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7 Things to Remember for Increasing Motivation in Your Class

7 Things to Remember for Increasing Motivation in Your Class | ITTT | TEFL Blog

An essential part of effective teaching is motivating students to learn. Through my experience as a teacher and learner, I have found many times where I have lacked the motivation to learn. This lack of motivation happened for a variety of reasons. They included general tiredness, lack of interest in the subject, an instructor who was going through the motions with no passion for what they taught and personal problems to name a few. As instructors, some things can and cannot be controlled. Teachers can control class content and presentation. They can develop lessons that have interest and purpose to cause their students to engage. What they cannot do is influence a student’s issues away from the classroom. Teachers may try to dig into their student’s life to encourage or offer a bit of advice, but in the end, it is simply something they cannot control.

Instructors can influence motivation and make the learning environment stimulating and engaging for their students. Nevertheless, after all the teacher's efforts, it is the responsibility of the students to determine their motivation for studying any subject.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Mark V. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

1. Enthusiasm

There are several things teachers can do to motivate or cause their students to learn. Foremost, teachers need enthusiasm for the subject they are teaching. If instructors lack motivation, the student will seldom be motivated. Teachers must infect their students with a passion for the subject. They must cause the class time to be a can’t miss experience.

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2. Proper instructions

Teachers must instruct with a purpose. They must consider the why, how and what for each presentation. Lessons require careful planning and purposeful delivery. Planning is essential to a great presentation.

teacher in classroom

3. Encouragement

Instructors must be an encouragement. They must become student’s cheerleaders letting them know they can do it. They must always respond positively to their student’s successes and failures. Boost their confidence. They must let them know they can and will succeed. They must make all feedback informative and constructive.

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4. Fun and comfortable environment

Effective instructors will make the learning environment fun. They have discovered how to change it up. They make their lessons unexpected and varied. They tell stories and jokes to engage the student. They don’t do the same thing in every class. They provoke their students to arrive at their classes with the thought, “What is going to happen today?”

Teachers are not afraid to change the learning environment. This may include a field trip to a local market where the students can learn different names of items in the language they are studying. Additionally, they can bring in guest speakers to change it up.

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5. Setting goals

Effective instructors set reasonable goals for their students to achieve. They allow them to be successful. If goals are too ambitious, students may give up along the way. They may feel that they can never measure up to the task. Rather teachers need to set goals that can be attained and rewarded when the goal is met.

esl class

6. Dealing with frustration

An additional enemy to motivation is boredom. Frequently, the teacher may have students on different levels of understanding. Thus, if the lesson is too easy or too difficult, students may lose interest. This can be a challenge. Lessons need to be simple enough for the weakest students to grasp but be challenging enough for the more advanced students. Teachers must discover and employ different strategies to engage all their students.

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7. Self-evaluation

Finally, teachers need to evaluate themselves so they don’t fall into a rut with their teaching methods. Course materials must be constantly updated and relevant. Instructors should incorporate contemporary situations, news events, and pop culture into their lessons. They need to make the lesson relevant to their students. If lessons incorporate things that interest the students, they are more apt to engage in what is being taught.

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Motivation needs to be prioritized as much as course content. In the end, what is the goal of teaching? Is it simply to deliver information or should it be to cause students to learn for life application? The teacher needs to make sure what they teach can be applied for life change.

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