I have chosen to write my article on the topic of motivating students. I did so because I feel motivation is the key to effective learning. Providing and maintaining motivation is a pivotal role of teacher
s. Motivation is at the heart of education and the lack of it is the greatest obstacle a teacher
can face. Motivation effects everyone; other students, teacher
s, parents, counsellors and administrators. Students shine when highly motivated and it sets people apart weather in school, professional or personal life. It supplies the adrenalin that propels us forward and allows us to grow and evolve. It can be said that behavioural problems are caused by low motivation as are problems with learning. One role of a teacher
is to insure its presence in the classroom. In the following article I will discuss the types of motivation and ways to achieve it.
There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. A healthy combination of the two is common and often required in any classroom. Intrinsic motivation comes from within the student. The material captures the interest of the student; their own curiosity drives them to learn and this is why intrinsic motivation is the ideal. Students with intrinsic motivation are self supplied with curiosity and interest to achieve in the topic at hand. An intrinsically motivated student learns because they want to and they gain satisfaction from their achievements.
Extrinsic motivation is what drives students when there is an exterior reward or reason to learn at hand. Graduation, a final exam, a gift/ treat should they succeed or the threat of receiving a failing grade should they not are conditions that cause extrinsic motivation. It is not fair to say that one is better then the other. Often students perform at their best when there is a reward/reason to achieve at the end that isn't pure self satisfaction. Extrinsically motivated students still try to reach their goals even if the motivation isn't totally derived from an innate internal desire. That said, it is ideal that students learning any subject have some amount of intrinsic motivation as this is what truly ignites the desire to learn and make for a happy education experience.
In the language classroom we can encounter both types of motivation. Often with young learners
the students are extrinsically motivated as can be groups of adults learning english
purposes. They are generally leaning the language for school credits or work requirements and may not have signed up for the course voluntarily. Frequently however these students have true interest and desire to learn the language for self/life improvement purposes and are intrinsically motivated as well. When students sign up for a language course voluntarily or are taking lessons one to one, they have done so out of a real desire to learn. There may, and often is, a reason behind taking the course but that reason is not anxiety based.
What reasons students have for learning english
, be it travel, work, love, school credits or promotion, students will need encouragement throughout the course from their teacher
and environment. We as teacher
s can achieve this by being creative, flexible and supplying a dynamic classroom.
To maintain a high level of motivation of either sort, keep moral high and avoid a stressful atmosphere. Anxiety challenges motivation and in an esl
classroom it is only intensified with instructions and work load given in another language! teacher
s must always speak clearly and explain material well. Organized lesson plans keep students focused while flexibility and creativity will insure that the students won’t lose their attention should a lesson plan go off track. Keep course material
relevant to the students; their age, culture, demographic, and language level are key factors to consider when keeping students involved and making the material relatable. Interested students will be motivated students.
In conclusion, when teacher
s are sensitive to their students needs, flexible and organized, effective lessons will ensue. When a course is coherent, fun and accessible, students feel relaxed and encouraged to learn. When students feel this way the topic and the ability to lean it becomes achievable and this is what creates motivation.