Effective Ways to Motivate Students in the Classroom
Motivation in the classroom is one of the most key components to establishing effective language learning skills. If students are not motivated then that means they fail to see the value in what they are learning. To ensure success in what the students retain during and after my class, I must utilize motivational activities and techniques that warrant effective learning.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Erin S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Know your students
The first aspect of a classroom to take into consideration is the demographics of the students. Are they older? Younger? Do they speak the same language or even a variety of languages? These are all factors that come into play when deciding what sort of motivational tactics will be most effective. When I am teaching a younger class I think it is imperative to remember to keep things light and fun. Always be willing to be silly and be receptive to whether the lesson plan I have compiled is processing smoothly or not. This class has taught me to not keep a strict script when teaching a class. I should always be able to flex my lesson plan according to what seems to be more effective for the students I am teaching. This requires a sense of receptiveness to the students and their needs. By keeping things interesting and applicable to them, I will be able to better motivate them to retain and utilize English because creating interest helps to aid in learning.
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There are a variety of activities that I will employ to motivate students in the classroom. I think it is really important to come to class with a few different activities that are of varying levels and styles. If I assess my class and they seem to be more visual learners, I will come to class with activities that allow them to process information through drawing and possibly even more board work so that I can encourage them to learn through methods that are more effective for them.
Choice of materials
On the other hand, if I become keen on the fact that my students are more listeners I will use more verbal techniques such as tape cassettes or songs to encourage their interest. Overall, there will need to be some reasonable variation of these learning styles but in order to make sure that every student is getting the information that they need in a way that works for them I will try to apply authentic materials throughout a myriad of teaching aids so that everyone learns in an appropriate manner that is effective to them.
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More important than even the various teaching tools and methods I use will be the rapport and relationships I build with the students. I believe that if they see my passion and motivation then this will guide them to feel similarly towards the subject. No one wants to come to class and feel like the teacher is not fully invested in the information and students they are teaching. If I want students to feel motivated, I need to establish the value that comes from learning what I am teaching, and by staying proactive and receptive I will be better able to motivate my students.
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