To understand “motivation”, firstly I think we should take a look at its dictionary definition. The word "motivation" is typically defined as the elements that account for the arousal, stimulation, selection, direction, and continuation of behaviour. It is often used to describe certain sorts of behaviour. A student who studies hard and tries to achieve top grades can be described as being "highly motivated", while another student may say that he is "finding it hard to get motivated". Such statements imply that motivation has a major influence on our behaviour.
Motivation can be summed up as a concept used to describe the elements within an individual which arouse, maintain and direct behaviour towards a goal.
Motivation problems in the classroom
According to research motivation has long been a major problem for most teacher
s of english
as a second language. Research also shows that most teacher
s would agree that motivation is one of the most important factors in the classroom. Students seem to lack motivation to learn english
. Students usually have a vague idea that learning english
would be useful, but they don’t seem to fully understand why. Therefore, this leads to lack of motivation.
Reasons for a lack of motivation in classrooms
s need to understand the importance of motivation in learning before solutions can be found. In second language learning as in every other field of human learning, motivation is crucial and determines whether a learner starts the task at all, how much energy they give to it, and how long they carry on with it. It is a complex phenomenon and includes many elements: the individual’s self drive, the hunger for achievement and success, curiosity, desire for stimulation and new experience. These factors play a role in most learning situations.
Other specific reasons may also play a role in the lack of motivation, such as age, younger learners generally lack motivation and concentration. Older students might find the rules and format of english
i.e. grammar very different to their own language and therefore find the learning process daunting. Learning a language has many elements, even the way you use your mouth and tongue and even breathing may be quite different to the learners’ native language. Therefore many new skills need to be learned at once. This is enough to discourage motivation in its self.
Solutions for the lack of motivation in classrooms
Firstly, classrooms and teacher
s need to be friendly and approachable. Proper explanations are needed by the teacher
, so the students can understand exactly what is expected of them. Don’t forget that the instruction is given in english
(a foreign language to the student) and this may cause stress and anxiety in it’s self. A well planed lesson which is both creative exciting and flexible is needed. A good mixture of reading, writing, speaking and listening is essential. Materials used must also be relevant to the students; the more relevant the student sees the material the more motivated they will be.
s must give the impression of being happy and energetic. Once the students see this the student is encouraged to be more motivated. Other important points are listed below;-
- Seating of students is important, together with the proximity of the teacher
to the students.
- Group/Pair work are a good way to get students motivated and interact. This is also a good way to get students to use language.
- Eye contact is very important. This shows the student that you are listening and taking interest in what they have to say.
- Visuals are very important to simulate the student and help with understanding.
- Role-play is important because it can demonstrate to the students’ real life situations, this therefore show relevance and practicality to the student i.e. a purpose for learning english
Motivation is the essential backbone of any classroom, especially for second language students. When students are motivated, the teacher
can carry out their job properly. A good teacher
can do a lot to improve the students' motivation, and the effort involved is an essential part of the teaching profession.