Teach English in Donghe Zhen - Ankang Shi

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Motivation in the classroom should start before s the students enter the classroom, the teacher as a positive role model should be prepared to commence work, equipped with a relevant lesson plan, sound knowledge of where his teaching materials are located and having pre-tested any media apparatus to ensure that it is all in good working order, well organized and prepared to commence work. Prior to entering the classroom, the teacher should have read his/her student’s personal profiles and, familiarised themselves with any relevant factors that may impede or improve a student’s participation/performance in the classroom. Details like; the socio-economic, family/culture structure, academic performance, student’s interests, personality type, favourite academic subject, all help the teacher discover some of the reasons and influences (motivation) of why particular students are learning ESL (as ESL is a compulsory part of some school’s curriculum, and students are not given a choice, when it comes to choice of subjects). These details provide a background picture of the student and, assist the teacher in getting to know his/her students' motivation for studying ESL. Background reports like this are an invaluable resource for teachers; they help teachers plan, identify, envisage, predict and assist in the creation of contingency plans to deal with possible obstacles/difficulties that the teacher or the students are likely to encounter during the ESL course. Regularly updated student reports, help teachers form a good rapport with their students and are a key factor in assisting the teacher; in lesson planning, choice of topics, style of teaching, questioning/praising and encouraging techniques, deciding the most effective type of medium to communicate the lesson, choice of topic, length of tasks, deciding on the most effective presentation that will engage the majority of the class, suitable group dynamics, group sizes, appropriate academic level, cooperative learning and what supplements might be used to encourage those students who are likely to be reluctant to participate fully in classroom activities, etc. Many social/ behaviorist and educational theorist have identified motivation as a problem; especially when it comes to maintaining social control, class discipline, problem behaviour, and maintaining interest and lesson flow. Some social theorists have chosen to place motivation into two integrated sets, labeling students and placing them in either "intrinsic or extrinsic" motivational categories. Intrinsic motivation being identified by some theorists as a trait that has been internalized that prompts intrinsic motivation being identified by some theorists as a trait that has been internalized that prompts students to do things for personal gratification because they see personal benefits, relevance, and receive personal pleasure in participating in classroom activities.. Extrinsic motivation is thought to be more about student response and loosely based on careful positive reinforcement of motivation and, the use of teaching techniques, contingency plans, and various positive teaching strategies to combat the student’s lack of motivation. The problem is that the lack of motivation can be based on numerous complex issues and, often involve a number of intricate variables; ranging from self-esteem; prior beliefs, to cognitive abilities. Motivation issues are not only individual they can be group/peer/ societal, cultural motivational influenced traits, so there is no universal answer on how to motivate individual students to learn. This creates a problem for teachers as we can never be sure of what teaching model, event, and reinforcement style or questioning/ praising method produced the desired classroom response. As teachers, we experiment and practice on tried and tested methods (trial and error fashion), record our successes and reflect on the reasons why some lessons were successful and productive while others lessons proved less successful. Teacher awareness plays a huge role in effective motivational teaching, like a professional entertainer he/she can sense when they are losing their audience’s interest. A good teacher will sense whether or not it is their material, pace, manner, body language, nervousness, lack of practice or predictability of their presentation that is not achieving the desired effect and, make the necessary changes to make their lesson more engaging, entertaining, appealing, and relevant and educationally rewarding. As teacher’s we have got to remember that we are not the only competitors in society who are struggling to capture a student’s attention and motivate them, there are numerous phone companies, toy and game manufacturers, film animators, and countless other retailers all trying to attract the students attention, some of them equipped with all the latest technology, sales and marketing techniques, and with budgets that far exceed ’some country’s gross domestic product. Technology in the 21st century, with high-speed communication and applications, is challenging the role and the meaning of education, not forgetting the effect it is having on; grammar, listening, and reading, pronunciation, writing and speaking. Information technology has changed the way we see the news/games/programs/structures and presentations, formats are specifically designed to be user-friendly. News has become infotainment; people have switched from newspapers to the www. people are choosing articles rather than books to read, niche targeted advertising has changed community needs so much, that community needs are now being presented/manufactured as individual needs. Students like some consumers are watching and listening and, they are starting to demand more….from their teachers, There are numerous factors that can positively influence motivation, most of them involve the teacher ;changing his/her approach/attitude to teaching, developing a welcoming rapport, positive reinforcement, a positive flexible learning environment, discovering their student's new interests, devising more appropriate lesson plans around their student's interests, designing more relevant lesson plans specifically designed to engage the student, motivate and encourage students to participate in individual and group activities, adopting a more cooperative approach to learning and teaching strategies and provision of more effective positive feedback, to help engage the students in classroom activities. In this rapidly changing world motivational training requires continuous monitoring and adapting, research and study throughout the entire length of our teaching career, as motivation is not a fixed phenomenon, it is a dynamic force subject to change, as both the student and society progresses and develops. Such measures reduce the time wasted on classroom behavioural problems and allow the teacher more time to engage the student's interests in classroom activities, reinforcing positive approval and, allow more time for the teacher to engage student’s in interesting, pleasurable and meaningful classroom learning activities.