as you interact with them; be sure to nod your head to show that you are hearing what they say.
3.Use facial expressions - Smile, Frown!!
4.Use appropriate humor in your teaching and in tests, to relieve anxiety.
5.Plan relevant study trips out of the school.
6.Organize a “Student of the Month” award.
7.Maximize the use of time so that the students keep busy with productive, relevant activities.
8.Provide opportunities for the students to speak to the class. Talk less than your students do.
9.Accept students' ideas and comments, even if they are wrong; correct in a positive manner.
10.Open each class with an introduction that captures the interest of your students (warm-up).
11.Plan for every class; never try to wing it.
12.Make sure that the level of teaching matches students' background, ability, and experience.
13.Pay attention to the strengths and limitations of each of your students. Reward the strengths and strengthen the weak spots.
14.Teach by asking lots of questions during introductions, presentations, and demonstrations.
15.Move around the room as you teach; walk energetically and purposefully.
16.Put some excitement into your speech; vary your pitch, volume and rate.
17.Use demonstrative movements of the head, arms, and hands; keep your hands out of your pockets.
18.Praise students in front of the class; reprimand them in private.
The overall goal of teachers should be to help students develop into self-motivating learners. Students who are encouraged to become motivated lifelong learners will be more successful in and out of the classroom.
In conclusion, teachers cannot depend completely on students' interests and desires for learning English. Consequently, external motives are the most important elements in successful foreign language learning. Also, in the classroom, if a student's behavior is rewarded, the positive reinforcement stimulates the student to repeat the desirable behavior. Conversely, if a student's behavior receives a response with a negative undertone, de-motivation results.