Motivation is defined as “an incentive or reason for doing something, a willingness of action especially in behaviour”. As teacher
s of any class and importantly tesol
it is imperative that we find ways to keep the students engaged.
Learning a new language is not easy and can be quite disappointing if one does not understand the concepts behind the language. It is easy to give up and not complete the studies and follow up on the homework.
Many of the students may not have had a choice to study english
and are unmotivated or impressed to start with. They may not clearly see the reasons or value of learning the language and the role it can play for them in the future.
It is up to the teacher
to separate the reasons and to create the motivation to learn from the students. Initially students who have low motivation can be extrinsically motivated to learn by rewards, Prizes, contests, food etc etc can all be used to gain attention, make class fun and get them wanting to come to class. However these are short term options and lose appeal quickly. The goal is to turn extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation (from within the student.)
Intrinsic motivation for students is influenced by a variety of factors identified by theorists Malone and Lepper 1987. A reduction in stress in the classroom is the foremost factor. Then followed by factors such as if the work drives their curiosity, challenges them but at an appropriate level, gives them a sense of empowerment, drives a need to compete and compare their results against the tasks offer
s them self recognition, les them work in a community or group setting and lets the be creative (can offer
fantasy ). I think this one relates to the role/plays that were discusses as well as game ideas that we reviewed throughout the course. I also believe that the need for group work cited by Lepper lets students fulfil a need of helping others and being able to visibly see their work in progress. Visualization of work coming together is a driving force and very satisfying.
If these factors are met then students are more driven and have a sense of self satisfaction in completing their studies. However extrinsic motivation in the sense of reward, praise and feedback should not be excluded as this also works in conjunction with keeping the students on track and happy.
From what I have learned in our course I think driving the intrinsic factor is extremely important. The ITTT
course has taught me is the following factors can contribute to the motivation in my classroom.
Teaching is like any other job and what we don't want to happen is to lose our positive energy as that will flow through our students and then they will suffer and lose motivation.
A caring teacher
who sincerely wants to see their students will be inspired and this will motivate the students. A teacher
who is prepared, organised, has achievable and relevant classroom lessons will create a motivating environment for the students.
A goal is to set the positive energy standard everyday. If you are a bit off one day get the students to tell you a joke or riddle and lighten the load and get the sunshine back into the classroom. Positive words, kindness and energy will go along way with your students. Being professional and prepared to the best of your ability will show them you care. Motivation is the biggest factor in a successful classroom. When the students are motivated the teacher
can perform well and when the teacher
is motivated the students can perform well. It is a 2 way street.