Teach English in Anning Zhen - Aba Zangzu Qiangzu Zizhizhou —

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One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate your students. It is also one of the most important part that can “make or break” a student’s learning process. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively, they won’t retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. A student may be unmotivated for a variety of reasons: They may feel that they have no interest in the subject, find the teacher’s methods too difficult and un-engaging or be distracted by external forces. Teachers have a lot to do with their students' motivational level. A student may arrive in class with a certain degree of motivation. But the teacher's behavior and teaching style, the structure of the course, the nature of the assignments and informal interactions with students all have a large effect on student motivation. While motivating students can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it. Motivated students are more excited to learn and participate. Even the most difficult topics and lessons become more interesting and comprehensible. Motivation and its importance English Language Learners Definition of Motivation (Merriam Webster) is the act or process of giving someone reason for doing something or the condition of being eager to act or work. It could be any force or influence that causes someone to do something. Motivation is also described as a state that energizes, directs and sustains behavior. Motivation involves goals and requires activity. Goals provide the stimulus for and the direction of action, while action entails effort: persistence in order to sustain an activity for a long period of time. It is a necessity so that learning becomes a continuing, improving, interesting and hopefully enjoyable process. Motivating students helps them focus on their studies better. Students understand how to approach a particular subject and get their doubts cleared. The aim behind motivating the students is to make them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It develops their confidence. Good motivation can help students fix their focus in life. Children who are not motivated are generally poor learners, have behavioral problems and to some extent lose interest in their studies due to lack of attention and guidance from their teacher. Most of the time this leads to failures in their life when they grow even though they have all the skills, abilities and talent to reach topmost position. Motivating Students Educational psychology has identified two basic classifications of motivation - intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation arises from a desire to learn a topic due to its inherent interests, for self-fulfillment, personal satisfaction and enjoyment and to achieve a mastery of the subject. The primary motivator is internal. For example, a student may be intrinsically motivated to write stories because they find pleasure to play with words and create fictional characters. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is motivation to perform and succeed for the sake of accomplishing a specific result or outcome. This is doing something to earn a reward or to avoid a punishment. The primary motivator is external. Students who are very grade-oriented are extrinsically motivated. Students who study for a test because they want to pass and students who behave well in class because they don’t want to lose their break time are some of the examples of extrinsically motivated students. However, extrinsic motivation is less encouraged due to its short-term effects to students. Most students who are hooked on rewards and credits are unable to set or achieve goals without external motivation. Students confidence is also affected as they tend to seek approval and put more weight on other people’s opinion. Student will always be looking for outside validation of their performance rather than having the feeling of fulfillment in their works. What motivates the students? All learner, from preschoolers to adult learners are drawn to success through motivation. From the simplest stickers and stars on their hands to certificates, promotions and merits drive the students to excel. So, what really motivates the students? Here are some excellent points that teachers can follow. • Teachers should know their students as individuals and discover what they’re interested in and how they learn best. Then they can design instruction around these motivating factors. Change up instruction to keep kids engaged and interested. Provide a mix of independent, partner, and group work. • Teachers should praise good qualities of the student. They should encourage the student to participate in group activities with full enthusiasm. Providing student with emotional support in the difficult times and letting them know they are supported in all task will keep the student motivated. Giving frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students' beliefs that they can do well is imperative. • Teachers must create an atmosphere that is open and positive. Give them the ownership of their environment and involve the students in creating the classroom principles. It helps the students to feel they are valued members of the learning community. Feeding emotional need is a very good tool to motivate learners. • Teachers’ patience is one way of motivating students too. There will be some students who shows good result after few words of praise and there would be others who would need longer support. Students will continue to strive harder if they can see that the teachers are patiently and tolerantly keeping the phase for them. • Teachers should avoid criticizing them in front of the entire class for their mistakes. Instead the mistake can be brought to the notice of the student individually and suggestion can be given to improve them. Communication is a vital element to effectively motivate students. • Lastly, motivation is possible by treating all students equally and making no discrimination. Punishment can become a big deterrent in the process. The teacher would therefore be advised to avoid punishment to students and use other methods to educate them. These are general ideas that can help motivate the students and can be use as a powerful tool to engage students of the English Language as well. It takes a head, a heart and a hand of a teacher to support students to achieve their full potential.