5 Simple Ways to Motivate Your EFL Students
2018-07-30 Linda Dunsmore Alumni Experiences Teaching Ideas
Regardless of what you are teaching, the outcome of a learning process for students will be affected deeply by how motivated they are. Motivation can initiate students to pay more attention, care more about what they are learning, and increase the time and efficiency on the mission at hand. In an EFL course, motivation will most likely be a crucial factor in how fast and well a student may learn English.
There are many ways to motivate students, and it may take different ways for different students to get them motivated. One huge motivator for an EFL student will be discovering and knowing the purpose for taking a course. Important ways a teacher can motivate their students could be through inclusion, engagement, and encouragement. A teacher can also motivate students by giving them goals to achieve and help each learner feel a sense of importance. With these key points and techniques of motivation, students will, in the end, care more and perform better.
This post was written by our ITTT graduate Patrick D.
Knowing the Purpose
Perhaps the best motivation is knowing the purpose for taking an English language course. The purpose may vary from student to student and each student may have more than one purpose for taking an EFL course. The purpose could be to plan for an international career or to be able to travel and communicate in English-speaking countries or to be able to attend an English-speaking college in the future. Nevertheless, understanding why the students are taking the EFL course will help them understand the importance of the course.
Engage the Students
After the students have a sense of why they are taking an EFL course, there are many ways a teacher can motivate their students. The most prominent motivator that I learned from this course was engaging each student. One way a teacher can engage each student is by grabbing their attention through questions and addressing each student individually. If the students feel the attention of the teacher, they will more likely want to pay more attention as well.
Show That You Care
Another motivator that the teacher can use is getting the student emotionally invested. This can be done by getting to know the students, caring for the students, and establishing a positive student-teacher relationship. When you can relate to the students and adapt a lesson or activity so that the activity involves relatable subjects, they will likely be more motivated to participate in the activities.
Encourage Your Students Frequently
On top of being relatable, it is important to encourage students more than you reprimand them. Positivity and encouragement go a long way to help a student’s mindset and willingness to learn. Displaying enthusiasm and excitement toward both the students and the subject will rub off on to the students, and they may feel more enthusiastic and excited as well.
Set Easy-to-Reach Goals
Lastly, a huge motivator for some students is reaching a goal. A teacher can set goals both for the class, and individual students. This is not to discourage students when they do not meet a goal, but it is to keep them focused and forward thinking and give them something to work towards. In my experience as a student, goals helped me achieve more than I would have otherwise.
Are you ready to teach English abroad?
The motivation for EFL students can come from many ways, starting with having a sense of purpose for why a student is taking the course, and continuing with many different techniques that the teacher can use. Regardless of how a teacher chooses to motivate students, creating the motivation can have a huge positive impact on each student.
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