How Students’ Motivation Influences The Learning Process
A student’s motivation is key to their success in any learning environment. In completing this course, I learned much about what motivation means to students and teachers, and how to keep the motivation of a classroom high. A student who is motivated to learn English has a much higher likelihood of succeeding in an English learning course. With engaging classroom activities, a safe, open learning environment in the classroom, and a willingness to adapt when unusual circumstances arise, teachers can cultivate motivated attitudes in their students that will benefit them for the duration of the course.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Parker A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Choice of Activities
Fun and thought-provoking classroom activities can help keep students interested and excited to learn English. In this course, I studied the Engage-Study-Activate method of teaching students English, and I believe this method is the best for maintaining students’ attention and inspiring them to learn the language. Students may lose motivation if they become bored, frustrated, or accustomed to the routine of the lessons. The ESA method promotes a variation in activities in a way that is fun and creative, and I believe this might help tremendously in maintaining the motivation levels in a classroom.
For example, for the Engage part of the lesson, a teacher might play a game with their students, open a casual dialogue about that day’s topic, ask students questions about current events, or do a warmer activity to pique their students’ interests and motivate them to learn English. Changing up activities often can surprise students and invoke their curiosity. This can be beneficial when helping keep students motivated to learn English, even if the course content is challenging.
Creating a learning environment where the students feel comfortable and heard is another way to help a class stay motivated to learn English. The student who feels unwelcome or unsafe may be much less motivated to study, apply themselves, and improve. Teachers can help their students feel more comfortable in the classroom by beginning to build rapport with the students from the very first day of class. Teachers should be comfortable talking to their students and encouraging students to talk to each other (in English!).
By getting to know the teacher and their classmates, students might feel much safer and, thus, more motivated to learn. Taking body language into consideration is also important: teachers should be aware of how they present themselves to they appear open and friendly to their class. If teaching in another country, teachers can build a safe space for their students in the classroom by learning about their country’s culture and customs, which might help the students feel more at ease. Students who feel like their teacher has made an effort to learn about their culture and care about them as individuals might, in return, be more motivated to learn in the classroom.
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A teacher’s flexibility can greatly affect whether or not a student is motivated in their classroom. If a teacher is unable to adapt to new situations, their class may lose faith in them. For example, if the class finishes an activity faster than the teacher planned, the students may grow bored unless the teacher came prepared with a backup activity to fill the leftover time. If students are regularly becoming bored due to their teacher’s inability to adapt and keep them engaged, they might become less motivated to learn the language.
Another example might be a classroom that receives a new student after rapport has been established between the teacher and students. An innovative teacher might come up with a plan to integrate the student into the class socially and academically, without letting it disrupt the class and cause them to lose their focus. A teacher who is willing and able to change their plans to benefit the students might find that their class remains motivated throughout the course.
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Motivation truly is an important and crucial part of the learning experience for students. While at its core, the motivation of each student is up to them individually, there is much a teacher can do to promote motivation in the classroom. By providing students with entertaining activities, turning their classroom into a friendly, safe learning environment, and staying open to adapt to different situations, teachers can help their students excel and keep them motivated to succeed during their language learning experience.
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